The NFL Hall of Fame Class of 2015 will be voted on and announced this Saturday, and the Colts could be well-represented. Former head coach Tony Dungy and wide receiver Marvin Harrison are among the 15 modern era finalists for the second straight season, while former general manager Bill Polian is one of the contributor candidates this season. We'll look at each of their respective chances at making the Hall of Fame this year over the next few days, but today we look at Marvin Harrison.
Why he will make the Hall of Fame:
Marvin Harrison's resume is staggering. He's the Colts' all-time leader in catches, yards, and receiving touchdowns, and pretty much every significant category, and he's one of the best in NFL history as well. He caught 1,102 passes (third all-time), he recorded 14,580 receiving yards (seventh all-time), and caught 128 receiving touchdowns (fifth all-time). He holds the NFL record for most receptions in a single-season with 143 in 2002, and no one has come that close to breaking it.. He was an eight-time Pro Bowler, and from 1999-2006 (eight seasons), he recorded at least 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns in every single year. He caught at least one pass in every single game he ever played in (190) and recorded sixteen different games with 10+ receptions, 59 different games with 100+ yards receiving, and 28 different games with multiple touchdown catches. Harrison, along with quarterback Peyton Manning, hold the records for most career receptions, yards, and touchdowns between a quarterback and wide receiver. He's a member of the Colts Ring of Honor, as he was inducted in 2011. When discussing the greatest receivers in NFL history, Jerry Rice always comes first, but you'd be able to find plenty of support for Marvin Harrison being second on that list. Whether he actually is number two or not doesn't really matter: he's widely considered one of the greatest receivers to play the game, and his resume certainly stacks up to that claim.
Why he won't make the Hall of Fame:
There's really only one way in which Marvin Harrison doesn't make the Hall of Fame this year: if the voters royally screw it up for the second straight season. And, since they messed up last year, what's to say they won't this year? Furthermore, there are a few objections raised about Marvin Harrison (which I looked at more in-depth last year): the complaint that he got to play with a Hall of Fame quarterback in Manning, that there's a wide receiver logjam at the receiver position, and then off-the-field concerns. None of those claims hold enough weight to keep Harrison out of the Hall of Fame. He was helped by Manning but that's not the sole reason he was good, plus what great wide receiver didn't play with a good quarterback? The wide receiver logjam doesn't prevent all-time greats from getting in. And off-the-field scenarios (such as Harrison's unproven but speculated involvement in a shooting a few years ago or his tendency not to talk with the media much) are not supposed to factor into voter's decisions, but we all know that they do somewhat.
What are his chances to make it as part of the Class of 2015?
Really, we shouldn't even be having this conversation. Marvin Harrison should have been in the Hall of Fame last season, but he wasn't. The fact of the matter is that he's a finalist for the second straight year, and it would be an absolute shock if Harrison is not a part of the Class of 2015. His statistical production was off-the-charts and his impact on the Colts' offense was huge. As former coach Tony Dungy (who is also a Hall of Fame finalist this year) told RTV6's Mike Chappell, "if there ever is the definition of a first-ballot Hall of Famer, it would be Marvin. He was THE receiver of his decade." Dungy has a point, and there is little doubt that on Saturday Marvin Harrison will be announced among the Class of 2015 for the NFL Hall of Fame.