By Liam Day
Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Roger Staubach. All of these greats have one thing in common, the prestigious award of the Hall of Fame enshrinement into Canton, Ohio. Most people wouldn't even know of these athletes if there wasn't a Pro Football Hall of Fame. This year, there will be multiple first ballot Hall of Famers to to take the final step to greatness. I will be naming the five greats that should be announced this coming August.
Among the final 15 players to be inducted, only five will be chosen this year. A few first ballot Hall of Fame defensive players should already have their spot reserved. These two are considered to be the scariest linebackers of all time. Ray Lewis played his whole career with the Baltimore Ravens, bringing them two Lombardi trophies, two Defensive Player of the Year awards, and 13 Pro Bowl appearances. He has been an inspiration in the league by his speeches, his most famous being, “Wins and losses come a dime a dozen. But effort, nobody can judge that...because effort is between you and you.” The other fearsome backer is Brian Urlacher. He was also a 13 year loyal team member for the Chicago Bears. He earned himself multiple awards including Defensive Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, eight Pro Bowls and has the Bears franchise record for all-time tackles.
The only offensive player in my opinion that should have a red carpet waiting for him in Canton is wide-receiver, Randy Moss. When it comes to greatness, Moss has everything you could possibly ask for. He has the third most 1,000 receiving yard seasons, the record for most touchdowns in a season, six Pro Bowls, and has implanted his name in the Minnesota Vikings’ Ring of Honor. New York Times Sports Writer, Victor Mather said, “New nominees always tend to have an edge, and Moss and Lewis look particularly compelling.” Not to mention he has established his own signature move called, “getting Mossed.” He now has his own segment on SportsCenter where he highlights the week's best “Mosses”. Glenelg High School Sophomore, Nate Swales pointed out, “People don't even realize that he was the one who created that term when they use it. He’s 100% a Hall of Famer.” Randy Moss deserves to be a first ballot Hall of Famer without a doubt, but there are a few players that aren't so sure they will take their final step this year.
Now that I’ve given my obvious picks for this years inductees, only two more spots remain and 12 other players to choose from. One of my picks is Eagles Safety, Brian Dawkins. Dawkins has made it to nine Pro Bowls in his 15 year career. Quarterback, Donovan Mcnabb was a long-time teammate of Dawkins and he simply stated, “Dawkins played during the same time period as Troy Polamalu, Ed Reed, and before Eric Berry, who’s only played five full seasons by the way, and is measurably better than all of them.” With almost 40 interceptions and over 1,000 tackles, Brian Dawkins statline alone should compare to those of a HOF safety. GHS Freshman, Greg D'Ascenzo, said, “Brian Dawkins is a top five all time Safety, he could literally do everything.” He is also the only safety in NFL history to have 25 or more interceptions, sacks, and fumble recoveries. Taking a look at the less glamorous positions, one of the more important aspects of a Hall of Famer that is overlooked is consistency over a long career. Offensive guard, Steve Hutchinson, did this over a 13 year career earning him seven trips to the Pro Bowl and being on the NFL All-Pro team five times. Although offensive lineman struggle to make in these inductions with not many stats to look at, Hutchinson was a top tier linemen for his whole career.
The Hall of Fame induction often has one pick that shocks the crowd. Assuming that doesn't happen this year, these five players should be enshrined this coming August.