He’s been humble and respectful of the Hall of Fame voting process each of the five previous years that he’s been a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist, but here in 2012 Andre Reed thought he would finally break through and gain enshrinement in Canton. Now five days removed from being denied induction a sixth time Reed has reached his limit when it comes to being patient with the process.
Appearing on the Buffalo Bills radio flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 during an appearance at the Buffalo Auto Show Thursday, Reed recounted how last Saturday unfolded after he got the news that he was not going to be a part of the 2012 Hall of Fame class.
“I thought it was going to be this year. I took a red eye out from San Diego Friday night and landed in Indianapolis Saturday morning,” said Reed. “I got to the hotel and hung out with some Giants and Patriots fans and I was with my agent and we had a good time. About 30 or 45 minutes before the announcement usually you know beforehand. It’s not just where they say it and you’re surprised. Usually you know.”
Reed said a Hall of Fame Selector called his agent prior to the announcement to inform him that the Bills all-time leading receiver did not get the votes necessary to advance to the final five for a yes or no vote.
“When my agent told me (I didn’t make it in) I first thought they might put Cris (Carter) or Tim (Brown) in,” said Reed. “Then I find out that they didn’t put any of us in. It’s a little disheartening. I haven’t said anything about it the last six years now. I don’t know what the deal is with wide receivers in the Hall of Fame. If you’re not Jerry Rice I guess you don’t get a look or something.”
There’s a popular theory that Brown, Carter and Reed, who all played in the same era are robbing precious votes away from one another thereby preventing any of them from gaining enshrinement. Whether that theory is valid or not Reed feels the Selectors have now put the three perennial finalists in a much more difficult position to gain induction.
“They’ve put us in a hole,” he said. “They’ve put a lot of guys in a hole because in another three or four years there’s going to be another group of receivers coming in with (Isaac) Bruce, and (Marvin) Harrison and (Randy) Moss and who knows with T.O.. But you’ve got at least three or four guys that are Hall of Fame potential guys coming into the group. If you can’t put three guys in from their era with the two other guys that were the best in our era then there’s a problem.
“Whoever is listening if the voters are listening, the committee, they haven’t heard one word from me. I just sit back and let it fall, which I did on Saturday. I was very disappointed. I was more disappointed for family and friends than me. They need to do something about it. What they’re doing is a travesty. I don’t know. If I was a fly on the wall in there I’d turn into a big mosquito and bite all of them.”
Reed said he harbors no ill feelings toward the players that did earn induction this year. He feels all the members chosen for this year’s Hall of Fame class are worthy, but it’s clear the Bills Wall of Fame wideout believes that something needs to change with the logjam at the receiver position.
Reed is the only one of the three receiver finalists to make it to the final 10 in each of the past three years. Carter made it to the final 10 last weekend.
“It’s ridiculous,” he said. “I was going by how the votes went this year and last year and the year before. When you make it to the final 10 three years in a row I think you’re pretty much in the door. It’s disheartening.”