Myths vs. reality in Hall of Fame process

Ray Guy's wait had less to do with his own talent than that of his fellow nominees. AP Photo

"The biggest atrocity of voters ever" is how Mike Golic described the 23-year hang time for Ray Guy's landing as the first punter in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Golic was only getting warmed up.

"You all should be ashamed of yourself that you didn't vote this guy in the Hall of Fame [earlier]," Golic railed Thursday in the final hour of "Mike & Mike." "I have no idea what was on your knucklehead minds for not putting him in there, to make that man wait that long. The greatest punter the game has seen deserved that bust years ago, and it's great to hear how appreciative he is of it even though he had to wait all that time."

These sorts of criticisms have become part of the annual election process. Back in early 2009, months before I joined the Hall of Fame selection committee, I remember wondering how in the world Cris Carter missed the cut. Were the voters holding personal grudges? Had they never watched football? What was on their knucklehead minds? Then, over the next two years, I left Carter off my final ballot as a member of that very committee -- not because I found him unworthy, either.

Some explanation is in order or else the conspiracy theories sound too plausible. What is myth? What is reality?