Philadelphia Eagles News

Noticeable Absence In Hall Of Fame

It's impossible to not notice when former Eagles wide receiver Harold Carmichael is in a room. Not only is Carmichael's 6-8 frame an imposing presence, but his personality and charisma allow him to work a room much like he worked the football field.

Seven former NFL players were named the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2010 on Saturday. One of those former players - Jerry Rice - was even a wide receiver. But once again, Harold Carmichael's name was not among the list of soon-to-be inductees.

"I know one guy who should be in the Hall of Fame, who's not, and that's Harold Carmichael," quarterback Donovan McNabb said during the 2009 season.

The tallest wide receiver to ever play the game, Carmichael was a seventh-round pick of the Eagles in 1971 out of Southern. In 14 NFL seasons - 13 with the Eagles - Carmichael finished his career ranked sixth all-time with 590 receptions. All but one of those catches were with the Eagles, which remains to this day the team record. Carmichael is also the all-time team leader in receiving yards (8,978) and touchdowns (79).

He led the Eagles in catches eight times and earned four trips to the Pro Bowl proving he was one of the best of his generation. He helped the Eagles win the NFC title in 1980 and was honored that season as the NFL's Man of the Year, which has since been renamed the Walter Payton Man of the Year award.

What have hurt Carmichael's chances for Canton have been the rule changes which have opened up the pass game. Carmichael now ranks 55th all-time in receptions. Rice, who was a first-ballot selection Saturday, is the all-time receptions leader with 1,549 catches. Carmichael's 8,985 career receiving yards ranks 45th all-time and touchdowns is tied for 20th on the list.

What's even more of a shame is that Carmichael wasn't even one of the 131 players, coaches and contributors among the list of preliminary nominees for the 2010 Hall of Fame ballot. There were three other wide receivers on the list of 15 modern-era finalists which indicates that Carmichael is not near the top of the list for wide receivers to get in.

It's a shame we'll never get to know what type of numbers Carmichael would have posted in today's NFL. But the fact that he was dominant in an earlier era should show that he certainly would have thrived in the pass-first era of the league.

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 1:30 p.m., February 7

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