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2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame: Kurt Warner, Seau, Pace among 15 finalists

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  • 2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame: Kurt Warner, Seau, Pace among 15 finalists

    2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame: Kurt Warner, Seau, Pace among 15 finalists

    By John Breech | CBSSports.com





    The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced its 15 finalists for 2015. (USATSI)
    Maybe Kurt Warner didn't want to play for the Cardinals in 2014 because he didn't want to hurt his Hall of Fame chances.
    The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced on Thursday that the former Cardinals quarterback has been named one of its 15 finalists for the class of 2015.
    If Warner had returned to play in 2014, he wouldn't have been eligible for the Hall of Fame until 2019.
    Out of the 15 finalists, Warner is one of only three players -- along with Junior Seau and Orlando Pace -- who's eligible for the first time.
    The 15 finalists are listed below, followed by the 10 semifinalists who didn't make the cut. We've also including a look at the five players we feel have the best chance of getting inducted.
    Pro Football Hall of Fame Finalists
    Tim Brown, WR/KR -- 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: If you feel like Tim Brown's a finalist every year, you're not too far off. The nine-time Pro Bowler has been a finalist six years in a row, including this season. However, with Cris Carter now in the Hall (2013) and Andre Reed being inducted in 2014, it's look like Brown might finally be able to escape the wide receiver logjam.
    It's hard to argue with what Brown did in his career, he has the fifth most receptions (1,094) in NFL history, the sixth most receiving yards (14,934) and is tied with Hall of Famer Steve Largent for the seventh most touchdown catches (100). Brown accomplished all of this despite tearing the MCL and PCL in his left knee in Week 1 of 1989, only his second year in the league.
    When you compare Brown to other Hall of Fame receivers, keep in mind that Brown put up his huge numbers despite catching passes from the likes of Jay Schroeder, Jeff Hostetler, Jeff George and Donald Hollas.
    Marvin Harrison is the only other receiver to be named a finalist this year and keep in mind, he caught passes from Peyton Manning.
    Charles Haley, DE/LB -- 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys: Haley's been having kind of the same problem as Brown. Like Brown, the five-time Pro Bowler has been a finalist every year since 2010 and also like Brown, Haley hasn't gotten in because there's been defensive lineman who are arguably more deserving.
    Since 2010, John Randle, Chris Doleman, Richard Dent, Warren Sapp and Michael Strahan have all been elected. This could finally be the year where Haley joins them.
    If getting into the Hall of Fame was based on how many Super Bowl rings you have, Haley would've been a first-ballot Hall of Famer. In his 13-year career, Haley played on five Super Bowl winning teams.
    Orlando Pace, T -- 1997-2008 St. Louis Rams, 2009 Chicago Bears: The seven-time Pro Bowler was arguably one of the three best left tackles of the past 20 years, along with Walter Jones and Jonathan Ogden. Ogden (2013) and Jones (2014) were both recently voted into the Hall of Fame and there's no reason Pace shouldn't join them in 2015.
    Junior Seau, LB -- 1990-2002 San Diego Chargers, 2003-05 Miami Dolphins, 2006-09 New England Patriots: Unless you're a kicker or a quarterback, it's almost impossible to play in the NFL for 20 seasons and be highly productive for every single one of those years, but that's pretty much what Seau did. The fifth overall pick in the 1990 NFL Draft had more sacks in his 18th season than he did in his rookie season.
    The now-deceased linebacker was voted to 12 Pro Bowls during his career. The most impressive part of that stat is that those 12 Pro Bowls came in 12 consective seasons (1991-2002).
    Kurt Warner, QB -- 1998-2003 St. Louis Rams, 2004 New York Giants, 2005-09 Arizona Cardinals: The Hall of Fame is in a quarterback drought and Warner looks like the man to end it. A quarterback hasn't been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame since Troy Aikman and Warren Moon were both enshrined in 2006.
    Back to Warner though, it's almost unfathomable to imagine that we're talking about inducting a guy who played for three teams from 2002 to 2006 and went 8-22 as a starter in that time period.
    That 2002-06 span though is what makes Warner's two MVP seasons and three Super Bowl appearances so remarkable.
    Warner took the 1999 Rams -- who went 4-12 in 1998 -- and led that team to a Super Bowl win. Then he led the Rams back to the Super Bowl in 2001.
    A season almost as improbable as the Rams 1999 season was the Cardinals 2008 season when Warner led Arizona to Super Bowl XLIII. Including the 2014 season, the Cardinals have made the playoffs exactly four times since moving to Arizona before the 1988 season and two of those appearances were led by Warner.
    Other Hall of Fame Finalists
    Morten Andersen, K1982-1994 New Orleans Saints, 1995-2000, 2006-07 Atlanta Falcons, 2001 New York Giants, 2002-03 Kansas City Chiefs, 2004 Minnesota Vikings
    Jerome BettisPittsburgh Steelers
    Don CoryellTerrell DavisDenver Broncos
    Tony DungyIndianapolis Colts
    Kevin GreeneCarolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
    Marvin HarrisonJimmy JohnsonJohn LynchWill ShieldsHall of Fame selection process stipulates that the number of modern-day inductees is capped at five. This means a maximum of seven players can be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The number usually falls between four and seven.
    The 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame class will be announced in a television special that's set to air on Jan. 31 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.
    The list of 15 finalists above was trimmed down from 26 semifinalists, here's the 11 who didn't make the cut this year:


    2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame: Kurt Warner, Seau, Pace among 15 finalists - CBSSports.com


    Contact me at dirty@handicappershideaway.com

  • #2
    Hall of Fame won't allow Junior Seau's family to speak at induction

    By John Breech | CBSSports.com





    Before he died, Junior Seau told his family that if he was ever inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he wanted his daughter Sydney to give his induction speech.
    However, as of right now, it doesn't look like that's going to happen.
    A spokesman for the Hall of Fame told the New York Times that Sydney won't be allowed to speak due to a recent policy change. Under the new policy, deceased inductees are introduced with a video that's put together by NFL Network.
    Living inductees are also introduced by a video, but after the video's shown, a presenter comes out on stage and gives what usually ends up being a pretty emotional speech.
    Presenters used to come out on stage to introduce deceased inductees, but the HoF changed its policy "a few years ago."
    "There was an acceptance speech for deceased players but it got redundant," HoF spokesman Joe Horrigan told the NYT. "The honor is supposed to be for the individual."
    Horrigan emphasized to the Times that Seau's suicide and his family's pending lawsuit against the NFL had nothing to do with the decision.
    On the other hand, HOF executive director David Baker specifically mentioned those things as why it wouldn't make sense for Sydney to give a speech.
    "We're not the NFL, but the Pro Football Hall of Fame," Baker said. "Our mission is to honor the heroes of the game and Junior is a hero of the game. We're going to celebrate his life, not the death and other issues."
    Seau committed suicide in May 2012 -- and now there's the lawsuit.
    The Seau family had the option of accepting a $4 million payment that was offered to them under the NFL's proposed concussion settlement, however, the family wanted no part of that money. Instead, they filed a wrongful death lawsuit in hopes of getting accountability out of the NFL.
    As for the speech itself, Seau's daughter insists she only wants to talk about his career.
    "It's frustrating because the induction is for my father and for the other players, but then to not be able to speak, it's painful,” Sydney said. "I just want to give the speech he would have given. It wasn't going to be about this mess. My speech was solely about him."
    Sydney Seau is on Twitter and her last tweet is from five months ago and it came just one day after she found out her dad had made it to the Hall of Fame.





    The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 8.
    Junior Seau wanted his daughter to give his Hall of Fame induction speech. (Instagram)


    Hall of Fame won't allow Junior Seau's family to speak at induction - CBSSports.com


    Contact me at dirty@handicappershideaway.com

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