One of the great traditions of Super Bowl weekend is the announcement of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class. This year features one of the best and deepest groups of finalists in a long time, leaving open a lot of room for debate and speculation.
Every fan can make a case for a player they grew up watching to make it into the Hall of Fame. The Pro Football Writers are a different breed of voter than any other group in sports. They make decisions that baffle some and frustrate others, but more often than not, they get things right.
Here is all the information you need to know to get you ready for this weekend's Pro Football Hall of Fame announcement.
Where: Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans
When: Saturday, Feb. 2 at 5:30 p.m. ET
Watch: NFL Network
Live Stream: NFL.com (announcement starts at 6:30 p.m. ET)
|2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame Finalists|
|G/T Larry Allen (1994-2007 w/Cowboys, 49ers)|
|RB Jerome Bettis (1993-2005 w/Rams, Steelers)|
|WR Tim Brown (1988-2004 w/Raiders, Buccaneers)|
|WR Cris Carter (1987-2002 w/Eagles, Vikings, Dolphins)|
|DT Curley Culp (1968-81 w/Chiefs, Oilers, Lions)|
|Owner Eddie Debartolo, Jr. (1977-2000 w/49ers)|
|DE/LB Kevin Greene (1985-99 w/Rams, Steelers, Panthers, 49ers)|
|DE/LB Charles Haley (1986-96, 1999 w/49ers, Cowboys)|
|Owner/NFL President Art Modell (1961-2011 w/Browns, Ravens|
|OT Jonathan Ogden (1996-2007 w/Ravens)|
|Coach Bill Parcells (1983-90, 1993-99, 2003-06 w/Giants, Patriots, Jets, Cowboys)|
|WR Andre Reed (1985-2000 w/Bills, Redskins)|
|LB Dave Robinson (1963-74 w/Packers, Redskins)|
|DT Warren Sapp (1995-2007 w/Buccaneers, Raiders)|
|G Will Shields (1993-2006 w/Chiefs)|
|DE Michael Strahan (1993-2007 w/Giants|
|CB/S Aeneas Williams (1991-2004 w/Cardinals, Rams)|
What to Expect from Announcement
As the game of football has evolved, so has the way the voters decide who gets in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
If you had one vote, who would be your choice for the Hall of Fame?
There was a time when players like Andre Reed, Cris Carter and Tim Brown would be locks for the Hall of Fame. All three wide receivers rank in the top 12 all time in career touchdown catches, had more than 13,000 receiving yards and at least 951 receptions.
That said, it would not be hard to envision a scenario where none of those three players get in because of the way their careers are judged and the depth of this particular class.
Of the 17 players/coaches/owners/contributors eligible for the Hall of Fame this year, the best bets to get in would seem to be Art Modell, Jonathan Ogden, Will Shields, Larry Allen and Michael Strahan.
Bill Parcells is an interesting candidate this year, as he is one of the most revered coaches of the last 30 years, won two Super Bowls in three appearances and won 172 regular season games.
Honestly, there are very strong, legitimate cases to be made for all 17 of the people eligible for this year's class. I am sure that Selection Committee will have very good reasons for voting the way it does, but imagining a Hall of Fame without one of these people is hard to do.