Hope Solo leads new Hall of Fame candidates

Discussion in 'USA Women: News and Analysis' started by FanOfFutbol, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    I'm a voter, and I've voted every year since 2005. Always voting for 7-10 players, maybe it was 6 one year.

    Solo not getting in on the first ballot isn't a crime. Shit like that happens all the time, especially with controversial figures. I think she should have gotten in, and I'm very interested in hearing from even one voter who left her off the ballot as to why - especially considering that every voter that I've seen that has published their ballot had included her.

    For the record, here's my ballot:


    The are serious problems with the NSHOF Player Ballot election process, and I know that they're planning on completely revamping the system.

    1) Complete and utter lack of transparency. I'm not talking about publishing ballots, I'm talking about letting us know who can vote. There are broad categories, some that tell us specific info (MLS/NWSL coaches with 4 years, Don Garber, moving forward Lisa Baird, living Hall of Famers), but in general it's pretty opaque. If I never mentioned it, I doubt anyone would know I'm a voter - or that I actually exercise the ballot.

    2) People don't actually vote. I'm not sure that the NSHOF has ever gotten 40% voter participation. I believe the "big four" Halls of Fame are all around 95%. In some of those, your vote is use it or lose it. When Michelle Akers was elected, only 73 people returned ballots.

    3) Overlap. The Verterans Ballot is voted on by living Hall of Famers. Those Hall of Famers also get Player Ballots. Given how few actual voters there are, I'm not sure that's a good thing. I'm also not sure its not a good thing.

    4) Silo voting. This makes sense, but its a problem. If you follow only the womens game, what do you know about Steve Cherundolo or Jaime Moreno. If you only follow the MNT, do MLS players even register with you, or anyone below the 2 or 3 current "name" WNT players? I, myself, early in my voting career let a couple legacy players go through without me voting for them as their achievements were basically from indoor soccer - which I know bupkis about beyond the San Diego Sockers, the Kansas City Comets, Preki, and Tatu. And even then, not enough to make an informed decision. Silo voting also makes getting a broad spectrum total of 67% much more difficult.

    5) Median votes per ballot. Per Steve Goff (but refuted off the record to me) a bunch of living Hall of Famers only voted for 1 person. Mathematically (my training) if you have even a small block of ballots with 1-4 votes (instead of say 8-10), it becomes increasingly difficult to reach 67%. It's not the average votes/ballot, but the total number of low vote ballots that is the key here. Frankly, depending on the number of eligible candidates and the distribution of votes/ballot, 67% may be way too high of a target. But this comes back to transparency. It's just not possible to do the math without more anonymized data.

    ------
    And all the above don't really matter in the end. Hope Solo and the other players that the current system are going to put in the Hall of Fame are all going to get there. Maybe it's fourth try. Maybe it's the Veterans Ballot. They'll get in.

    For me the more foundational problem is who is actually getting in.

    The current (since 2004) system holds absolutely zero value for domestic U.S. club soccer.

    The debate could be whether or not this should be the case, but I don't think that debate really matters, because at the end of the day Halls of Fame aren't some "on high" noble place. They are marketing engines. And what is the biggest soccer marketing engine in the United States - and growing? MLS.

    If the National Soccer Hall of Fame doesn't find a way to make a domestic club career sufficient for entry into the Hall of Fame, then MLS will eventually - for marketing and promotion reasons - create their own, and given MLS's incentive and the fact that the NSHOF is the red-headed stepchild of U.S. Soccer, it will quickly make the NSHOF irrelevant.

    Do I expect that to pass? No, eventually something will give. Clark Hunt didn't spend all those tens of millions of dollars building a new Hall of Fame into FC Dallas's stadium in Frisco to see the investment torched.

    And as much as you'll here from folks like me about Steve Ralston and Jaime Moreno. Or Kelly Smith and possibly eventually McCall Zerboni or Jessica McDonald. The individual players aren't what really matters, but eventually the Hall of Fame will have to recognize that a full and amazing and successful domestic club career is sufficient. There are plenty of non USMNT NASL players in the Hall of Fame (a few inducted under the current system via the Veterans Ballot), there has to be room for if not Jaime Moreno, then Diego Valeri.
     
  2. lil_one

    lil_one Member+

    Nov 26, 2013
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    For those who left Solo off, I would guess its something along the lines of doing penance for a year or two, which I get but I don't agree with. What I have a hard time with is actually what you call silo voting because it has seemed in the past that some women (and as you duly note, some domestic players) get passed over simply for being WNT players and some voters don't realize how deserving they actually are. Kate Markgraf is a recent example. I do expect that Markgraf will still get in under the Veterans category with the threshold being lower, but still, the system needs to be reworked.
     
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  3. McSkillz

    McSkillz Member+

    ANGEL CITY FC, UCLA BRUINS
    United States
    Nov 22, 2014
    Los Angeles
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Not voting Solo in is an obvious snub. She's the greatest US goalkeeper in US History. Yes I firmly believe that. That's the bottom line. They shouldn't be voting for who has the highest morals.
     
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  4. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    I'm sure Barry Bonds agrees wholeheartedly.

    But every Hall I'm aware of has players not get in on the first try because they're snotty to the media and all manner of other off the field "transgressions".

    Solo will get in. I'm not worried about that.

    I am wondering if any person that didn't vote for her will ever come forward and say why. Every voter that has published their ballot that I've seen, has listed her.
     
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  5. TimB4Last

    TimB4Last Member+

    May 5, 2006
    Dystopia
    She lost to a bunch of cowards?
     
  6. jackdoggy

    jackdoggy Member+

    May 16, 2014
    Big D
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Thouest shall remembereth John 8:7 of the 21st Century King James Version - - - - -

    “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

    Let’s face it, she is not an Axe-Murder and likewise, I’m not holding my breath waiting for her to be nominated for Sainthood culminating with her Canonization by Pope Francis. She's in that huddled mass somewhere in the middle. During much of the previous 16-year WWC drought, her exploits were the only USWNT issues that garnered any attention from the American Media………….

    “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about” - Oscar Wilde

    That’s right my little soccer buddies, in one post I went all biblical and literary on your *sses.

     
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  7. jnielsen

    jnielsen Member

    May 12, 2012
    Club:
    Manchester United FC
    Thank you, Andy Mead, for sharing your insights.
     
  8. soccersubjectively

    soccersubjectively BigSoccer Supporter

    Jan 17, 2012
    Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Think this highlights part of the uphill battle USMNT alumni face. If they're "snotty" they get compared to steroid users while USMNT B+ players get in without any problem. Thanks for showing us that, Andy.
     
  9. Cliveworshipper

    Cliveworshipper Member+

    Dec 3, 2006
    #84 Cliveworshipper, Sep 14, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
    John Harkes was named “Captain for life” until he decided to have sex with teammate Eric Wynalda’s wife in the Wynalda home and was cut from the 1998 WC national team for it. At the time it was termed “leadership issues”.

    nevertheless, he was voted to the hall in 2005, only three years after his last professional appearance for the Columbus crew in 2002. I don’t know if that was the first ballot.

    He wrote his autobiography Captain for Life: And Other Temporary Assignments without ever mentioning the reason for his dismissal from the team.
     
  10. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    What? Where did I show any of that. Which "snotty" player hasn't gotten in? Which "B" player has gotten in - for either the MNT or WNT? Eric Wynalda was a total asshole, got in. Hope Solo, with all the off the field drama, will - just like John Harkes - get in. I'm trying to think of a "B+" MNT or WNT player that made it.

    And while some players have to wait for the Veteran's ballot, I'm struggling to come up with an "A" player for either national team that has exhausted all eligibility without making it.

    Your post makes zero sense to me literally or sarcastically. Please enlighten me what you're reading from my post, that clearly isn't there.
     
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  11. soccersubjectively

    soccersubjectively BigSoccer Supporter

    Jan 17, 2012
    Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Pretty sure it was his first year on the ballot, yeah. Don't see how it couldn't have been.

    But I guess it's no surprise HOF voters and BS staff members here are alike in foaming at the mouth at bashing Solo, saying that her "personality" was worth her omission lol. Never mind the fact that Scurry, a first-ballot no brainer, also took a few years to get in. It's almost as if there is something else blocking USWNT players for the Hall that doesn't involve in off-field antics. Hmmm.
     
  12. Roger Allaway

    Roger Allaway Member+

    Apr 22, 2009
    Warminster, Pa.
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    You seem to be implying that there is a conspiracy blocking women players from getting in on the first ballot. But if that were true, why is it that Carin Jennings Gabarra did, Michelle Akers did, Carla Overbeck did, Mia Hamm did, Julie Foudy did, Kristine Lilly did, Brandy Chastain did and Abby Wambach did?
     
  13. AndyMead

    AndyMead Homo Sapien

    Nov 2, 1999
    Seat 12A
    Club:
    Sporting Kansas City
    Last 11 player inductees:

    2020: MNT (and MLS)
    2019: WNT (and WUSA/WPS/NWSL)
    2018: MNT (and MLS)
    2018: WNT (and WUSA/WPS)
    2018: WNT (and WUSA)
    2017: WNT (and WUSA/WPS)
    2016: WNT (and WUSA/WPS)
    2016: WNT (and WUSA)
    2015: MNT (and MLS)
    2014: WNT (and WUSA/WPS)
    2014: MNT (and MLS)

    7 women, 4 men. You were saying?
     
  14. jackdoggy

    jackdoggy Member+

    May 16, 2014
    Big D
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
  15. blissett

    blissett Member+

    Aug 20, 2011
    Italy
    Club:
    --other--
    Nat'l Team:
    --other--
    Is this photo about you caught in the act of stealing the trophies? :p
     
  16. soccersubjectively

    soccersubjectively BigSoccer Supporter

    Jan 17, 2012
    Dallas
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Very cute of you to think the HOF started inducting members in 2014 lol.

    Roger, you know the voting records as well as I do. Go look at how well USWNT (whether first year or not) alumni did against their USMNT counterparts. Michelle Akers barely edged out Eric Wynalda by two votes, yet one is a legendary player in the world's history of the game and the other was a respectable striker for a decent nation. Carla Overbeck had less votes than Alexi Lalas, yet one won multiple WCs and the other played for the national team for a couple cycles. Mia Hamm didn't even get 100%, despite retiring as the most goals scored in international play. Same for Wambach. Lilly has less than McBride etc etc. It goes on and on and on. The more high profile USMNT players on the list, the less likely a USWNT player will get in.

    To say "Well some of the greatest players of all-time got in on the first try, so the HOF must be doing a decent job" is really odd gerrymandering when trying to prove the HOF's inclusiveness. For whatever reason, winning World Cups for the WNT isn't enough, despite them actively raising and changing the level of play on the international scene. The MNT, on the other hand, is simply participating in the international game, leaving no real footprint on it. Yet the HOF wants to reward the MNT's small time accomplishments equally with the WNT running the gaunlet. Heaven forbid the HOF start recognizing more WNT players than MNT players.

    From the start, the HOF was more interested in rewarding its builders than the players. They finally got more players than builders in just 2013, thanks in part to inducting the entire 1950 WC team for winning one game before finishing last in the group stage. (I think the WNT have beaten England in a WC as well?) It's not that far of a jump to say that priorities with HOF voters just *might* still be a little askew.

    Screen Shot 2020-09-17 at 8.45.50 PM.png
     
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  17. Roger Allaway

    Roger Allaway Member+

    Apr 22, 2009
    Warminster, Pa.
    Club:
    Philadelphia Union
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #92 Roger Allaway, Sep 18, 2020
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2020
    The reason why the Players have finally overtaken the Builders in the Hall of Fame has almost nothing to do with the mass induction of the 1950 team, which took place in 1976. Even after that mass induction, the Builders still held a substantial lead, with 80 inductees to only 50 for the Players. The Players didn't overtake the Builders for another 40 years after that.

    By 1998, the Builders had extended that lead of 30 inductees to 35 (128-93). What has turned things around since then is the overhaul that was done in 1999 of the Hall of Fame's eligibility rules and election procedures. That overhaul, among many steps, changed eligibility from who had recommended a candidate to meeting specific standards in what they had done. It also limited the number of Builders elected each year. Since then, there have been 61 Players and 22 Builders elected. The Players finally passed the Builders in 2016, and elections through 2020 have brought the totals to 154 Players and 150 Builders.

    As for the fact that the men have not been completely swamped by the women in Hall of Fame elections, as you seem to think would be appropriate, I think that the overall results of the last decade or two (although not necessarily of any one year) have been very appropriate. Most of the right people have gotten in. In the last five years, women have been getting in at a much greater rate than before, and I think that this will continue.

    The voters are faced with a difficult balance. While the women's victories have been far greater than the men's, the men have been competing on a much larger stage than the women. The men are trying to break into the top levels of a sport that has been established on a professional level in Europe and South America for more than a century. The women have not faced that hurdle. It seems to me like a case of small fish/large pond vs. large fish/small pond. Those seem about equal to me.

    Is everything about the current system ideal? Of course not. Is the current system vastly better than the one that existed pre-1999. Certainly. Is the 1999 overhaul going to be the final word. I doubt it. I hope not.
     
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