By: Jeff Riger
It was not too long ago that we as Detroiters picked sides and went into verbal wars with each other about whether Chris Osgood deserved to be in the Hall of Fame. From the wins to the great stats in the postseason to being really lucky to play on amazing teams, fans broke down every fact and stat and used it to yell their point across. But, then it all ended. I think people got sick of talking about it. And, I don’t blame them, after a while the conversation just goes nowhere and in the end everybody is left running to the medicine cabinet to pop a couple of Tylenols for the pounding headaches they now suffer.
It just got so old and boring.
Well now, I think we have another issue to take sides on …
Does Jason Hanson belong in the Hall of Fame?
Thursday, Hanson told reporters that he wanted to finish his career in Detroit and also was not sure if he would be back in 2013. Hanson is 42 years old which makes him the oldest player in the game and while he thinks he can still do the job he wants to make sure. There is also the question if the Lions will want to bring the kicker back? Hanson made $2.5 Million in 2012 and no doubt Detroit would want him to take a pay cut to remain playing at Ford Field for another season.
Now, I think Hanson will be kicking for Detroit again next year, however if he’s not then it’s back to the old Hall of Fame debate. Is Hanson worthy?
I know fans wants to put Hanson in the Hall because he has the most 50 plus yard field goals for any kicker ever and also holds the record for playing the most games and seasons with the same team. Oh, I almost forgot, since the Lions have stunk so bad over the years, Hanson has also been able to rack up so many field goals that he currently has the 3rd most points scored in the history of the game. That is not necessarily a good thing.
But this is not enough to put him in.
Kickers Morten Anderson and Gary Anderson have more points than Hanson and they both have failed to be inducted so Hanson should be no different.
Let’s be honest! Kickers are not real players. I don’t mean any disrespect when saying this, but it’s the truth. A kicker is on the field maybe 7 to 8 plays a game and don’t have to go through the same grueling process that other players have to put up with to play in the league. There is a reason that only 3 kickers are in the Hall and 2 of them played offensive line in addition to their kicking duties.
The way I see it is that a kicker gets inducted maybe every quarter of a century and Hanson is not that guy, Adam Vinatieri is. Vinatieri has kicked meaningful field goals in the biggest games and was successful with the rings to prove it while Hanson has just kicked field goals.
Sure Hanson has been a great ambassador for the Lions and it’s only normal that fans grasp on and over value him. But he’s not worthy of the hall. He has never kicked a meaningful field goal, never! Sure that is not his fault as his team has not put him the position to do so but when you are vying to become just the second pure kicker ever inducted then you need such kicks. Would Hanson have been able to make them? We don’t know!
Not to pile on but Hanson has also kicked indoors his entire career and has proven on a couple of different occasions that he struggles outdoors.
Like you, I think Hanson is somebody that Lions fans should be proud of. He has endured all the awfulness that Detroit has experienced over the years and has come out a fan favorite. But he is not a Hall of Famer? No way.
What do you think?