Who Will Join the Conversation in Canton

In 2006 former Oakland Raiders Coach, Announcer, and face of the NFL video game John Madden was inducted into the Hall of Fame. During his induction ceremony he made one of the most memorable speeches in Hall of Fame history. He brought up the fact that to be inducted into the hall of fame is to be immortalized in the history of the Hall. He went on to say that the busts in the Hall of Legends actually live on through their conversations. Madden claimed that the busts had their own conversations after everybody leaves and these conversations are the true immortalization of the hall of fame inductees. The comment was one of the most memorable in Hall of Fame history for the sheer imagination. This year there will be more members of the conversation as a host of new players enter the Hall of Fame. These players hope to be immortalized and live on in the conversations held between the busts. This year the finalists are another group of greats but only so many will make it. Here are some of the more interesting stories surrounding this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Finalists.

 

Wide Receiver Backlog:

The past few years have seen some great talent and great thinkers enter into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. As a result of this skill entering the Hall of Fame has seen a backup of a number of great players. Three of these players have been Andre Reed, Tim Brown, and Cris Carter who have represented the wide receivers for the last few years. In 2010 all three players were including in the ballot but due to the inclusion of Jerry Rice, who is considered the best wide receiver of all time, they missed out as only one wide receiver was going in that year. In 2011 these three receivers were all on the list again but missed out due to the inclusion of players like Deion Sanders, Shannon Sharpe and Marshall Faulk. This year the trio of receivers is back as they represent the wide receivers for the 2012 class. With all three deserving of the hall of fame nod the only question that remains is which one will make it as only one of these receivers will likely make it in this year. Andre Reed has been waiting the longest and was a key member of the Buffalo Bills when they made four Super Bowls in a row in the 1990s. Cris Carter has waited less time than Reed but has still suffered the rejection even after a career where he became known for his ability to catch TDs. Finally Tim Brown was one of the best leaders in the NFL when he played and is considered one of the best receivers to play in the NFL. With the election committee rarely electing two of the same position only one will likely get in and any one of them deserves their spot among the greatest of all time.

 

QB Drought:

The Quarterback position has been considered one of the most essential parts to an NFL team as the focus of every offence. Although this is true there has been an interesting trend lately as there has been no QBs elected since Warren Moon was inducted in 2006. This trend will continue again this year as there were no QBs named as finalists for the 2012 class. For being one of the most important positions it is strange that no QBs are being considered. The NFL is a league of many different eras as different positions have had their heyday. Recently the QBs have been the focus even more as they have taken over the game in recent years. Since Tom Brady led the Patriots dynasty in the 2000s the QBs have been the main conversation in the NFL but this has only been since the 2000s. in the 1990s there was a lack of big name QBs and any QB that made an impact in that decade has already been elected. Instead the 90s were a skill player, receivers and running backs, era where the personalities of people like Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin took over. This has been reflected in the Hall of Fame Classes recently with so few QBs being named as finalists. The QB drought is close to an end though as this will be the last year without a great QB in contention. In the next four years there will be three QBs that could make it as Steve McNair, Kurt Warner, and Brett Favre will be eligible. McNair will be the question mark as he may not make it but Warner and Favre are first ballot hall of famers and will begin a new era of QBs in the Hall of Fame. With no QB this year the rest of the players will take the focus again as the focus of most games and seasons will take a seat and let everyone else take the spotlight.

 

Alone as the First Ballot:

One of the biggest stories every year for the Hall of Fame is the newest potential members as the First Ballot nominees are announced. Being a First Ballot nominee is the highest honour in the Hall of Fame elections as being elected in your first year of eligibility is reserved for the best of the best. Being a first ballot hall of famer means that you were the best at what you did and that there was no doubt in anyone’s mind that you should be included among the top football people in NFL history. This year the finalists include only one first ballot hall of famer as Bill Parcells could be in the hall never having to wait for years to make the hall. Parcells could be the only first ballot inductee this year and it would be hard to argue against him. The only for sure thing this year is that Parcells could have the best shot at the hall this year. Parcells is considered one of the best coaches of all time and going into the hall of fame as a first ballot nominee could be the perfect cherry on top of his illustrious career.

 

List of Finalists:

Tim Brown, WR (Oakland Raiders)

Cris Carter, WR (Minnesota Vikings)

Andre Reed, WR (Buffalo Bills)

Cortez Kennedy, DT (Seattle Seahawks)

Charles Haley, LB/DE (San Francisco 49ers)

Bill Parcells, Head Coach (New York Giants)

Edward DeBartolo, Owner (San Francisco 49ers)

Aeneas Williams, CB/S (Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals)

Jerome Bettis, RB (Pittsburgh Steelers)

Curtis Martin, RB (New York Jets)

Dermontti Dawson, C (Pittsburgh Steelers)

Willie Roaf, T (New Orleans Saints)

Will Shields, G (Kansas City Chiefs)

Chris Doleman, DE (Minnesota Vikings)

Kevin Greene, LB (Pittsburgh Steelers)

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