And so one of the great Hall of Fame discussions is now settled. Kyle Rote, Jr. is a Hall of Famer. Rote is most famous for being the son of a famous football player whose name escapes me. He was also the greatest player ever to represent a team from Houston (now THAT's trolling, kids).
I'll miss the arguments about whether Rote belongs...whiling afternoons away saying "No he doesn't" over and over. But I'm not here to praise Rote. I'm here to bury the Veterans.
After all the trouble the Soccer Hall of Fame went to raise the standards for election, they go and forget to disenfranchise the living Hall of Famers.
I don't know what it is about Veterans' Committees. Too strict, and you get Effa Manley ahead of Buck O'Neil. Not strict enough, and you get the above list.
Actually, I don't know why Messing and Cubillas aren't in already. Cubillas' Strikers never won anything, though, and Messing had a reputation for outspoken controversy. (He's so shy these days, too, that's the weird thing.) Keep in mind, though, that Myernick, Messing, Best, Nene and of course Rote are former NASL players...and back in 2003, there was a concerted effort to pull in the rest of the deserving NASL players before they were swamped by the post-Caligiuri generation. Obviously, they needn't have worried.
The guy who really gets robbed every year is McPherson. It's like his old Fall River Marksmen drinking buddies can't be bothered to vote anymore, or something.
I shouldn't get too upset about this - it's not as if the Hall exists anymore, or anything - but Desmond Armstrong is two votes away from the Hall of Fame. Desmond Armstrong was something like the 10th or 11th best player on the 1990 World Cup squad. He was something like the 24th or 25th best player in 1994 - at least he didn't torch his uniform like future Hall of Famer Jeff Agoos did.
But half the Hall wants him in, and half is the threshold. He just has to outlast the people in front of him...or have one really good campaign. Worked for the other players going in this year.
Voting turnout amongst the Red Jackets was down perceptibly compared to previous years. So while Rote's 60% is a comparative landslide, in absolute terms he only gained three votes from last year. Far from Mooch Myernick's vote decreasing, he's steadily gained each year. Messing gained five votes over last year, and Armstrong broke into the top five. Nene and George Best have pretty much remained flat.
George Best also doesn't deserve to be in the US Soccer Hall of Fame, either. I think it's important to focus on that fact. If the Hall goes Rote to Best, you literally might as well vote in Beckham.
But Desmond Armstrong really, really doesn't deserve it, and he's going to be in a dogfight next year with Messing and Myernick. Rote's votes (heh) are up for grabs now, so I think those will spill over to the NASL players, probably Messing. Mooch the year after that, and then Armstrong. Unless you think Peter Vermes and Mike Sorber are going to outpoll Armstrong. Okay, they should, but so should Bruce Murray and...well, everyone else.
But hey, it's not even a Hall anymore, it's just a list of guys on the Internet. I'd say history is written by the winners...but this is the first thing Rote's ever won.
(What ABOUT "Superstars"? Like it was a real sport. Like there was a soccer ball anywhere near the damn thing. Jesus wept.)
In utter and complete seriousness, raise the threshold to 75% already. Do it for the Players, too, while we're at it. It's not like there's an induction ceremony at stake anymore. In fact, if we want to take advantage of the move from Oneonta to misplace some of the pictures and listings of the Hall's accumulated chaff, well, by all means, don't let me stop you from taking off Johnny Moore.
You think I'm overreacting? You think I'm being spiteful and envious? Fine. When Mike Burns starts pulling in 20 votes a year or more...and he will...you'll be sorry. Hall of Famers should not vote for Hall of Famers.