1. Welcome to SportsJournalists.com, a friendly forum for discussing all things sports and journalism.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register for a free account to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Access to private conversations with other members.
    • Fewer ads.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Ken Anderson: Hall of Famer?

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by 3OctaveFart, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. 3OctaveFart

    3OctaveFart Guest

    Moderators and members,
    As Solomon Wilcots said - Ken Anderson wasn't just the first guy to run the West Coast Offense successfully.
    He was the first to set and break records doing it.
    Anderson occupies some important place in NF:L history and I believe he will eventually be enshrined.
    Your thoughts, moderators and members?
  2. Bubbler

    Bubbler Well-Known Member

    I don't think being the first to master Bill Walsh's West Coast is reason enough to enshrine, but ...

    ... he's got some good numbers. And he certainly stands out in his time for his efficiency, obviously the West Coast had a lot to do with it.

    I think the knock against him is that his Bengals never really got over the hump. Some of their 70s teams pushed the Steelers to the limit in the AFC Central, but they could never get over the top.

    And the one Super Bowl he did get to is sadly perceived as fluky because the Chargers -- rightly or wrongly perceived to be the better team -- had to play the 1981 AFC Championship in perhaps the worst conditions of all-time.

    Which is, admittedly, a stupid knock given that Anderson did manage to not only play in those conditions but win in them. Looking at the box score, Anderson completed 14 of 22 passes for 181 yards and 2 TD in minus-6 degree, 24-mile-per-hour gusty conditions. Pretty outstanding.

    The Chargers, though, seem to get a pass for that game more so than the Bengals get any credit.

    On pro-football-reference.com, of the top 10 QB's whose career Anderson's most closely resembles, seven are Hall of Famers.

    He's a legit case study.
  3. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I think if the Bengals had won Super Bowl XVI, he might actually be in. For my money, Anderson flies under the radar more than any player from my childhood. He was a better QB, and has better numbers, than Terry Bradshaw (who is in), for example, but he played on lesser teams. The Pro Football Hall of Fame is difficult to get into, because they limit the numbers, and two things work in your favor: 1) Super Bowls and 2) Very memorable moments. Anderson doesn't have those, and his candidacy has suffered because of it.
  4. cyclingwriter

    cyclingwriter Active Member

    Essentially, end of debate. Nailed it.

    Anderson should be in, but it will have to be through the old-timers process. The voters have gotten a better in recent years about looking for defensive players, guys who weren't on multiple Super Bowl winners or big-name stars.
  5. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    What's the argument against him?

    He didn't win the one big game in a team sport that pivots on winning the one big game. In a sport that cares little for individual numbers, he failed to capture anyone's imagination, then and now.
  6. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Anderson went to the playoffs four times and his team won two games.
    Bradshaw went to the playoffs eight times and his team won 13 games.

    Anderson went to the Super Bowl once and his team lost.
    Bradshaw went to the Super Bowl four times and won four. He could have easily been the MVP in three of them.

    Anderson never led the league in TD passes.
    Bradshaw led the league in TD passes twice.

    You can let Anderson in the HOF, but calling him better than Bradshaw, especially when you look at Bradshaw's 13-5 playoff record, is, to me, insane.
  7. cyclingwriter

    cyclingwriter Active Member


    The knock from what I always gathered was thus:

    1. He was a system quarterback who didn't call his own plays at a time when all the good quarterbacks called their own plays. The line of reasoning was "Who cares if Joe Namath was being intercepted half the time, he was a man who called his own plays unlike Anderson."
    2. Ergo his great numbers were an illusion.
    3. When Walsh (who was feeding him the plays) left, Anderson tanked for about two years.
    4. When Walsh won with Montana in the 1980s using a system, two things happened. One, writers and other coaches began to see the merits of the qbs not calling plays. Soon most teams were using a system. Two, it was reasoned that Anderson should have been winning Super Bowls in a system because Montana did it. Ergo, Anderson was not a hall of fame quarterback.

    It is some of the strangest reasoning for keeping a guy out of the Hall of Fame I have ever heard ( and yes, I am the guy who doesn't like Terrell Owens). The only other legitimate thing I have is Anderson had an awesome Burt Reynold mustache late in his career and seduced a lot of writers' wives.
  8. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Bradshaw doesn't make this play, which he called, then the Cowboys are considered the greatest NFL franchise. But he did make the play with a throw that 99 percent of NFL QBs can only dream of making with their God given talent. That ball went 65 yards, on a frozen rope, hitting Swann in perfect stride, while sidestepping a defender then getting knocked the hell out by another a split second after he released the ball.

    If there is any air under that ball, it gets batted away. If it is six feet in front of Swann, he cannot get it. Three feet behind him, it is batted away. Three feet short, it is incomplete. Six feet long, it is incomplete.

    I highly doubt the Steelers can show off six trophies with Anderson as their QB.
  9. cyclingwriter

    cyclingwriter Active Member

    No one is saying that Bradshaw wasn't more talented than Anderson..he was. Bradshaw had a cannon arm and was a great runner in his prime, which people forget. The problem he played for a coach who didn't give a shit about him/or at least perceived not to give a shit. Anderson would have put up similar numbers as Bradshaw and still won Super Bowls with the Steelers' defense. Would he have won four with them? Who knows. Would Bradshaw have won four Super Bowls if he had been in Cincy or Cleveland or Houston? No. Would he have won a Super Bowl? Likely not.

    Now, if the question was , which guy lost his starting job to a worse backup with a better nickname--- Joe "Jefferson Street" Gilliam or Jack "The Throwing Samoan" Thompson? Now, that I can't even begin to answer.
  10. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    Just my opinion, of course, but of course Kenny Anderson on a team with the Steel Curtain defense would have won a whole lot. You could have put a potted plant at QB and that team would have been real good. The Steelers had a great defense and Franco Harris to run clock, and just enough receiving talent with Stallworth and Swann. Bradshaw could be amazing, but he was not the difference on those Steelers teams. Just my opinion. I grew up watching them. Also saw plenty of Kenny Anderson growing up.

    I am not saying Bradshaw wasn't a good QB. But in this comparison, you have Bradshaw who was very inconsistent -- capable of being all world, but equally capable of being miserably bad -- versus Anderson who was the most accurate QB in the league during those days, and played a controlled game as well as any QB. He wasn't the physical speciman Bradshaw was. But he was pretty much what Drew Brees would have been, I suspect, if Brees played 70s style football. Anderson held the completion percentage record for 20 or 30 years for a reason. I would have taken Kenny Anderson over Bradshaw if I was drafting a team in those days. Bradshaw was big and had a strong arm. But his decision making -- well, I suspect on a bad team he would have been a disaster. Obviously I'd have taken the team around Bradshaw with Bradshaw over the Bengals with Anderson.
  11. Azrael

    Azrael Well-Known Member

    Baseball Hall of Fame, statistical.

    Football Hall of Fame, mythological.

    Anderson? Insufficiently mythological
  12. cyclingwriter

    cyclingwriter Active Member

    I would say he is the Bobby Grich of football, but he was better than Grich.
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page