Bruce Smith: Tony Boselli's Hall of Fame campaign harmed the integrity of the Hall

Tony Boselli, a former Jaguars left tackle, will be inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame August.

Bruce Smith: Tony Boselli's Hall of Fame campaign harmed the integrity of the Hall

Tony Boselli, a former Jaguars left tackle, will be inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame August. Another Hall of Famer seems not to be too happy about this.

Bruce Smith, the Bills' great, said in an Instagram statement that he didn't consider Boselli one of the best left tackles in NFL History. He also criticized Boselli’s Hall of Fame campaign for focusing on Smith's playoff win against Boselli.

Smith wrote that "a large portion of the campaign to promote Tony Boselli to the Hall of Fame seems hyper-focussed on one successful performance he had in a 1996 playoff match." "On one hand, I am very humbled to be the standard by which another player can be judged in order to determine his eligibility into the HOF. On a deeper level, I believe that it is a terrible precedent to negative zero in on a Hall member's play to validate a nominee's candidacy.

The HOF is an exclusive fraternity which follows a tacit code that fosters brotherhood and respect between its members. Any Hall of Famer can boast about his dominance over any other member of the group, but this behavior is considered inappropriate due to the potential for friction and discord within the group. It is crucial to maintain harmony and goodwill within the HOF. This is why player campaigns are presented with respect and thoughtfulness. The candidate's stats, as well as their entire body of work, can speak resoundingly for themselves.

"Returning to subtly tactics, such as targeting a HOFer or hyping one-game matchups to boost a nominee’s merit, undermines integrity of the Hall’s election process. This invites unnecessary scrutiny and commentary about the candidate's merits to be elected member of HOF. Tony's supporters have made me stumble down this slippery slope, and I am forced to follow their lead. Here are some thoughts.

"Tony was a formidable opponent in his short career, but it is difficult to compare his totality with the work of some of the NFL's most outstanding left tackles. The blind side of the quarterback was protected for twelve seasons, with the exception of Anthony Munoz. Willie Roaf and Walter Jones were the only ones who did so. Leon Searcy was responsible for protecting Mark Brunell's blindside in Jacksonville. Tony, on the other hand, enjoyed the benefits of being able to protect the highly mobile, left-handed quarterback.

"During my nineteen-years in the NFL, several outstanding LTs such as Bruce Armstrong and Richmond Webb had stellar games against us. They might also be wise to create HOF campaigns highlighting this fact.

Each year, hundreds of Hall of Famer attend the induction ceremony to greet the new class. Smith isn't enthusiastic about Boselli joining the fraternity.

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