Sports Outside the Beltway

2006 Pro Football Hall of Fame Semi-Finalists

Rick Gosselin lists the 25 semi-finalists for Canton:

    â–  Ken Stabler, QB, 1970-79 Oakland Raiders, 1980-81 Houston Oilers, 1982-84 New Orleans Saints

    Running backs:
    â–  Terrell Davis, RB, 1995-2001 Denver Broncos
    â–  Thurman Thomas, RB, 1988-99 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Miami Dolphins

    Wide receivers:
    â–  Michael Irvin, WR, 1988-99 Cowboys
    â–  Art Monk, WR, 1980-93 Washington Redskins, 1994 New York Jets, 1995 Philadelphia Eagles
    â–  Andre Reed, WR, 1985-99 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins

    Offensive linemen:
    â–  Dermontti Dawson, C, 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers
    â–  Russ Grimm, G, 1981-91 Washington Redskins
    Bob Kuechenberg, G, 1970-84 Miami Dolphins
    â–  Bruce Matthews, G/T/C, 1983-2001 Houston Oilers/Tennessee Oilers/Titans
    â–  Randall McDaniel, G, 1988-99 Minnesota Vikings, 2000-2001 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    â–  Gary Zimmerman, T, 1986-92 Minnesota Vikings, 1993-97 Denver Broncos

    Defensive linemen:
    â–  Charles Haley, DE/LB, 1986-91, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Cowboys
    â–  Fred Dean, DE, 1975-81 San Diego Chargers, 1981-85 San Francisco 49ers
    â–  Richard Dent, DE, 1983-93, 1995 Chicago Bears, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996 Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles

    â–  Randy Gradishar, LB, 1974-83 Denver Broncos
    â–  Kevin Greene, LB/DE, 1985-92 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
    â–  Derrick Thomas, LB, 1989-99 Kansas City Chiefs
    â–  Andre Tippett, LB, 1982-88, 1990-93 New England Patriots

    â–  Lester Hayes, CB, 1977-86 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
    â–  Roger Wehrli, CB, 1969-82 St. Louis Cardinals

    Special teams:
    â–  Ray Guy, P, 1973-86 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders

    â–  Paul Tagliabue, commissioner, 1989-2006 NFL
    â–  Art Modell, owner, 1961-95 Cleveland Browns, 1996-2003 Baltimore Ravens
    â–  George Young, GM, 1968-74 Baltimore Colts, 1975-78 Miami Dolphins, 1979-97 New York Giants, 1998-2001 NFL

The list will be narrowed to fifteen in January, then to six, with a minimum of three and a maximum of six making the final cut on the eve of the Super Bowl. Goose says the class is “considered soft because of the scarcity of quarterbacks and running backs.”

Indeed, while I think a dozen or more of these guys deserve to be in the Hall, Tagliabue is the only shoe-in among first-time eligibles. I think Bruce Matthews makes it on the first ballot, too, simply because of his incredible longevity. Then again, I can’t believe Charles Haley (he of the five Super Bowl rings), Michael Irvin (three rings and a dominant player on the Team of the 1990s), Ray Guy (the consensus Best. Punter. Ever.), and Lester Hayes have been passed over so many times.

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Does Art Modell (a.k.a. Satan) get in? Eventually, but I think it will be after he dies. He would possibly be the only inductee to be booed off the stage in Canton, Ohio if it were any different.

Posted by Mark | November 18, 2006 | 02:13 pm | Permalink

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