NFL Hall Of Fame Nominees: Who is a sure thing?

Dan BooneSenior Analyst ISeptember 19, 2009

MENLO PARK, CA - OCTOBER 08:  Former NFL player Jerry Rice poses for a portrait at Sharon Heights Golf Club on September 8, 2007 in Menlo Park, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

The NFL Hall of fame released its preliminary nominee list today.

The 131 man list will be sliced to 25 on November 27 then to 15 by January 7.

Its actually 131 plus 2 as RB Floyd Little and Defensive back/coach Dick LeBeau are the two seniors committees nominees.

On February 6th, the day before the Super Bowl, the final voting, which will be for four to six new nominees, takes place.

Lets do a very quick blitz of the nominees. Or maybe an audible if ye be of an offense frame of mind.

As for the senior old boys? Well if they clawed their way out of the deep, dark seniors pool they deserve to get in the Hall.

Here we go for a quick audible.


Quarterbacks  Ken Anderson, Randall Cunningham, Boomer Esiason, Rich Gannon, Jim Plunkett, Phil Simms, Joe Theismann, Danny White, Doug Williams


Pass on the passers. I'd say no one in this group makes it unless they get lucky and roll into the final ballot because splintered voting on other players cancel each other other out.

The best of the bunch? Ken Anderson and Jim Plunkett and his pair of rings.

The worst of the bunch: Danny White, Rich Gannon, and Boomer Esiason.

The injuries or other things stole my Hall pass bunch. Phil Simms might have made it if he had won that second ring. Williams got the ring but his journey to the USFL disrupted his career.


Running backs  Ottis Anderson, Larry Centers, Roger Craig, Terrell Davis, Eddie George, Leroy Hoard, Eric Metcalf, Brian Mitchell, Mike Pruitt, Gerald Riggs, George Rogers, Emmitt Smith, Herschel Walker, Ricky Watters

Emmit Smith is a lock of course.

The best besides Emmit? Terrell Davis was the best in the league for a brief period. Roger Craig was a great back on one of the best teams ever, why isn't he in already?

The worst of the bunch? Leroy Hoard? Really? Eric Metcalf is not even the best Metcalf not in the Hall.

Mike Pruitt? What about Greg?

The odd ball of the bunch? If Ricky Waters had played a few more years he would have made it. Not now.

Smith is a lock and either Davis or Craig will grab a spot, everyone else is a long shot.


Wide receivers  Cliff Branch, Tim Brown,  Cris Carter, Gary Clark, Henry Ellard, Irving Fryar, Roy Green, Herman Moore, Stanley Morgan, Andre Reed, Jerry Rice,  Sterling Sharpe


Rice like Smith is a sure thing. But the rest of the wide reciever corps is a big backlog.

The best of the bunch after Rice?

Cris Carter has come so close and might make it this year. Henry Ellard has great numbers and Roy Green played great when the game was very different for wide outs.

And then there's Andre Reed, a great player on a great team.

The live long shot? How about Sterling Sharpe and his injury shortened career?

What about Tim Brown? See what I mean about the back log?

The worst of the bunch? Herman Moore seemed a good but not great player.

The best shot? Rice and Carter.


Tight ends  Mark Bavaro, Todd Christensen, Ben Coates, Russ Francis, Shannon Sharpe, Frank Wycheck


Shannon Sharpe came close and will be pushed ahead again.

Todd Christensen was a great player and could sneak in but Sharpe is likely the next tight end up.

The worst of the bunch? Wycheck was a solid player but a Hall of famer?


Offensive linemen  Tony Boselli, Lomas Brown, Jim Covert, Dermontti Dawson, Russ Grimm, Jay Hilgenberg, Chris Hinton, Kent Hull, Joe Jacoby, Mike Kenn, Jim Lachey, Max Montoya, Korey Stringer, Steve Wisniewski


Why aren't any Hogs in the Hall? They ought to put them in as a unit.

Winsniewki and Dawson have many pro bowls piled on their resumes.

And Hilgenberg and Covert anchored those great lines of the eighties that plowed the way for Payton.

Mike Kenn was a monster of a pass blocker.

The worst of the bunch? Korey Stringer. He had a tragic ending but he was not a hall of fame player.

Best shot?

How about a Hog? Grimm has the best shot.


Defensive linemen  Al “Bubba” Baker, Ray Childress, Richard Dent, Chris Doleman, Charles Haley, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Cortez Kennedy, Joe Klecko, Dexter Manley, Charles Mann, Steve McMichael, Leslie O’Neal, Michael Dean Perry, John Randle, Clyde Simmons, Fred Smerlas


Richard Dent should already be in.

I do not know why Joe Klecko gets so little support but with his main man, Paul Zimmerman, off the committee it seems like he will still be stuck in limbo.

Cortez Kennedy and John Randle almost made the Hall call last year so they both have strong shots. Chris Doleman was a sack machine for a long time.

If Charles Haley was not such a weirdo he would have had a better shot.

Longest shot? Leslie O'Neal a good player not a great one, especially with all the sack men back logged.

Best shot? Richard Dent, throw the Bear a bone already.


Linebackers  Cornelius Bennett, Matt Blair, Kevin Greene, Ken Harvey, Rickey Jackson, Rod Martin, Clay Matthews, Karl Mecklenburg, Sam Mills, Hardy Nickerson, Chris Spielman, Pat Swilling, Darryl Talley


Best of the bunch? Kevin Greene was a sack machine.

All the old Saints were great players and might split the vote. I'd take Ricky Jackson out of all the Saints linebackers. Like Doleman and Dent he got a late career ring in San Francisco.

Longest shots? Darrly Talley. If a linebacker gets knocked out in a nightclub by a basketball players bodyguard a few days before the Super Bowl he loses his Hall pass.

Spielman was a run stuffer mostly. And how does old Viking Matt Blair go in and not Jim Marshall?

And speaking of Marshalls where's Wilbur Marshall on the linebacker list?


Defensive backs  Eric Allen, Steve Atwater, Joey Browner, LeRoy Butler, Raymond Clayborn, Kenny Easley, Lester Hayes, Carnell Lake, Albert Lewis, Frank Minnifield, Donnie Shell,  Aeneas Williams, Darren Woodson, Louis Wright


Best of the bunch? Lester! Lester! Lester! Why don't they like Lester?

Louie Wright was a great old Bronco and Aeneas Williams was a  great player on a very bad team.

Longest shot? Donnie Shell? How many Super Bowl Steelers do they need? What about Jack Tatum?


Kickers/punters  Gary Anderson, Ray Guy, Nick Lowery, Reggie Roby

Ray Guy always seems to have the best shot but always gets his Hall punt blocked.

Longest shot? Nick Lowery?


Special teams  Steve Tasker

It will be tough for a special teams guy to sneak in.


Coaches  Bill Arnsparger, Don Coryell, Tom Flores, Jimmy Johnson, Chuck Knox, Buddy Parker, A.O. “Bum” Phillips, Dan Reeves, Buddy Ryan, Clark Shaughnessy

I'd love to hear Buddy and Bum give their acceptance speeches just for the sheer entrainment value.

Best shot? Flores and Jimmy Johnson have a pair of rings.

Longest shot? Ground Chuck Knox? Come on Hall what big games did the ultra conservative Knox ever win? 

It will be interesting if they roll in mostly assistant coaches like LeBeau and Arnsparger. And Ryan might have been the best defensive coordinator ever.


Contributors  K.S. “Bud” Adams, Jr., Bobby Beathard, Gil Brandt, Leo Carlin, Jack Kent Cooke, Otho Davis, Ed DeBartolo, Jr., Ole Haugsrud, Frank “Bucko” Kilroy, Art Modell, Art Rooney, Jr., Carroll Rosenbloom, Ed Sabol, Steve Sabol, Paul Tagliabue, Jim Tunney, Ron Wolf, George Young


These guys should have a separate wing and not go up against players and coaches. Perhaps the assistant coaches should have a wing also.

Longest shot? Who wants to hear Art Modell talk about anything?

And Ole Haugsrud? Anyone with a moniker like that deserves to be in. He sounds like a good, strong German beer or cheese, but he was actually a Duluth Eskimoo.

Best shot? I'd like to hear the Rosenblum story retold just to hear Art Donovan speculate that Rosie's wife, Georgie Frontiere, might have had the old Colt owner drowned by a pair of frog men so she could get control of the Los Angeles Rams.


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