The pro football hall of fame opened in Canton, Ohio, on September 7, 1963. Enshrinees are selected by a 44-person committee, largely made up of sportswriters, officially known as the Board of Selectors.To be eligible for the nominating process, a player must have been retired at least five years, and as of 2007, a coach must be retired for five years. Any other contributor such as a team owner or executive can be voted in at any time. Fans may nominate any player, coach or contributor by simply writing to the Pro Football Hall of Fame via letter or email. The Selection Committee is then polled three times by mail to eventually narrow the list to 25 semifinalists: once in March, one in September, and one in October. In November, the committee then selects 15 finalists by mail balloting.The Selection Committee then meets the day before each Super Bowl game to elect a new class. To be elected, a finalist must receive at least 80 percent support from the Board, with at least four, but no more than seven, candidates being elected annually. If less than four candidates get 80 percent of the vote, then the top four vote-getters will get in that year. If more than seven get 80 percent, then only the top seven vote-getters will be inducted.
Lets take a look at the class of 2010.
Jerry Rice. Wide receiver. San Francisco 49’s.
All-time leading receiver with 22,895 receiving yards. His total is more than 7,500 yards ahead of Isaac Bruce who ranks second. Arguably the greatest player to ever play the game.
Rice’s teams went to the playoffs 15 times during his 20 seasons in the NFL. He holds 10 post-season NFL records including most career receptions (151), most career receiving yards (2,245) and most career touchdowns (22).
Rice Caught at least one pass for 274 consecutive games. The streak started in his rookie season in a game against the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 9, 1985. It was snapped in his final season went he went without a catch against the Buffalo Bills on Sept. 19, 2004.
Russ Grimm. Offensive line. Washington Redskins.
Russ Grimm and Rickey Jackson represent one of only two tandems of Hall of Famers to be inducted in the same class (2010) to have played together in college (Pitt) and drafted into the NFL in the same year (1981). The other duo was Gino Marchetti and Ollie Matson who together at the University of San Francisco, were drafted into the NFL in 1952, and elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972.
Floyd Little. Running back. Denver Broncos.
To say that Floyd Little “was” the Denver Broncos during his career is not an understatement. This is evidenced by the fact that even though the team never made the playoffs, he was one of the most productive players in pro football. He amassed more all-purpose yards (12,157) in his career that spanned from 1967 to 1975 than any other player during that period.
Emmitt Smith. Running back. Dallas Cowboys.
The NFL’s all-time leading rusher, is the 12th long-time member of the Dallas Cowboys elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Emmitt registered an NFL record 78 games with 100 or more yards rushing. This was a trend he continued from his high school and college playing days. At Escambia High School Smith logged 45 career 100- yard games and added an additional 25 in three years at the University of Florida.
Rickey Jackson. Linebacker. New Orleans Saints.
Two decades after the franchise was founded, the New Orleans Saints made the playoffs for the first time in 1987. Rickey Jackson was an integral part of his team’s winning ways that season. He continued his high level of play in the postseason with 10 tackles, one sack, and two passes defensed in the 1987 NFC Wild Card Game against the Minnesota Vikings on Jan. 3, 1988. Despite his efforts the Saints fell to the Vikings, 44-10.
Dick LeBeau. Cornerback. Detroit Lions.
Dick LeBeau is the 14th long-time member of the Detroit Lions to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
LeBeau is one of only six players in NFL history to register 60 interceptions over a 12-year span. He is one of only two cornerbacks to average five picks per season.
His 62 interceptions came off of throws by 29 different quarterbacks. Eighteen of his interceptions were off of four Hall of Famers: Johnny Unitas (7), Bart Starr (7), Fran Tarkenton (3), and Y.A. Tittle (1).
John Randle. Defensive tackle. Minnesota Vikings.
the 14th undrafted free agent in the Hall of Fame, is the first player who played primarily as a defensive tackle to be elected to the Hall of Fame since Randy White in 1994. Despite playing inside on the defensive line, Randle amassed 137.5 career sacks which ranks him tied for 6th overall in NFL history. His 114 sacks in a Vikings uniform still places him third all-time in franchise history.
No doubt this will be another great hall of fame ceremony with many emotional and commical moments along the way. To me the Hall of fame ceremony not only pays tribute to the great athletes we love so much but it also marks the start of the NFL season with the Hall of fame game being the first pre season game played. The game between the Cowboys and Bengals will kick off Sunday night to bring an end to a fantastic weekend.