The NFL unveiled its 15 modern era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame last night. There are three first year eligible nominees, Brett Favre, Terrell Owens and Alan Faneca. If I had a vote, I would vote for the following candidates for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
1. Brett Favre: I think we can all agree that Favre is a first ballot Hall of Famer. Just think about all of the passing records that he owned when he retired. Sure people will bemoan the fact that he made costly decisions in big games or that he waffled on retirement, but there is no denying that Favre is one of the ten greatest quarterbacks of all time. He is a lock to get in and he will headline this year’s class.
2. Marvin Harrison: Harrison is one of the best receivers of his generation and posted monster numbers in his twelve year career with the Colts. He finished with 14,580 yards and 128 touchdowns. Harrison and former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning currently hold the record for quarterback to receiver touchdown passes with 112. Harrison was an eight time pro-bowler. This will be Harrison’s third year on the ballot. The end of Harrison’s career is shrouded in mystery as there was speculation he may have been linked to murder in Philadelphia in 2008. That might be the reason he hasn’t gotten enough votes to get in the last two years. I think he’ll get in this year.
3. Orlando Pace: Pace was one of the most consistently dominant players at his position during his twelve year NFL career. Most people considered either Pace or current Hall of Famer Walter Jones as the most dominant left tackle of their generation. Pace was quiet and unassuming during his career but he was an invaluable member of the Greatest Show on Turf Rams. I think Pace got snubbed last year. He should have gotten in.I think he gets the call this year.
4. Kevin Greene: Personally, I think its ridiculous that Greene has been on the ballot this long? He should have gotten in by now. Greene was one of the most dominant defensive players of his generation. Whether it was with the Rams, Steelers, 49ers or Panthers, Greene was always near the top of the league in sacks. He finished his career with 160 sacks. Its time for him to get in! He’s long overdue. Don’t deny the man!
5. Terrell Davis: I’m not totally sold on Davis as a Hall of Famer but you can definitely make a case for him. He only played for six seasons and barely rushed for 7,600 yards but he did rush for 2,000 yards in a season and scored 60 career touchdowns. Davis was the NFL MVP in 1998 and was the MVP of Super Bowl XXXII. In his day, he was one of the best five players in the game. Davis is in the same boat as Gale Sayers. Great running back but he had a short career. That has kept Davis out up until this point but he’ll get the call this year.
6. Kenny Stabler: Kenny “The Snake” Stabler should have gotten in the Hall of Fame a long time ago! He’s going to get in posthumously but I think its a shame. Stabler won a Super Bowl in 1976 and was league MVP in 1974. He also had better career numbers than Joe Namath but somehow Namath is in and Stabler is not. What a joke! Hopefully this gets rectified this year. The Snake deserves a spot in Canton!
7. Eddie Debartolo: Eddie D has presented five 49ers for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Now its his turn! You want to talk about contributions to the game? Eddie D’s run as owner of the 49ers is the most successful run in league history. The 49ers won five Super Bowls in the 1980’s under Debartolo’s ownership. They were the model franchise in all of sports during that time. I know Eddie D has had some legal problems in the past, most notably the corruption case of former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards but despite all of that, he deserves to be in the hall. His contributions as owner of the 49ers are too important to ignore. Its time he was recognized.