Friday, December 31, 2010

Johnny D selects the NFL 2011 Hall of Fame Class

As the regular season closes, thoughts turn to the playoffs, and ultimately to the Super Bowl. Each year during Super Weekend the new members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame are announced. What follows is the 26 names that have survived so far. This list will be cut down to 15 in early January. From those 15, the panel will get together on super weekend and give us the 6 to 8 names that will be our new members of the HOF.

Getting from 26 to 15 should be relatively easy.

Jerome Bettis RB (1993-2005) - is a shoe in. He’s currently top 5 in lifetime yards. More importantly he’s a media darling.

Tim Brown WR (1988-2003) – No worse than sixth place in any career WR statistical category.

Chris Carter WR (1987-2002) – Like Tim Brown he’s tops in WR statistical categories

Don Coryell: My first exemption. While Air Coryell was amazing, I simply don’t feel that Don made a significant impact on the league.

Roger Craig: RB (1983-93) - Less than 8200 yards over 11 seasons. A good RB, not a hall of famer!

Terell Davis RB (1995-2001): 7,607 yards over 7 seasons. If this guy had played longer he’d have been really something, or he’d have faded away.

Dermontti Dawson (1988-2000): Replaced Mike Webster in Pittsburgh, and didn’t miss a beat. Named to the 90’s all decade team, 7 time pro bowler. It’s amazing that he wasn’t a first ballot inductee.

Edward Debartolo Jr. Owner: presided over a great dynasty. This one is a tough one. I’m not familiar with the inner workings of the NFL. He’d be an on the bubble candidate for me.

Richard Dent DE (1983-1997): 137.5 sacks putting him #6 on the all time list.

Chris Doleman DE (1985-1998): 150.5 sacks. #4 all time

Marshall Faulk RB (1994-2005) Tenth all time RB with 12,279 yards rushing.

Kevin Greene LB (1985-1999): 160 sacks over 15 years. Only two men are credited with more sacks.

Ray Guy P (1973-1986): I love Ray Guy too. He’s 71st among all punters for career average punt. 42.4 yds. Not HOF numbers

Charles Haley DE (1986-1996): 23rd all time in sacks. While I believe that sacks is not a statistic that tells us how good a D-lineman truly is. I believe Haley is on the bubble. His time is not due.

Lester Hayes CB (1977-86):

· 5× Pro Bowl selection (1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984)

· 1× First-team All-Pro selection (1980)

  • 5× Second-team All-Pro selection (1979, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984)
  • NFL 1980s All-Decade Team
  • 2-time Super Bowl Champion(Super Bowl XV, Super Bowl XVIII)
  • 1980 NFL Defensive Player of the Year
  • Raiders single season leader in interceptions with 13

Cortez Kennedy DT (1990-2000):

Curtis Martin: RB (1995-2005)

Only three men have rushed for more yards. Only six men have more rushing Touchdowns.

Art Modell: Modell has been an owner in this league since 1961. Owners, in my opinion, deserve to be inducted, and an owner, even one that moved the beloved Cleveland Browns franchise to Baltimore deserves recognition after being an owner for nearly 50 years. That being said, among this group of candidates I must pass over Mr. Modell.

Andre Reed WR (1985-2005):

Eleventh all time in reception yards, Tied 11th all time in touchdowns. For me Reed is on the bubble. Wide Receiver is a tough HOF position.

Willie Roaf T (1993-2005):

Simply on the strength of being named to both the 1990s and 2000s all decade team, it would seem willie is more than deserving of induction.

Ed Sabol: Contributor: I voted on the website for Ed many times. I think his contributions thorugh NFL Films should be recognized. If there were a separate category for owners and other office type contributors then I’d consider him a shoe in. The fact that he’s up against football players pushes him off my ballot.

Deion Sanders: Deion needs no numbers nor explanations. First to third down he shut down opposing Wide Receivers, on fourth down we had the chance to see him run back a punt for a touchdown. First ballot inductee, anything else would be a travesty!

Shannon Sharpe TE (1990-2001):

Paul Tagliabue: Great commissioner. Players deserve spots more than the commissioner though.

Aeneas Williams CB/S (1991-2004):

George YoungContributor: A fantastic career, yet not enough spots available to spare for George.

After reviewing the 26 I had to eliminate 11 to get down to 15. Actually I eliminated 12. Once I was down to 14, I looked at the 12 eliminated and decided to advance Andre Reed.

Jerome Bettis

Chris Doleman

Curtis Martin

Tim Brown

Marshall Faulk

Willie Roaf

Chris Carter

Kevin Greene

Deion Sanders

Dermontti Dawson

Lester Hayes

Shannon Sharpe

Richard Dent

Cortez Kennedy

Andre Reed

I believe that the NFL Hall of Fame needs to induct more members per year. Look at these 15, I can’t imagine eliminating 9 of them to make a class of 6. I am going to create a Hall of Fame class of 10 for 2011. I will eliminate 5.

Lester Hayes. I hate to remove this guy from the list, I thoroughly enjoyed the way he played the game. Looking at his accomplishments he just looks to be a step below some of the other names we have here.

Marshall Faulk immediately comes to mind. His stats are great, his contribution is great. I just believe he’s not quite as great as some of the others here.

Kevin Greene. While his stats are definitely top notch, I watched him play here in Pittsburgh. While he was able to gain stats he wasn’t nearly as dynamic a linebacker as Greg Lloyd was on the other side of the defense. I can’t, in good conscience, make him a hall of famer when he wasn’t even better than his teammate for a good part of his career.

Andre Reed, While he’s got several impressive entries in the record book he’s just not a member of that elite group called a Hall of Famer.

Shannon Sharpe. It’s my list I get to decide. He certainly is worthy, but looking at the other names on the list, I find him to be less deserving than the others.

Here’s my Final Ten

Jerome Bettis

Chris Doleman

Tim Brown

Curtis Martin

Chris Carter

Willie Roaf

Dermontti Dawson

Deion Sanders

Richard Dent

Cortez Kennedy

Now that I’m down to Ten. If I were forced to trim this list to eight I think I know who I’d eliminate.

No matter who you’d eliminate here, it would be brutally unfair.

I’d leave Chris Doleman and Cortez Kennedy out. Both are very deserving, yet if I have to eliminate two, they’d have to be the choices.

There you have it, the Johnny D class of 2011 Hall of Famers will be

Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Chris Carter, Dermontti Dawson, Richard Dent, Curtis Martin, Willie Roaf, Deion Sanders.

I’ll be glad to hear your opinions. I’m glad that I went through the list the way I did. Until you do, you have no idea what a difficult job the selection committee has. All 26 men are deserving (well maybe not Tagliabue or Sabol). I recommend that you contact as many of the men on the selection committee as possible and try to influence them.

Here are the men that select our Hall of Famers.


Kent Somers, Arizona Republic


Len Pasquarelli,


Scott Garceau, WMAR-TV


Mark Gaughan, Buffalo News


Darin Gantt, Rock Hill Herald


Dan Pompei, Chicago Tribune*


Joe Reedy, Cincinnati Enquirer


Tony Grossi, Cleveland Plain Dealer


Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News*


Jeff Legwold, Denver Post


Tom Kowalski, Booth Newspapers

Green Bay

Cliff Christl, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


John McClain, Houston Chronicle*


Mike Chappell, Indianapolis Star


Sam Kouvaris, WJXT-TV

Kansas City

Bob Gretz,


Edwin Pope, Miami Herald*


Sid Hartman, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune

New England

Ron Borges, Boston Herald*

New Orleans

Pete Finney, Times-Picayune

New York (Giants)

Vinny DiTrani, Bergen Record

New York (Jets)

Gary Myers, New York Daily News


Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange


Paul Domowitch, Philadelphia Daily News


Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

St. Louis

Bernie Miklasz, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

San Diego

Nick Canepa, San Diego Union Tribune

San Francisco

Nancy Gay,


Mike Sando,

Tampa Bay

Ira Kaufman, Tampa Tribune


David Climer, The Tennessean


David Elfin, Washington Times


Darryl Ledbetter, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

At Large

Howard Balzer, The Sports Xchange

At Large

Jarrett Bell, USA Today

At Large

John Clayton, ESPN/ESPN Magazine

At Large

John Czarnecki,*

At Large

Dave Goldberg, AOL Sports/Fanhouse*

At Large

Peter King, Sports Illustrated

At Large

Ira Miller, The Sports Xchange*

At Large

Len Shapiro, Miami Herald*

At Large

Vito Stellino, Florida Times Union

At Large

Jim Trotter, Sports Illustrated

At Large

Charean Williams, Ft. Worth Star Telegram

* Also serves on the Senior Selection Committee.


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