Legends are what the game of football is built off. Every year, a fortunate select few are immortalised in football heaven. On Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Cyrus Northrop Memorial Auditorium at the University of Minnesota, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee Meeting will commence.
Here are the 15 finalists to choose from. Senior finalists and contributors not included:
Ray Lewis, LB (1996-2012 Baltimore Ravens)
Brian Urlacher, LB (2000-2012 Chicago Bears)
Edgerrin James, RB (1999-2005 Indianapolis Colts, 2006-08 Arizona Cardinals, 2009 Seattle Seahawks)
Randy Moss, WR (1998-2004, 2010 Minnesota Vikings, 2005-06 Oakland Raiders, 2007-2010 New England Patriots, 2010 Tennessee Titans, 2012 San Francisco 49ers)
Terrell Owens, WR (1996-2003 San Francisco 49ers, 2004-05 Philadelphia Eagles, 2006-08 Dallas Cowboys, 2009 Buffalo Bills, 2010 Cincinnati Bengals)
Isaac Bruce, WR (1994-2007 Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams, 2008-09 San Francisco 49ers)
John Lynch, S (1993-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 2004-07 Denver Broncos)
Brian Dawkins, S (1996-2008 Philadelphia Eagles, 2009-2011 Denver Broncos)
Everson Walls, CB (1981-89 Dallas Cowboys, 1990-92 New York Giants, 1992-93 Cleveland Browns)
Ty Law, CB (1995-2004 New England Patriots, 2005, 2008 New York Jets, 2006-07 Kansas City Chiefs, 2009 Denver Broncos)
Tony Boselli, T (1995-2001 Jacksonville Jaguars)
Kevin Mawae, C (1994-97 Seattle Seahawks, 1998-2005 New York Jets, 2006-09 Tennessee Titans)
Joe Jacoby, T (1981-1993 Washington Redskins)
Steve Hutchinson, G (2001-05 Seattle Seahawks, 2006-2011 Minnesota Vikings, 2012 Tennessee Titans)
Alan Faneca, G (1998-2007 Pittsburgh Steelers, 2008-09 New York Jets, 2010 Arizona Cardinals)
MY PRO FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME PICKS
Terrell Owens, WR
Career stats: 219 games played. 1,078 rec., 4.92 rpg., 15,934 yds., 14.8 ypc., 72.8 ypg., 153 TD’s
A six-time Pro Bowl player with absolute freakish athletic ability and a nose for the end zone, Terrell Owens is one of the 5 most revered legends at the receiver position in the illustrious history of the NFL. Yet, voters have been very hesitant to put him in the Hall.
He has never gone to jail. He has never put his hands on a woman. He has never smoked or done any type of hard drugs. Yes. He’s fought with coaches verbally. He and Hugh Douglas had a fist fight in early November of 2005. He was horrible to Jeff Garcia and even questioned the man’s sexuality.
Nonetheless, you can’t deny his greatness and his access to the Hall of Fame simply because he’s a shrewd person. There are plenty of very shrewd, opinionated men existing in the Hall of Fame currently.
Of all of his hallmark performances over the course of his Hall of Fame caliber career, the performance in Super Bowl XXXIX was the most amazing in my opinion of any. On a fractured fibula, he hauled in 9 passes for 122 yards in the loss.
For the majority of the game, he was the fastest player on the field. No one could stay in front of him. This guy was a matchup nightmare every time he stepped on the field, healthy or not. No one could cover him in his prime.
Do the right thing, committee. Put him in.
Steve Hutchinson, G
One of the best interior offensive lineman ever, Steve Hutchinson was a monster in the trenches. A seven-time All-Pro and a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2000s, Hutchinson started a grand total of 169 games throughout his career and being an intricate piece of four division title winning teams.
Steve Hutchinson was drafted by the Seahawks with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2001 NFL draft out of the University of Michigan. He was a key member of a conference title and a Super Bowl XL appearance during the 2005 season with the Seattle Seahawks.
Another amazing stat that Hutchinson has is that he finished his career having blocked for a 1,000-yard rusher in 11 of his 12 NFL seasons.
Talk about a road grater.
John Lynch, SS
Career stats: 224 games played. 736 tackles, 26 INT’s, 13 sacks, 16 forced fumbles, 51 pass breakups, 9 fumble recoveries
Strong safety John Lynch was like a fuel efficent machine. Durable, smart, tough, and just a guy that knew how to do everything. He was like a defensive coach on the field.
A 3rd round draft pick (No. 93 overall) in the 1993 draft by way of Stanford University, John Lynch was one of the most daunting hitters in the NFL. He spent 11 seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the other 4 with the Denver Broncos.
Lynch went to the Pro Bowl 9 times, garnering two first-team All-Pro selections. He is tied for 9th all-time in NFL history for Pro Bowl appearances and is No. 2 all-time among safeties, behind former Redskins and Oliers safety Ken Houston, with 10.
He was one of the many centerpieces on the 2002 Buccaneers’ defense that defeated the Oakland Raiders 48-21 in Super Bowl XXXVII. Tampa Bay got to the playoffs five times, including two division titles with the services of Lynch. He also made the playoffs twice with the Broncos.
Ray Lewis, ILB
Career stats: 228 games played. 1,562 tackles, 41.5 sacks, 31 INT’s, 81 pass breakups, 19 forced fumbles, 20 fumble recoveries, 3 defensive TD’s
The former No. 26 overall pick in the 1996 NFL draft from the University of Miami, Ray Lewis had an astounding career and is one of the many legends to have first ballot certification. Over the course of his career, he started 227 games for the Ravens and was credited with an unprecedented eight 100-tackle plus seasons.
The 13-time Pro Bowl selection was also a Defensive Player of the Year recipient twice in his career. He was also a Super Bowl MVP when the Ravens closed the 2000 season with the title as Baltimore ambushed the New York Giants 34-7. He would win another Super Bowl in Baltimore, defeating the San Francisco 49ers by a score of 34-31 in an epic game that came down to the wire.
Known as the face of the Baltimore Ravens organization, Ray Lewis was a relentless, every down linebacker who played with incredible passion and instincts. He is also very close to the city of Baltimore. Lewis founded the ‘Ray Lewis 52 Foundation’, a nonprofit corporation whose mission is to provide personal and economic assistance to needy children.
Joe Jacoby, T
As a part of the Washington Redskins legendary offensive line of the 1980’s (The Hogs) and perhaps the greatest right tackle ever, Joe Jacoby helped the franchise win three Super Bowl rings and garner four appearances during his time with Washington.
He also holds the franchise record for most games played in the postseason with 21. Twice, the right tackle was named for the first-team All Pro in 1983 and 1987.
The most alarming and credible statistic to Jacoby’s credit in his Redskins tenure was that the team’s offense gained a solid 69,031 yards, the fourth most by any team during that time. Not to mention, at an average of 5,310 yards a season.
Jacoby started his NFL career as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Louisville. Jacoby, within a year became a full-time starter on the line. In addition to that, he had obtained snaps at every position except center. However, his main position was right tackle. He ended his career suiting up in 170 regular season games.