- Pat Yasinskas, ESPN Staff Writer
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I asked Friday for your help on setting some parameters on the most disliked people in the NFC South for an upcoming project that was hatched by a reader. Just wanted to get some input before we start, because I see all sorts of potential issues and arguments if we don’t have some pretty firm ground rules.
You filled up the mailbag with some good suggestions, and I’ve made a few decisions but still want more of your input on at least one other issue.
First off, we’re going to disqualify former Carolina receiver Rae Carruth, sort of like we did with quarterbacks for our recent project on indispensable players. I’m doing this, because what Carruth was convicted of was so heinous, it goes so far beyond football and would skew this whole project. I’m not saying you can’t vote for other guys who have had off-field problems. But Carruth is off limits, otherwise it would be pointless to ask Carolina fans to even bother voting.
Next, after listening to what a lot of you had to say about whether we should limit this to players, I think you made it clear we should include owners, coaches and general managers.
But the part I haven’t made a decision on yet is what time frame to work with. Should we make it for the entire history of each NFC South team? That would allow us to include people like former Tampa Bay owner Hugh Culverhouse and former Atlanta quarterback Jeff George, just to name a few.
Or should we begin at the moment the NFC South officially became a division at the start of the 2002 season? That leaves out people like Culverhouse and George, and even Carruth never played in the actual NFC South.
Or, finally, should we limit it only to people currently with NFC South teams? That would eliminate Aaron Brooks, who already is drawing tremendous support from the New Orleans precincts and Michael Vick and Jake Delhomme, who already have pretty strong campaigns led by Atlanta and Carolina fans.
I’m kind of leaning toward throwing it open to anyone who ever has been with a franchise that’s now in the NFC South. But the input I’ve seen from readers so far has been pretty mixed on this. So I’m sending out one more request for you to pass along your thoughts to my mailbag on what time frame we should work with.
I’m not asking for votes yet, although, believe me, I’ve already received a bunch. I’d just like to firm up the time frame before I send out the official parameters and ask you for your votes. I'm hoping this project will be ready to roll sometime in the next week or so.