ANDERSON – You ask many people around the NFL and Marvin Harrison should be making plans for Canton, Ohio this weekend.
But instead, Harrison waits.
The wait will be at least until next year's Super Bowl weekend when Harrison will be back on the ballot to see if he can earn induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
When news broke over Super Bowl weekend that Harrison missed out on being a first-ballot Hall of Famer, many were surprised that Bills receiver Andre Reed earned induction over the Colts great.
Harrison played THREE fewer seasons than Reed yet still had 151 more receptions, 41 more touchdowns and 1,352 more receiving yards. — Kevin Bowen (@KBowenColts) February 2, 2014
Here are some excerpts from Rosenthal's piece:
Marvin Harrison is a first-ballot Hall of Famer that will be forced to wait an extra year for induction for some unknowable reason.
There's no explaining the choice of Andre Reed over Harrison last year -- other than voters who wanted to squeeze Reed in before it was too late. Even the Bills legend's biggest backers would have a hard time making a sensible argument against Harrison.
It's an honor to make the All-Pro first team. It says you are one of the two best receivers in the league in that given year. The Pro Football Hall of Fame has already named Harrison one of the best two receivers in an entire decade, choosing Randy Moss and Harrison as their first-team wide receivers from the 2000's.
It's hard to know where to start when coming up with insane stats for Harrison. There was a four-year stretch where he averaged 117 catches, 1,580 yards and 14 touchdowns. And then Harrison gained at least 1,100 yards with 10 scores for another four years after that. He was first- or second-team All-Pro in all eight of those years.
Harrison still holds the record for receptions in a season with 143. Only Jerry Rice and Tony Gonzalez have caught more passes in the NFL than Harrison. But Harrison doesn't often get mentioned in the same breath as those kind of players. Perhaps it's because Harrison did things so quietly as a player. He never made headlines with his mouth like Moss or Terrell Owens -- even his game was somewhat quiet. Harrison didn't dominate receivers with his size or strength, but with smarts, route running, speed and mitts.
Harrison was seemingly always open. He knew how to set up defenders, almost lulling them to sleep before exploding past them. Few receivers were better on the boundaries. Harrison's hands snatched passes that looked headed out of bounds, and he had incredible body control.
It's almost as if voters hold it against Harrison that he played with Peyton Manning. We see it another way. Harrison was the one teammate that could truly raise his game to Manning's level. Their almost telepathic connection says a lot about Harrison's football smarts. Not many players can be on the same wavelength as Manning, and back it up with a Hall of Fame skill set.