Before we get started on another very serious day of football coverage, I bring you
Thought you'd like it.
I do not support Jim Harbaugh's decision to make the 49ers quarterback derby a derby. Which apparently he's going to do in the wake of backup quarterback
Alex Smith, just three weeks removed from one of the best games I've seen a quarterback play in a long time (
Colin Kaepernick has just made life as a 49ers beat writer very difficult. I don't agree with Harbaugh, and if I'm Smith, I'm supremely ticked off. But I wanted to give you a view of Harbaugh's mindset and why he's thinking the way he is.
My gut feeling is Smith will start against the Saints at New Orleans Sunday. But he'll have the shortest leash of any starter in the NFL.
The can of worms got opened on punter Ray Guy's candidacy for the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Kluwe's response to my response:
My response, and then I'll let all of you have your say:
As I wrote to Kluwe Monday, I don't respond to yelling very well. But it seems to be a way of the new world today.
I remember Paul Zimmerman, the longtime SI writer, talking about why he never supported Guy as a Hall of Famer. He felt he was a very good punter, but he hadn't separated himself from the pack of very good punters of his day, like Jerrel Wilson. "I'm not voting for a guy just because he boomed a punt so high it hit the gondola in the Superdome,'' Zim said.
We're all different on the committee. Some feel strongly about Guy's candidacy, some don't. Same with mountains of others. I think I addressed most of what Kluwe said in his response here, but there is one thing I haven't answered that I believe merits some serious thought. It might be time for us as a committee to weigh the contributions of special teamers more seriously. I'm not sure how we can do that. Maybe it's that we should mandate one kicker, punter or predominant special teams players (such as Steve Tasker) be included among the final 15 modern-era candidates each year when we choose the Hall class. Or maybe we mandate the inclusion of one in the discussion every other year. It's something that's a valid point, seeing that we haven't elected a kicker, punter or special-teamer in the last 21 years. (Jan Stenerud, kicker, went in the Hall in '91.)
As for the "you have the power'' comment, we don't have the power. The power to change the bylaws or election procedures belongs to the Hall of Fame. The 44 selectors vote for the class each year, and we can make suggestions for a change of bylaws, but we don't change the bylaws. That is done by the Hall's board of directors. But I will suggest that we consider a bylaw to focus in a more concentrated way on special teams ... but as with many suggestions we have made over the years, I have no control whether they get adopted.
And I'll just end with this: I still don't understand why Jerrel Wilson, who was Ray Guy's peer, if only half-a-career earlier, gets zero discussion and Guy an avalanche.
Now it's your turn: