The Class of 2013 Hall of Fame was announced Saturday, with Larry Allen, Cris Carter, Curley Culp, Jonathon Ogden, Bill Parcells, Dave Robinson and Warren Sapp making the cut.
The final 10 candidates were Michael Strahan, Parcells, Allen, Jerome Bettis, Carter, Charles Haley, Ogden, Andre Reed, Sapp and Aeneas Williams.
While several of the finalists were strong holdovers from previous votes, this was a strong class of former players who were in their first year of eligibility. In addition to finalists Ogden, Allen, Strahan and Sapp, first-year eligible candidates included safety John Lynch, running back Priest Holmes, quarterback Steve McNair and kicker Morten Andersen.
The finalists also again included three wide receivers – Cris Carter, Tim Brown and Andre Reed – who reportedly each have factions of support among Hall of Fame voters but who individually had not been able to garner enough support to be elected.
This year’s vote did/did not clear up that logjam, which only will/would have gotten tighter with Marvin Harrison gaining eligibility next year and guys like Terrell Owens, Torry Holt and Hines Ward waiting in the wings a few years down the road.
The enshrinees were selected from a list of 15 finalists that also included Tim Brown, Eddie DeBartolo, Kevin Greene, Art Modell, and Will Sheilds. Culp and Robinson were nominated by the Hall’s senior committee and went directly to the final stage for an up or down vote.
The process started in September, when the Hall of Fame announced 127 modern-era nominees for the Hall. In late November, the committee of voters narrowed that initial list down to 27 semifinalists. The 15 finalists were announced in mid-January. Voters held discussions throughout the day Saturday, first narrowing the 15 finalists to 10 and then from 10 to five. The last five candidates then received an up or down vote. The class of 2013 will be enshrined on Saturday, August 3 in Canton, Ohio.
The 2012 Hall of Fame class included Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Willie Roaf and senior candidate Jack Butler. The other senior nominee, Dick Stanfel, was not elected.