Hall of Fame Dunce … Weekend Cup O’Chiefs

I really hate to do this, but I feel there’s no choice in this matter. When you are dealing with an ignorant bully, there are only so many times you can let it slide.

I’m talking about Jason Whitlock, Kansas City’s long-time sports media bully extraordinaire. Listen, if I blogged something about that blob every time he was factually incorrect or didn’t know what he was talking about, then I would never stop. With the shrinking of his audience and no outlet for his special brand of yellow journalism in Kansas City, Whitlock tends to flail about willy nilly these days, trying to pick journalistic fights so he can save a dead career.

He’s not Chicken Little, he’s Chicken Big and he laid an egg this week by going after the Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Selectors. If you like, you can go off to the only outlet he has these days and read the whole thing. I’m not going to link and make it easy.

But I will re-cap some of his comments: he says the process of selecting inductees to the Pro Football Hall of Fame is corrupt. He uses as evidence the failure of OT Willie Roaf to get a first ballot election. Whitlock says the committee knows nothing about football and does know about backroom dealing. Here are a few actual passages:

“It’s a textbook, old-school, good-ol’-boys network led by Sports Illustrated’s Peter King (speaker of the house) and the Dallas Morning News’ Rick Gosselin (majority leader) … the process is just as much about the selectors as it is the candidates. Seriously, the selection committee operates like Congress (a few power brokers control everything and worry most about whether the process enables them to hold onto power), only with less transparency.”

Transparency is the word Whitlock keeps throwing around. So, let’s lay some things out right from the start, so there’s no doubt where I’m coming from, for transparency purposes:

  • Is it hard to get in the Hall of Fame? Absolutely; it should be.
  • Yes, I am a member of the board of selectors, a role I’ve proudly served for over 15 years now and will continue for a few years more. I do not consider the position a lifetime appointment. I do consider it one of the highlight’s of my professional life.
  • Part of being on this committee is dealing with the disappointment of those who do not gain election each year. Being called an idiot, knucklehead or stupid is part of being on the board.
  • Whitlock wants desperately to be on the Board of Selectors, and for years when he was employed in Kansas City, he waged a campaign with others to have me removed so he could step into the role. One of his many failures.
  • There is no question that the Hall of Fame process could use some tinkering, and alterations. But I have no problem saying I’m proud of the work the board has done and think the Class of 2011 is a wonderful group.
  • And I agree with Whitlock – yes there are those times when the planets align – that there needs to be more transparency in the voting. If you read my post from last Sunday, you would have seen all my notes on the candidates that I voted for in the balloting for the Class of 2011. If you missed it, here’s the link.

Now, all of this got started because Roaf did not make the Hall this year. I voted for Roaf all the way through, but he did not make the final five. I have no problems with that. There were 15 people on the list and all were Hall of Fame worthy under the rules and standards that we’ve worked with over the years.

Did Roaf get knocked out by the positive votes for NFL Films Ed Sabol? Probably. But understand that it’s the Pro Football Hall of Fame, not the Pro Football Players Hall of Fame. There are a lot of people who have contributed to making the game what it is today and Ed Sabol was most definitely a worthy contributor.

Willie Roaf will make the Hall of Fame and in the end it matters not whether it was in his first, second or fifth year.

That Whitlock is outraged by Roaf being left out of the 2011 Class is fine. I didn’t like it either, nor when Derrick Thomas did not get in the first year that he was eligible. That’s part of what makes the arguments and process of the Hall of Fame interesting. Throw any number of people into a room and they will come up with any number of combinations.

But for Whitlock to impugn the character of members of the committee, especially guys like King and Gosselin is the sad rantings of a jealous man. Rick Gosselin has forgotten more football in a week than Whitlock has known in his life. Note to JW: believe me big guy, you don’t want to get into a football battle of wits with Goose. It’s a beating you will never recover from.

If there are backroom dealings involved in the Hall of Fame process they have escaped me. I’ve never been offered anything for my vote. I have been campaigned by people inside and outside of the board for particular players, coaches and contributors. But I’ve never been strong-armed by anyone to vote in a particular manner or for a particular person. There is no voting trading, no quid-pro-quo for taking a certain player.

Whitlock wants to be part of the board, but knows he won’t ever reach that status because he knows little or nothing about the game, its history or the men who made it happen. Take his rant on Chris Hanburger, one of the senior candidates elected to the Hall this year. Hanburger is not some obscure linebacker. Every year when the seniors committee meets to select the candidates they are joined by a pair of players already in the Hall of Fame. Last year, those players were LB Jack Ham and TE Charlie Sanders.

Ham told the group that when he went to the Steelers in the 1971 NFL Draft out of Penn State, the Pittsburgh coaches gave him film of Hanburger to study. Something he did for the rest of his career. There was no doubt in Ham’s mind that Hanburger was a legitimate candidate. Whose word are you going to take on this subject: Hall of Fame linebacker Jack Ham, or Jason Whitlock?

Are their biases in the room? Absolutely, and anybody that tries to tell you otherwise is not being honest. Everyone has biases on every level of our society.

I believe we put too many people in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Too often there are players going into the Hall that were very good players, but were not the best of the best. Those types of outstanding performers do not fall from trees every year. But the Hall of Fame has set up the process it wants. They are in charge and the rules are set by them. They want at least four inductees every year, so that’s what happens.

At some point in the future I will write more about how I think the process could be improved. There’s no question that it could be tweaked, and I doubt there would be many people on the board of selectors that would fight against change.

To make those types of suggestions, one needs to have some idea of the history and the current process. Unfortunately, as is true about so many other things that he writes about, Jason Whitlock has no clue.

NFL PERSONNEL FILE FOR THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 10

  • BRONCOS – WR Demaryius Thomas tore an Achilles while working out on Thursday and will likely need six to eight months to rehab.
  • LIONS – released CB Eric King.
  • RAVENS – signed FB Jason McKie.
  • STEELERS – signed reserve/futures contracts with WR Tyler Grisham, TE Eugene Bright, OT Kyle Jolley, LB Chris Ellis, LB Chris McCoy and K Swayze Waters.

58 Responses to “Hall of Fame Dunce … Weekend Cup O’Chiefs”

  • February 11, 2011  - johnfromfairfax says:

    Sh**lock is and will remain an idiot and bully. It is necessary sometimes to take a bully to task. It’s one thing to disagree based on fact and difference of opinion. It’s quite another to do it for self-aggrandizement and to be contrary. But once you scratch beneath the barbecue sauce and ribs that’s all he’s got. He’s like the acting out kid in school who misbehaves for negative attention because that’s all he can get. Pathetic.


  • February 11, 2011  - phred says:

    good job Bob!


  • February 11, 2011  - Pat says:

    Huh. I didn’t even know Whitlock was still around. Without his “King Carl” to rail against all the time, I figured his one trick was over and his career had faded into the ether. It’s tough to base a career on maligning someone–especially in football where it’s entirely likely that that coach/administrator is either not going to be around long or will go from zero to hero in one year. He threw all his eggs into a very short-sighted basket. Sure he was popular for awhile, but he had no purpose once Peterson was out. I guess the internet is a dual edged sword. On the one hand, I’m able to read what Bob has to say still (he was the only reason I used to visit kcchiefs.com). On the other, Whitlock has been able to find some outlet for his nonsense. I guess the fact that I didn’t even know he was still writing should say something about how little weight I put on anything he says.


  • February 11, 2011  - Petey says:

    Good stuff Bob. Problem with that big, dumb, lummox is that this feeds his ego even more and validates him….however, it’s got to feel good to punch back.


  • February 11, 2011  - doug says:

    Whitlock’s whole deal was always to create as much controversy as possible to increase his readership, and the Star promoted that to sell newspapers. Now that he has left, and gets occasional TV spots and another venue, he is just doing the same thing, but has to take on a national icon instead of a local icon because he is trying to appeal to a national audience. There isn’t any point in reading his article but it doesn’t sound like a very good career move. Attacking the selectors who give up a lot of their time and energy to try to get it right just because you disagree with their votes isn’t going to help the process. Those of us who love the NFL do appreciate your work Bob, so keep doing it. When the next guy shows up and attacks you for your work at the hall, just remember the old saying: “No good deed goes unpunished.” Sad but true.


  • February 11, 2011  - Zac says:

    Attaboy Bob


  • February 11, 2011  - dan in joplin says:

    Good job Bob! Whitlock crossed the line & you called him on it! Way to defend your own and put him in his place!


  • February 11, 2011  - Justin D says:

    Nice column Bob. Whitlock’s schtick grows more tiresome by the day. He is very simple: if he cannot get access to that which he desires, he attacks it. That is pretty TRANSPARENT.


  • February 11, 2011  - PAChiefsFan says:

    Bob, how much negotiating with players without contracts can be done without a CBA in place? Are they in limbo until that is finished? And doesn’t knowing who you are keeping and letting go affect how you prepare for the draft? Are the Chiefs and every other team at a stand still or can they effectively prepare for an uncertain 2011 season?


  • February 11, 2011  - Kurt says:

    Right on, Bob! Looking forward to your thoughts on changes for the selection process, hopefully advising details on how that process works and who has the power to make any changes happen.


  • February 11, 2011  - TDKC says:

    Good one Bob.

    I remember all his jabs at you when you wrote for the Chiefs official site. you have shown real class and restraint by not going after him from this platform sooner.

    He is a talented writer and I did always read his stuff in the Star. But the constant trouble making, finger pointing, SH#T stirring got old.

    He was a guest on HBO’s inside the NFL and I thought he came off classless. Jim Brown was quick to question him on his opinions.


  • February 11, 2011  - Randy Webb says:

    Praise the Lord he is no longer working for the Star…I get so sick of hearing his rantings. I still can’t believe the guy found another job.


  • February 11, 2011  - Mungo says:

    Whitlock is great, you are a tit.


  • February 11, 2011  - Warren Oates says:

    I thought you were the one with nothing of a career left. What exactly do you do Gretz besides still act as a silent shill for Carl Peterson. You are a KC joke and have been since about 1995. Go back to Pittsburgh fatass


  • February 11, 2011  - C. B. says:

    As usual Whitlock hit the sh&t on the head. Its idiots like you who dont have a clue. If you took the time to actually read the entire article he made some very valid points. But in your self righteous attitude you chose to just criticize without any basis to the argument. At least Whitlock played the game on a college level. Did you? Makes you look like you’re carrying Peter Kings Nut sacks in your mouth.


  • February 11, 2011  - KR says:

    Um excuse me Bob, but being a lead columnist for a national website is much bigger then a writer for a newspaper with a shrinking circulation.


  • February 11, 2011  - FullHouse says:

    Whitlock is so far off course, such a bully…. but you proceed to say there is “no question” the process needs to change. Sounds like you have a personal problem with Mr Whitlock, and your column actually validates (or starts down that road) the points he makes.


  • February 11, 2011  - Adam says:

    Why is the media voting for the hall of fame? Please explain how much sense that makes?


  • February 11, 2011  - Mike says:

    So let me see if I have this Chris Hanburger argument straight:

    Jack Ham was given film of Chris Hanburger to watch.
    Jack Ham made the Hall of Fame.
    Jack Ham says Chris Hanburger was a very good player.
    Thus, Chris Hanburger is a Hall of Famer.

    That’s insane. And it’s the kind of pandering Whitlock was railing against. Jack Ham never played against Willie Roaf, and I don’t think anyone is arguing that Hanburger was a more accomplished player than Roaf. You say too many guys are elected, and then you argue for the inclusion of guys who need a special committee to get in? If we need such a committee, it means that unless Hanburger made a few Pro Bowls lately, you and your brethren failed at your job the first time.


  • February 11, 2011  - Willie says:

    I have no idea who Bob Gretz is. I had to look him up on th eweb. I found the following on Wikipedia…”He continues to write, contributing to the Chiefs official website and well as trying to maintain his own site. Unfortunately, his site is not used to or designed to handle a lot of traffic as evidenced by the website crashing when linked to by a more popular writer, Jason Whitlock.” Is this the reason you didn’t provide a link to Whitlock’s column? Maybe you’re the jelous writer Mr. Gretz. I don’t ususlly agree with everything Whitlock writes but I did agree with his assessment of the HOF selection process. Especially his comments on the two senior selections.


  • February 11, 2011  - TT says:

    Embarrassing. Calling Whitlock names? WTF. He made a valid point. 43 voters is ridiculous n leads to politics n blocks. How have u argued that? By calling him a blob.


  • February 11, 2011  - johnfromfairfax says:

    Looks like you touched a raw nerve with some, huh Bob? Thankfully the screechers aren’t regulars and hopefully Whitlock paid for their silly rants. Real class C.B. your mama must be proud of you.


  • February 11, 2011  - Tom Johnovan says:

    How does a fat ass like yourself call whitlock a blob? You clearly have no standards or ethics when it comes to journalism. No wonder you struggle to get readers. I bet this whole whitlock thing has brought more traffic to your pitiful site than you have ever had.


  • February 11, 2011  - Jeremy says:

    Whitlock is correct, your hiding the votes. It should be public, the process is terrible and of course you back precious King, he will get you kicked out and God forbid if that was to happen. Roaf should be a 1st ballot no doubt. Tell us how you would fix it, I guess you have to call King and ask him what to write.


  • February 11, 2011  - el cid says:

    This is quite funny. Whitlock with supporters, athletic supporters. And Bob know nothing. Man, talk about character assination. Well, guess what you (I am thinking one person who changes his name) actually PAID Bob to bad mouth him. Who is the stupid one? You paid for this, hahahaha


  • February 11, 2011  - David says:

    Dear Bob Gretz,

    After reading Jason’s article and then reading yours I realize that YOU are the idiot and not JW. ALL those that have never played in the NFL should be removed from the selection process. You guys are idiots. ESPECIALLY YOU!!!


  • February 11, 2011  - Jeremy says:

    You’re a retard and Whitlock put a clown suit on you.


  • February 11, 2011  - Smorkingapple says:

    I see the shoe Whitlock bought for these HOF voters fits, so now they coming out with the matching purses too. First Pasquarelli, now this cat, and I’m sure King will have something on Monday about it.

    The real way to get back at Whitlock was rebut his suggestions for improving the process with your own, since you have more insight. But you resorted to name calling and personal attacks which kills your credibility.


  • February 11, 2011  - Big Hatt says:

    Are you seriously trying to attack Whitlock for having a shrinking audience? Jesus Gretz, you kill me. I remember went you went premium. We all had a good laugh.

    And you call Whitlock’s career dead? Seriously? The lights went off in your office the second King Carl left and for some reason you’re still hangin’ around.

    For a shill like you to attack that man’s journalistic integrity…..Wow. He’s written legitimately important articles and yes, hurt his bottom line by illuminating harsh truths. You’re an unpaid, voluntary spin-doctor for an organization that doesn’t even want you around anymore. Hardly surprising that a guy like you is on that gross hall of fame selection committee. I bet you get Gosselin’s coffee.

    Nice “chicken big” line, btw. You’re as funny as you are relevant.


  • February 12, 2011  - Stickit61 says:

    I guess that is why Jason works for fox sports and you just have a blog mouth breather.


  • February 12, 2011  - andrew says:

    when someone has to respond to someone by repeated references to their weight, and skipping almost all of their issues, facts and stats, you lose the debate.


  • February 12, 2011  - Nate says:

    Bob, I am not going to take any shots at you on this one, however I am puzzled by you saying that 5 players a year is too many to go into the hall of fame when you have said that all 15 players are deserving and will be in the hof some day. When you look at the probable 1st ballot inductees becoming elgible each year the math doesn’t work out. As far as your comments about Rich Gosslin and Peter King are concerned, I have the utmost respect for Rich Gosslin. Peter King I have little respect for. I have found him to be a self promoter who is often dead wrong with some of his insider info and predictions.


  • February 12, 2011  - Bret says:

    Way to leave out personal insults and really refute the points of his column! Professional column right here, way to make your point.


  • February 12, 2011  - TDKC says:

    Bob,

    You should piss off Whitlock’s followers more often.

    They sound like Philip (cry me a) Rivers. Or maybe even Raider fans.


  • February 12, 2011  - TDKC says:

    Another thing. Whitlock goes after Peter King in his article. I have never heard anyone say bad things about him. He must be highly regarded among his peers.

    I have seen reference to Bob Gretz in Peter’s Monday Morning QB but never Whitlock.


  • February 12, 2011  - Tracy says:

    Whitlock’s rabid fan base also must subscribe to this website. This flame throwing has erupted in the past. JW’s m.o. is self promotion via provocation and he has made a pretty long run of it.

    However, if you look at his track record of non KC Star undertakings–810, 610, the ESPN show–he has burnt bridges with a reckless abandon. He finally torched his home base at the Star and now is at Fox Sports. Just how long, Whitlock loyalists, do you think that will last?

    Given his nose for controversy and pathological need for attention, he should hope that he ultimately does nothing to irritate Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Jimmy Johnson, et al or he may end up as a an opinion in an echo chamber with an audience of one.


  • February 12, 2011  - chiefwoundedknee says:

    I seriously considered paying up when Bob went “premium”, as I respected his reporting ability on my favorite team. Now, I’m glad I didn’t.

    Bob just failed. Poorly debated argument and resorted to name calling. Classless.

    Whitlock must right this time (and I’m no Whitlock supporter).


  • February 12, 2011  - Bilyous says:

    “Yellow journalism” is really the best description for Whitlock. Good choice of words, Bob. Its historical meaning is perfect in this context and describes what he writes.

    Because sports journalism is not a formal peer reviewed process, there are a lot of blowhards and phonies that “sensationalize” their viewpoints into a position of national recognition, but it is kind of like Murdoch’s empire. It does get the ratings, but the substance and the content is agenda-driven and holds little or no allegiance to fact. In Whitlock’s case, the only agenda is what serves Whitlock.


  • February 12, 2011  - Bob Gretz is an idiot says:

    No Bob, you and all the other “journalists” in the HOF selection committee have no logic behind your votes. All I’ve read is nonsense about “signature moment” or “feels like a Hall of Famer” or other nonsense. You lazy idiots don’t deserve such a high honor.


  • February 12, 2011  - Phil says:

    Your comments reveal a startling insecurity; I question the thought process that would result in such a personal attack. I don’t know who you are but I agree with Whitlock’s HOF-election positions. Did you play football? (Darn there’s that confounded question again!) You unwittingly validate Whitlock with this tripe. Ahh, per Wikipedia (see: “New media”) you appear to have been an NFL beat writer; I wonder if you believe that that makes you an NFL expert. Just wondering, don’t lose your temper. Beat writers as NFL experts is extremely debatable. In any event, poor response to Whitlock’s column. You ought to just do your job and leave the criticizing to the adults. BTW (that means ‘by the way’), your wikipedia page closes with, “Unfortunately, his site is not used to or designed to handle a lot of traffic as evidenced by the website crashing when linked to by a more popular writer, Jason Whitlock.” Looks like one of Whitlock’s agents of terror has invaded your world.


  • February 12, 2011  - cychief24 says:

    Bob-
    I understand you wanting to address witlessluck’s rants. The problem is that when you deal with crap you usually get crap on yourself.
    IMO, the best way to deal with ignorant bullies is to ignore them when they are just using words.
    Just my opinion, but I would just delete this article and continue to keep us highly informed on the Chiefs; NFL and the Draft.


  • February 12, 2011  - John says:

    The best thing about this whole episode is that I did not even know it happened. Fatlock not being in the star or part of a major media outlet makes life better.

    Bob please don’t bring up that worthless piece of crap again.


  • February 12, 2011  - Pat says:

    Meh. Whitlock is a hack. He is only as entertaining or informative as knee-jerk reactionism (or, I suppose in some cases, proactionism, which is a word so stupid that it could only pertain to him) can be, which isn’t very. At least it isn’t to anyone who’s interested in anything more in life than to hear what they already think echoed in a public forum, I guess. But, I guess the fact that Whitlock has a paying job still proves that there are far more people out there who think this infotainment has some sort of value. I’d just ignore him in the future, Bob–and for sure never actually mention his name again as that will only attract the dregs to your site so they can troll your comment section and prove how little actual intelligence or integrity they have.


  • February 13, 2011  - Kenneth says:

    Jason Whitless is a boob as a person and he was a hack as a writer about the Chiefs.

    For years all he did at the Star was stur the pot and try to turn the most simple things into a mole hill and try to make them personal against the Chiefs ownership and administration, even in the good times during the Marty Schottenheimer era he made personal attacks.

    Lets not forget one of Whitlocks ideas just a few years ago was that the Chiefs should sign and start QB Jeff George, I will always invision Whitless as wearing a Dunce Cap after that “brilliant”" idea.


  • February 13, 2011  - Nate says:

    One final thought from me. I do not like whitlock for many of the same reasons that have been expressed by others in their comments. I totally disagree with his personal attacks on the voters. Having said that I agree with many of the points he made. The selection system is broken and needs to be revised.


  • February 13, 2011  - Don says:

    the fact that you used a HOFer to help out with the veterans committee make’s whitlock’s main point for him, thanks bob. other HOFer’s have a point of view that you can’t, and should be in the process.


  • February 14, 2011  - HatfieldMcCoy says:

    Hmmmmm Well Bob you’ve succeeded in getting the 12 people in Whitlock’s fan club (because they don’t expect to pay for content or anything else in their lives) knickers in a knot. And don’t you Whitlock types need to use somebody’s log on and PW to get to the comment area to rail about Bob’s site paid traffic or lack of it…..


  • February 14, 2011  - CJ says:

    Way to rise above it all, Bob. Throughout this defense-of-your-turf rant, I definitely got the strong impression that (as you promised) you truly hated attacking Jason Whitlock personally and professionally.

    I doubt he gets his identity from his job title. I doubt even more that your proclamation of his career failure makes it so.

    You established a couple of strong points but then drove back over and flattened your supposed high ground with hackish ad hominem; this page reads like a juvenile peeing contest. (And, after perusing the columns again, it honestly seems to me you’re the only entrant).

    Neither knowledge nor wisdom is contingent on how many people are listening or agreeing. Whether or not the Hall’s processes and procedures should be changed, and regardless of who currently works in which corner office, you’re a small man.


  • February 16, 2011  - Steve McCoy says:

    Let me get this straight. a clown who works for a TEAM website and writes mostly for a website that IS HIS OWN NAME is saying whitlock doesn’t have a forum to write in!?!?! Foxsports doesn’t measure up to BobGretz.com?? You can’t even make stuff this laughable up.


  • February 16, 2011  - Bakjon says:

    Both of you need to stop the foolishness. Bob both you and Whitlock have acted like children since Peterson was let go and Pioli was put in charge of the Chiefs. Both of you have criticized the organization because they would not allow access that was previously enjoyed by the media. Whitlock was fortunate that he was picked up by Fox and should he mess up that gig like the others no one will want to touch him with a ten foot pole. Gretz you put up a website that while kept out crazy posters like Rin (thankfully he’s gone and I wish the Star would do the same), your’s crashed to the point that I am a regular subscriber but somehow by not logging in for a couple of weeks my info is lost. So before you criticize someone else’e website you need to take a look at your own.




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