January 18, 2005
Harry Carson

As a lifelong Giants fan, I'm saddened to see this.

Harry Carson, an all-time great Giant, plans to stage an unprecedented protest if this is the year he makes it from finalist to enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He insists he will be a no-show in Canton for the Aug. 7 induction.

It will be humiliating for the Hall of Fame and subject Carson to ridicule. But he's not backing down. He's faced enough rejection from the Hall and is prepared to dish it right back. His bronze bust might be in Canton, but not him. He received the overnight letter last week from Canton informing him he's made it to the final 15. It's the sixth year in a row.

Carson sent a letter to Hall of Fame officials in mid-March demanding his name be removed from consideration after 11 years of failing to pick up enough votes. They didn't listen.

"I made the decision to take myself out of the process," Carson said the other day after being notified he's a finalist again. "It wasn't sour grapes. I'm not bitter or angry. By taking this stance, I understand I'm cutting my own throat. I'm crashing my ship. If I make it and go back on my word, then I come off as being hypocritical. I've thought long and hard about the position I'm taking. I didn't wake up one day and say take my name off. It's something I can live with."

He believes the constant scrutiny of the board members judging whether he's worthy of induction has tarnished what he accomplished in his 13-year career - nine Pro Bowls, one Super Bowl title, dominant player even before Lawrence Taylor arrived - and he no longer wants to subject his family and close friends to the pain and disappointment if doesn't make it.

Carson has a long explanation of his position on his web page.

I confess, it hadn't actually occurred to me that Harry Carson wasn't already in the NFL Hall of Fame. He was the Giants before the likes of Simms, Parcells, and LT showed up. I wish I knew what the voters thought he lacked in his resume. In his open letter, Carson says he doesn't want to be like Susan Lucci, remembered for his failure to win an honor voted on by others instead of his own stellar accomplishments. I can totally understand that. I'm just sad it came to that, and I hope that if and when the Hall voters come to their senses, Carson will reconsider his stance.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 18, 2005 to Other sports | TrackBack

I thought it was amazing that Harry Carson has been overlooked by the Pro Football Hall of Fame all this time. I think nine Pro Bowls and a career that was among the elite of NFL linebackers even when the Giants were awful is more than enough to put someone in the Hall. I also don't blame him for saying enough is enough. If it's taking this much time to consider him for inclusion in the Hall, then quite frankly, I don't know what they are looking for.

Posted by: William Hughes on January 18, 2005 12:05 PM

I really must be tough to be on the ballot and year after year not make it in. Maybe he and Ron Santo can commiserate.

Posted by: Chris on January 18, 2005 12:21 PM

Get this guy in the Hall....He was the heart and soul of the Giants.......He was without question the Best Middle Linebacker in the Late 70's Early 80's.....What are you guys smoking, I really want to know....Wake up and make him his deserving bust........

Posted by: cHRIS on February 2, 2005 8:59 AM

I want to say congrats to Ron Borges of the Boston Globe. He has been a vocal critic of Harry Carsonís Hall of Fame bid in recent years and he has succeeded once again. Carson came close this past weekend, making the final six, but his candidacy was not strong enough to get him over the hump. Carson certainly hurt his own candidacy by telling I the Hall that he didnít want any part of being inducted after being passed over in years past, but I suspect that Borges played a role in the snub as well. The argument posed by Borges is basically as follows: Carson was a good player who played on a great defense. He backs this up by pointing out that Carson failed to make the 1980ís all-decade team. The linebackers on that team are Taylor, Singletary, Tippett, Ted Hendricks, Jack Lambert, John Anderson and Carl Banks. Now I donít know what John Anderson is doing on that list and Jack Lambert is more of a 70ís guy, but Andre Tippett was an 80s guy he gets absolutely zero hall of fame consideration. Moreover, if you take a look at the annual all-NFL teams from the 80s, Carson didnít make a single one. NOT A SINGLE ONE! The inside backers who were making those teams include guys like Karl Mecklenberg, EJ Junior and Shane Conlon. In fact, one year, Carsonís teammate Pepper Johnson made all-NFL team while Carson went un-recognized. Mecklenberg made a few of those teams and like number 56 for the Patriots, he also gets no Hall consideration. Carson is revered in New York because he is a well spoken guy who was a part of two championship teams. But the bottom line is that the writers who covered him during his career didnít consider him elite and at least some of todayís Hall voters agree. The surprise is not that Carson canít get in Ė its that he has gotten this far.

Posted by: Don on February 8, 2005 1:34 PM


Your boy Borges is a knucklehead. And so are you if you think not making the "all 80's decade team is a good reason to keep Carson out of the Hall. If there was an all 1976-86 team he would have been first team. Carson had several great years before 1980. But lets keep the guy out because his play spanned 2 decades. Brilliant.

Posted by: Kevin on May 17, 2005 2:08 PM

Harry Carson - retire #53
I am starting a campaign to get Harry Carson's number retired and I need your help.

Harry has, once again, been overlooked by the NFL Hall of Fame. He has asked to be removed from consideration but his request was ignored.

Mr. Wellington Mara has expressed his displeasure with the HOF - see story on Giants.com (http://www.giants.com/news/eisen/story.asp?story_id=5448). I am collecting 'signatures' on my website and will be contacting Mr. Mara before the start of the 2005 season. It is my hope that we can get #53 retired during the season. Harry's last game in Giants Stadium was against the Redskins, that might be a good game to retire his jersey!

To join in, go to http://www.angelfire.com/nj4/retire53 and sign the guestbook. Put your reasons why his number should be retired.Pass this message to all of your friends, relatives, co-workers, anyone you know with an e-mail address. I have been in contact with some fellow teammates and will be contacting others, along with coaches.

If you have any ideas - please pass them along.

Posted by: Retire #53 Campaign on July 2, 2005 11:27 PM

Hey Don,

Look who made the Hall of Fame.......HARRY CARSON........

Posted by: chris on August 15, 2006 11:32 PM