3Down Debate: Kevin Glenn is Hall of Fame worthy

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.

Keven Glenn deserves to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and there a number of reasons why.

50,000 yards

The biggest reason is his most recent accomplishment. Glenn became just the seventh CFL player ever to surpass the 50,000-yard career passing mark. The other six include three Hall of Famers (Damon Allen, Danny McManus and Ron Lancaster), one soon-to-be Hall of Famer (Anthony Calvillo will be enshrined later this year) and two slam-dunk future Hall of Famers (Henry Burris and Ricky Ray). That’s rarified air for a quarterback to reach and Glenn reached it. If you want to say numbers don’t tell the whole story, fine, but in this case this one number tells a rather large story. Like 500 home runs in baseball, 50,000 career passing yards should be any quarterback’s ticket into the Hall of Fame.

Lack of a ring means nothing

Many will use Glenn’s lack of a championship ring as a reason to keep him out, but three of the more important quarterbacks in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame never won a championship: Dieter Brock, Sam Etcheverry and Jack Jacobs.

Etcheverry was likely considered the greatest quarterback of all time for the numbers he put up as a member of the Montreal Alouettes from 1952-60, holding the single-game and season passing yards records. The man who broke Etcheverry’s record was Brock, who did so in 1981, and he was one of the league’s top QBs for a decade. Jacobs is credited with popularizing the forward pass and was the first professional quarterback to throw for over 3,000 yards in a season. But none of the three ever won a championship. Etcheverry lost three straight from 1954-56, Brock lost his one Grey Cup appearance in 1984 and Jacobs lost both of his appearances in 1950 and 1953.

Glenn, like Brock, has played in just one Grey Cup, losing in 2012 to the Toronto Argonauts. He would have played in a second, but he broke his arm in the East Final before Winnipeg went to the Grey Cup in 2007. Glenn would not be the first QB elected to the Hall without a ring (if he ultimately never wins one) and his lack of a championship should not be used against him.

Bouncing around from team to team is no big deal

Another demerit according to some is Glenn’s lack of sticking with any one team for very long. If he was really Hall of Fame worthy, he would have been a team’s starting quarterback for a decade, some will argue. Those arguments fall on deaf ears because the Hall of Fame is filled with quarterbacks who bounced around from team to team.

Damon Allen, who at one time was the league’s all-time leading passer, played for six different teams during his 23-year career. His longest stint was with the B.C. Lions, whom he played for from 1996-2002. But before that, he spent four years with Edmonton, three with Ottawa, one in Hamilton, two more in Edmonton and one in Memphis before finding a long-term home in B.C. and then finishing his career with a five-year run in Toronto.

Matt Dunigan also has his fair share of CFL jerseys hanging on his wall, as he also spent time with six different teams. He spent five years with Edmonton, two with B.C., two with Toronto, three with Winnipeg, one with Birmingham and one with Hamilton.

Danny McManus spent time with Winnipeg, B.C., Edmonton, Hamilton and Calgary before calling it a career, and his eight-year run in Hamilton is the exception to McManus’ career, not the rule.

Heck, even Doug Flutie played for three different teams and Tracy Ham suited up for four. All in all, playing for multiple teams — and as much as we joke about Glenn being a member of eight teams, he never played a down for two of them, so his number is really six, the same as Allen and Dunigan — should not be seen as black mark on Glenn’s résumé.

Longevity means something

Kevin Glenn has played in the CFL for 17 years and counting. He has started 196 games and will, barring injury, eclipse the 200 games started mark this season. Those are incredible numbers and speak to the type of player Glenn is. There are a number of CFL lifers (so not including guys like Doug Flutie or Warren Moon) in the Hall of Fame who didn’t play as long or start as many games. To start that many games and continue to play at a high level for that many years shows a level of excellence that few attain. You do not last 17 years in the league and start 200 games by accident.

What Glenn has accomplished so far in his career means he belongs in the Hall of Fame, and with a couple chapters still yet to be written, he will only make his case stronger.

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