31 January 2015

My 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame Ballot

(NFL)
The induction process for the Pro Football Hall of Fame generally does not see the rancor that surrounds its counterpart in baseball but it by no means is a flawless process. That said, there will be a newly inducted class headed to Canton that will be announced tomorrow evening ahead of Super Bowl XLIX. After nailing three of the inductees last year, here is my hypothetical ballot for this year's induction.

Finalists

Tim Brown, WR (Raiders, 1988-2003; Buccaneers, 2004)
The wide receiver logjam has been helped some by the induction of Cris Carter in 2013 and Andre Reed last year. While there is a wide receiver that I think should actually go in before him (more later), it is time for Brown to get in finally. Even as Brown never played with any quarterbacks worth a damn until the end of his career, he still goes down as one of the greatest receivers to ever play the game as he still sits sixth all-time in receiving yards and fifth in receptions.

Charles Haley, DE/LB (49ers, 1986-1991 & 1998-99; Cowboys, 1992-97)
Speaking of players who have had to wait too long to get in (although he has not been on my ballots in the past), Haley has seemed to have been punished for not being a great guy as a player and that's absolutely silly. He was one of the great pass rushers of all-time as he is in the 100 sacks club and nobody has won more Super Bowls than he has with his five rings.

Marvin Harrison, WR (Colts, 1996-2008)
Harrison's case is hindered some by mysterious shootings he had connections to in Philadelphia at the end of his career, and perhaps rightly so. That said, simply going off his numbers makes him a clear-cut choice for Canton. I don't think it is fair to punish him for playing with Peyton Manning because while a great quarterback does make his receivers better, there is still much on the plate of the receiver to make plays.

Orlando Pace, T (Rams, 1997-2008; Bears, 2009)
Pace is a lock to get in in my eyes and I would be completely stunned if he did not get in this year. Pace was one of the most dominant tackles of all-time and a major piece of some of the most electrifying offenses in league history, the Greatest Show on Turf. Pace is a seven-time Pro Bowler, a five-time All-Pro and was on the 2000s All-Decade Team. That sounds plenty good enough for me.

Junior Seau, LB (Chargers, 1990-2002; Dolphins, 2003-05; Patriots, 2006-09)
Seau is probably even more of a lock than Pace is. He played 20 years in the NFL and was one of the great all-around linebackers ever with his excellence against the run and the pass. Eight times he was a first-team All-Pro, a 12-time Pro Bowler, and on the 1990s All-Decade Team. He also may have been the greatest Charger ever and was the leader of the only team in franchise history to get to the Super Bowl.

Given the new rules regarding contributors now being voted in seperately, I would as well vote for Bill Polian and Ron Wolf.

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