From Fort Lauderdale, Florida
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2010 includes the leading receiver and rusher in NFL history. The group includes a Hog and a guy who painted his face before most games.
WR Jerry Rice and RB Emmitt Smith led the full class of seven new members that was decided during a seven-hour meeting of the Hall’s Board of Selectors on Saturday at the Ft. Lauderdale Convention Center.
Joining Rice and Smith were Washington Redskins guard Russ Grimm, New Orleans linebacker Ricky Jackson and Minnesota defensive lineman John Randle. Also joining the group were both seniors nominees, Detroit DB Dick LeBeau and Denver RB Floyd Little.
The discussion involving Rice and Smith lasted a combined 10 seconds, as they were mortal locks.
The rest of the meeting was filled with lively debate on the other 15 names in front of the group, as the 44 voting members struggled with cutting the field to the maximum seven inductees.
The modern era 15 nominees were: Rice, Smith, Grimm, Jackson, Randle, WR Tim Brown, WR Chris Carter, head coach Don Coryell, C Dermontti Dawson, DE Richard Dent, DE/LB Charles Haley, DT Cortez Kennedy, WR Andre Reed and TE Shannon Sharpe.
Those 15 were cut to 10, with Brown, Carter, Coryell, Craig and Haley eliminated.
That group of 10 was then voted down to five, with Dawson, Dent, Kennedy, Reed and Sharpe eliminated.
That left five names and the vote on those were yes or no, with induction depending on each player receiving 80 percent of the vote.
As a member of the board of selectors, there is only so much information that I can reveal from the meeting. I will have more on Monday, but the candidates that generated the most discussion were Coryell and Little.