3Down Debate: Kevin Glenn is not a Hall of Famer

Kevin Glenn has had a long, storied CFL career, and now that he has passed for over 50,000 yards, the question has arisen as to whether he is worthy of induction into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Today, 3DownNation’s Josh Smith (pro) and Santino Filoso (con) will debate the case for Glenn’s enshrinement.

Let’s get something out of the way immediately, there’s no denying that Kevin Glenn has had one of the most unique careers in CFL history. After all, not many players suit up for six different teams over the course of a 17 (so far) year career. That said, longevity, being a good teammate and having an interesting story shouldn’t be what qualifies one for the Hall of Fame. And saying so doesn’t take away from what Glenn has achieved, because I won’t be arguing that he hasn’t been or isn’t a good quarterback. But there’s a difference between good and great.

Here’s my argument against the idea of Kevin Glenn as a Hall of Famer.

1) The passing stats don’t back it up

Although he recently crossed a major milestone (50,000 career passing yards), the majority of Glenn’s stats don’t stack up against the greatest of all time. In fact, for most of his career, his numbers have been merely pedestrian. Over the course of his time in the CFL, Glenn has averaged 256.8 yards per game, a 63% completion rate and thrown for 300 yards in a game 49 times (which just puts him ahead of Kent Austin). To put that in perspective Matt Dunigan crossed the 300 yard mark 62 times and only made 194 career starts (Glenn currently has 196 starts under his belt). Ahead of Dunigan you’ve got Danny McManus (63 times), Damon Allen (65), Doug Flutie (74), Henry Burris (93) and Anthony Calvillo (125).

Glenn has also never sustained any kind of consistent passing dominance in the league. Part of being a Hall of Famer is being better than your peers (or at least among the top tier) for a significant period of time. Glenn’s crossed the 5000 yard mark in a season twice, thrown for 4000 plus once but otherwise put up unremarkable passing numbers. He’s also been an All-Star just once, and never been the CFL’s MOP.

It may be harsh to point out, but the fact of the matter is Glenn’s passing stats are so high not because he’s ever dominated but rather due to his incredible durability.

2) He’s only been a starter for 64% of his career

Of the 17 seasons Glenn’s played in the CFL, he’s only been a true starter for 11 of them. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, the reality is that if he were an authentic Hall of Famer, he wouldn’t have been signed (and traded for) as a back up so regularly. Too often, when a team has added Glenn, it’s been as insurance, not to come in, take the reins and make them a Grey Cup contender. Sure, he’s been able to stay healthy and proven himself to be dependable, but are those the adjectives that spring to mind when you hear the words Hall of Fame?

3) Not enough wins

While football is the ultimate team sport, it’s common knowledge that legacies, especially as far as quarterbacks are concerned, revolve around wins. That’s why they’re praised when things go well and pointed to as the problem when they don’t. Glenn’s 196 career starts have led to 96 wins. That’s good for 48%, meaning Glenn has won less than half of the games he’s played in. Every other Hall of Fame quarterback has won more games than he’s lost. Furthermore, Glenn has never led his team to more than 10 wins in a season. Even if wins aren’t the most important quarterback stat, if you’re talking Hall of Fame candidacy, they must be a part of the conversation.

4) Lack of playoff success

In 17 seasons (11 as a starter), Glenn has carried his team to the playoffs 9 times, which definitely respectable. What isn’t is the fact he’s won just 4 of his 11 playoff games. When the games have counted the most, Glenn has repeatedly failed to rise to the occasion, throwing for more interceptions than touchdowns (13 to 11) and watched his completion rate drop (to 60%). On top of never having won a Grey Cup, in his lone championship appearance (in 2012 vs the Argos), Glenn went 14/27 (51.8%) for 222 yards, no touchdowns and one backbreaking interception.

Nothing about Glenn’s playoff history screams “among the best all time”.

5) A Hall of Fame spot isn’t a long term participation award

To be blunt, the Hall of Fame isn’t for slightly above average, which is what Glenn has been for the majority of his career. A spot in the Hall shouldn’t be a lifetime achievement award for a guy who’s main claim to fame is his durability and the fact that he’s suited up for 6 of 9 teams in the league. Of course hitting the 50,000 yard passing mark is impressive, no-one is denying that. After all, only seven other quarterbacks in the history of the league have achieved the same feat. But if you take into account his entire career and body of work, there’s simply no way that Glenn should be included in the Hall of Fame.

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