Edit: Added at the end are the six enshrinees chosen from the final ballots.
Voting to decide on the Enshrinees for the 2012 NFL Hall of Fame Class concludes today. After struggling for a couple hours this morning to find out exactly who was on the final ballot, I realized there wasn't one good place to find out about the process and the nominees... so here you go.
Once a player or coach has been retired from the NFL for five years, they are HOF eligible. A "contributor" - owner, commissioner, TV Executive - can be nominated at any time.
The Board of Selectors has 44 members. It is made up of one representative for each of the 32 NFL teams, plus 1 from the Pro Football Writers Association, and 11 at-large delegates. The PFWA delegate serves a two-year term, while everyone else serves an open-ended term. Allegedly, these other delegates only lose their vote through resignation or retirement. I find this odd since the Cleveland Browns rep was removed from his job as beat reporter and someone else was given his vote this year. I'm not sure being moved from Browns beat reporter to NFL reporter qualifies as retirement, but nobody asked me.
Nine members of the Board of Selectors comprise the Senior Committee. It is their job to recommend two players from the "old days" to make sure that players who made this game what it is today but didn't appear on our TV screens every week are considered for enshrinement. I wish there were more.
The Board of Selectors are polled by mail, three times during the year (March, September, October) in order to whittle down the list of eligible persons to 25. Then they vote in November to shorten the list to 15 + 2 seniors. Finally, they vote the day before the Super Bowl for the final enshrinees list. There will be a minimum of 4, maximum of 7, enshirnees selected. The final number is based on each person receiving 80% or more of the votes. If less than 4 get 80%, they take top 4 vote getters. If more than 7 receive 80% of the votes, they take top 7. Simple, huh?
Steve Atwater, S – 1989-1998 Denver Broncos, 1999 New York Jets
Jerome Bettis, RB – 1993-95 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 1996-2005 Pittsburgh Steelers
Tim Brown, WR/KR – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Cris Carter, WR – 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001
Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins
Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
Roger Craig, RB – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings
Terrell Davis, RB – 1995-2001 Denver Broncos
Dermontti Dawson, C – 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers
Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Owner – 1979-2000 San Francisco 49ers
Chris Doleman, DE/LB – 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers
Kevin Greene, LB/DE – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
Charles Haley, DE/LB – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
Cortez Kennedy, DT – 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks
Curtis Martin, RB – 1995-97 New England Patriots, 1998-2005 New York Jets
Clay Matthews, LB – 1978-1993 Cleveland Browns, 1994-96 Atlanta Falcons
Karl Mecklenburg, LB – 1983-1994 Denver Broncos
Bill Parcells, Coach – 1983-1990 New York Giants, 1993-96 New England Patriots, 1997-99 New York Jets, 2003-06 Dallas Cowboys
Andre Reed, WR – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
Willie Roaf, T – 1993-2001 New Orleans Saints, 2002-05 Kansas City Chiefs
Donnie Shell, S – 1974-1987 Pittsburgh Steelers
Will Shields, G – 1993-2006 Kansas City Chiefs
Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League
Steve Tasker, ST/WR – 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills
Aeneas Williams, CB/S – 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams
Ron Wolf, Contributor – 1963-1974, 1978-1990 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, 1975-77 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 1990 New York Jets, 1991 -2001 Green Bay Packers
George Young, Contributor – 1968-1974 Baltimore Colts, 1975-78 Miami Dolphins, 1979-1997 New York Giants, 1998-2001 National Football League
2012 Final Ballot of 15 + 2 Senior:
Jerome Bettis – Running Back
Tim Brown – Wide Receiver/Kick Returner
Jack Butler* – Cornerback
Cris Carter – Wide Receiver
Dermontti Dawson – Center
Edward DeBartolo, Jr. – Owner – 1977-2000 San Francisco 49ers
Chris Doleman – Defensive End/Linebacker
Kevin Greene – Linebacker/Defensive End
Charles Haley – Defensive End/Linebacker
Cortez Kennedy – Defensive Tackle
Curtis Martin – Running Back
Bill Parcells – Coach
Andre Reed – Wide Receiver
Willie Roaf – Tackle
Will Shields – Guard
Dick Stanfel* – Guard
Aeneas Williams – Cornerback/Safety
We won't know for a little while yet which of these worthy men will make it into the HOF this year, but I'll update this blog when announcements are made. If it were up to me, and since this is my blog I think it is (ha), I would vote for:
Edward DeBartolo Jr
EDIT: Six enshrinees announced on Saturday, February 4th...
Curtis Martin, Cortez Kennedy, Chris Doleman, Willie Roaf, Dermontti Dawson, and senior Jack Butler.