Mark your calendars folks: I found common ground with Mike Florio.
Sincerely, Mike’s complaints about the Hall of Fame voting process are spot on. The list of characters who vote on the most deserving players in the game are in some cases far from credible (I’m looking at you Sam Kouvaris). Some are hacks, some write for little known organizations and some aren’t even employed in the business:
In Balzer’s case, the entity he represents on the panel — the Sports Xchange —holds nearly 10 percent of the votes. In addition to Balzer, the Sports Xchange has owner Frank Cooney, Len Pasquarelli, and Ira Miller on the panel. That gives the Sports Xchange twice the pull of ESPN (John Clayton and Mike Sando) and Sports Illustrated (Peter King and Jim Trotter).
Not bad for an outfit that most casual fans have never even heard of.
Then there’s the fact that Darin Gantt, who represents the Panthers in the room, no longer has an NFL beat. And Dan Wiederer of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, who filled Sid Hartman’s seat this year, wasn’t even covering football until September 2011.