Why Raiders QB Jim Plunkett is not a Hall of Famer


It seems that some of Raider Nation disagrees with some of the content in my last article, Top 5 Raiders that should be in the NFL Hall of Fame. Apparently I left off a very important person in Raider history, former Raiders quarterback, Jim Plunkett.

So why did I leave Plunkett off of my list? Why not at least give him honorable mention? It was for the same reason that he hasn’t been considered for induction into the Halls of Canton.

The argument is that he is a two-time Super Bowl champion and the MVP for one of those Super Bowls. He is also the first minority QB to win the Super Bowl as well as the first and only Latino ever named MVP. That is all very impressive and deserves a lot of respect, but it is not enough to get the attention of the selection committee.

This is what the committee and most experts see:

Plunkett’s stats as a QB are not the greatest nor are they hall of fame caliber. He had 25,882 yards with a completion percentage of 52.5%. He threw 164 touchdowns and 198 interceptions. As you can see, he has some mediocrity there.

Plunkett is the second player in NFL history to win both the Heisman and Super Bowl MVP. He is currently tied for the longest touchdown pass play in franchise and NFL History (99 yards). He is the fourth leading passer in Raiders franchise history.

Below is a list of his accomplishments. When you look at them, what do you see missing?

UPI AFC Rookie of the year (1971).
PFW NFL Comeback Player of the Year (1980).
Two-time Super Bowl Champion (XV and XVIII).
Super Bowl MVP (XV).

So what is missing? Plunkett was never named to the Pro-Bowl. He was never selected as an All-Pro first or second team. He never won league MVP and never made an All-Decade team. If you look at every player in the Hall of Fame, you will see one or more of those accolades on their résumé.

As much as it bothers Raiders fans, Plunkett may never be considered for enshrinement, at least not any time soon. As I stated before, his accomplishments in the Super Bowl are very impressive. It is his lack of Pro-Bowls, All-Pro and All-Decade Teams that has been keeping him on the outs and will likely continue to do so.

One can never tell, though. Maybe the Senior’s Committee will recognize his Super Bowl accomplishments someday and perhaps he will get enshrined through them.

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  • Josh

    Those numbers are still better than Nameth and half the other QBs already inducted. He’s not a HOFer for the same reason Stabler isn’t. He was a Raider. That’s the fact. End of story.

  • Jersey Raider

    Namath, Bradshaw, Sid Luckman, even our own George Blanda (granted, he’s in there more for his role as a K than a QB) are all in the Hall of Fame with LOWER pass completion pct than Plunkett (Namath barely cracked 50%). Bob Griese passed for fewer yards than Plunkett, and Namath, Bradshaw and Lenny Dawson only passed for marginally more. Your numbers argument just doesn’t hold water. You’re entitled to your opinion, but the basis for your opinion just doesn’t stack up… Sorry!

  • Walter Spargo

    Numbers aren’t the only argument. How many Pro Bowls do those other guys have? How many times named All Pro first or second team? All Decade, league MVP or any of those types of accomplishments? I only researched Plunkett and other than his ONE Superbowl MVP award, he has none of that.

    Don’t get the wrong idea here. As a lifelong Raiders fan, I love Plunkett and I am thankful that he was able to bring those championships to the Raiders. And as a fan, I believe that Plunkett should be in the HoF. But as a non-partial writer, I have to state fact and the fact is his accolades are not what the selection committee is impressed by.

  • The Dude

    you’re 100% correct sir. If people want to argue Namath than they need to mention Stabler… NOT Plunkett. The lack of Pro Bowls, 1st / 2nd Team All Pro selections is HUGE… I love Plunkett and would like to see him make it in one day; but to say he DESERVES it is a stretch; I agree with you Sparky.

  • pistonraider

    this douche is an anti raider obviously. Plunkett won superbowls not pro bowls, who gives a damn about the pro bowl? do you watch it? and is there an all pro game i’m missing?

    • Walter Spargo

      Who gives a damn about the Pro Bowl? Well since you ask, it is the Selection Committee, that’s who. Normally I wouldn’t even respond to a short sighted post like this one, but since you called me as the “anti Raider” (noticed you didn’t even have the decency to CAPITALIZE the team’s name), Let me respond by referring you to my first response above to Jersey Raider. To be a writer, you have to try and leave your personal feelings out of your articles, which I have done.

      As for being called a douche, I can handle that. Hell, in 22 years in the military, I’ve been called a lot worse than that, but Anti Raider? Just for reporting the facts?

      Here is the truth and facts of the matter: Not everyone with two super bowl rings necessarily deserves to be in the HoF. Would you induct every member of every team that won two or more rings? How many players were on 2 or more of those Raider teams that won championships? Does every one of them deserve to be in? Has every Super Bowl MVP or every player with 2 or more rings been inducted? I think not.

      The committee uses stats such as Pro Bowls, All Decade teams, All-Pro, League MVP, etc to separate the super bowl ring recipients who truly deserve to be inducted from those who don’t.

      Do I as a fan agree with that logic? Not 100%. It is by no means perfect, but there has to be a line drawn somewhere. The Committee needs to rotate it’s voting members on at least a 2 year basis so that you get a fresh perspective on who deserves to be inducted. That would be a good start and just might get the Raider Haters out of there.

      Lastly, keep in mind that in the Super Bowl in which Plunkett threw 3 TDs against the Eagles and was the MVP, Rod Martin also intercepted a super bowl record 3 Jaworski passes. He is the sole holder of that record AS A LINEBACKER, which still stands today. You could make the argument that he should have been the MVP. But they typically did not give that award to defensive players. As a matter of fact, only 5 SB MVP awards have gone to defensive players in the history of the game.

      So there you have it.

  • Florida Raider

    Plunkett and the Snake belong in the Hall of fame period your article is BULLSHIT just like the selection Committee. Bias against smaller cities and teams with less National ASS KISSERS. The MEDIA in general serves a purpose and that purpose in propaganda

    • Walter Spargo

      Facts are not BS. Sorry to burst your bubble, pal.

      See? This is where it is hard to be a impartial writer AND a diehard fan.

      I don’t make up the criteria for selection into Canton, I just write it up as I see it as neutral as I can. Call it BS if that suits you, but it is what it is until we get a new selection process.

  • Frank M

    Fouts is in. What did he ever win???

  • ripplestick

    Walter , we can all make numbers prove any slant we are looking for. As Jersey Raider and Josh pointed out the holes in your numbers reasoning for Plunkett’s exclusion from the hall. As was said by Josh , Plunkett is guilty of being and winning as a Raider. You sir need to do your homework or find something else to write about that perhaps you have some grasp on, unlike this topic.

    • Walter Spargo

      Touchy subject! I did my homework on this and I have a firm grasp on it. Let me reiterate that it is the SELECTION COMMITTEE that sets this ridiculous criterion, not me!

      Let me say it again in case the radicals didn’t get the point: It is the SELECTION COMMITTEE that sets this ridiculous criterion, not me!

      Here, maybe the third time is the charm: it is the SELECTION COMMITTEE that sets this ridiculous criterion, not me! I just reported the fact as unbiased as I know how.

      Let us be clear here, since some of the readers have bitter feelings:

      Walter Spargo, the person and diehard Raider fan believes with all his heart that Plunkett should get into the HoF. As a matter of fact, it makes about as much sense to him as Flores, Hayes, Branch, Wiz I, Stabler, Brown (and anyone he may have missed out of frustration over having to repeat himself) not being inducted; NONE. The same logic regarding the teams Plunkett was a part of before joining the Raiders and his surroundings which is used with Brown and the QBs he had throwing to him can be used to a degree with him.

      Walter Spargo, the writer has an obligation to keep his personal feelings as a fan out of his articles, which he tried very hard to do here and look at the flak he gets. It’s all good, he can take it! Keep it coming, you radical and passionate fan base! He loves you all!

  • Tony Cloud

    I have to apologize for the Raiders Nation Mr Spargo. They can be a little touchy when it comes to our beloved Raiders. I have to agree to disagree on your comments. 1. I do agree commitee personnel should have term limits. 2 Jim Plunkett was never given a chance to accomplish the writers goals. For whatever reason who knows. But for him to accomplish a goal of winning not only 2 Super Bowls is a great accomplishment. For the type of career he had and the lousy teams he played on prior his Commitment to Excellence with the Raiders.

    • Walter Spargo

      Thank you Tony. Please see my response above to ripplestick.

  • Tony Cloud

    See when you play for lousy teams back in the day like New England and San Francisco. You can’t make it to the pro bowl or league MVP. Especially when you have QB’s like Terry Bradshaw, Fran Tarkentan, Joe Namath, Roger Staubach. Playing on great teams that make them great QB’s your going to be overlooked. Gene Upshaw once said they know he was a talented player a good QB. If only given a CHANCE. Why can’t the HOF commitee give him that same chance.

  • pre davis

    How did Lynn (soft) Swan make it into the HOF? Look at his stats or lack of!!!!

  • Gregory Smith

    Hopefully, one day, Plunkett and Stabler will make it. To me, the memories I have watching them play are priceless.

  • joe

    I’m not a raider fan. But, I believe that any every quarterback who led their team to a superbowl victory should be in the Hall Of Fame. The Superbowl win is more important than all the rest of the things combined (stats, mvp, pro bowl). Jim Plunkett should be in, nuff said.

  • Mike

    Stabler should be in HOF with Namath. Stabler had better stats and more playoff wins along with his SB win. Namath played in NY, huge east coast bias. Game on the line, 2:00 min left, who would you rather have under center? THE SNAKE nuff said.

  • motnahp

    Jim was a good QB and an even better human being. Comparing football to baseball, he was like a 15-game-wining pitcher. He never had the headline-grabbing season of 20+ wins. Unfortunately, for voters looking purely at stats, he piled up a lot of bad ones suffering on a pitiful Patriot team. Because he never sought the spotlight for himself, he didn’t build up that “look at me” resume’ like Namath.

  • Raider Dogg

    I thought you play for championships, not personal stats! It’s B.S. that Plunkett and Flores aren’t in the H.O.F period!

  • Raider Dogg

    N.F.L – NOT FOR LATINOS! only 3 in the hall or something crazy like that. How much more should Plunkett have done!

  • Doc

    Jim Plunkett most definitely should be in the Hall of Fame. Let’s compare some stats of retired quarterbacks who have won two or more Super Bowls.
    Player SB Wins Yards Passing
    Joe Montana 4 40,551
    Terry Bradshaw 4 27,989
    Troy Aikman 3 32,942
    John Elway 2 51,475
    Roger Staubach 2 22,700
    Bob Griese 2 25,092
    Bart Starr 2 24,718
    Jim Plunkett 2 25,882

    Jim Plunkett, in his early career, played on a god-awful Patriots team and later a bad 49ers team. When he finally got to a team with talent and was also healthy, He proved that he was a Hall of Famer. For all the individuals who place so much on Pro-bowls and MVPs, both are basically popularity contests to hype good players on good or great teams. If Jim Plunkett had been lucky enough to have been drafted to play, during his prime, for one of the dynasties which these other HOF quarterbacks played, he would have won the awards and accolades and would have been a first ballot HOFer. Even under these unfortunate circumstances when given the opportunity, Jim Plunkett was able to lead, in the twilight of his career, a very good Raiders team to two Super Bowl Championships, and he is not in the Hall of Fame. This is a major travesty!