Former linebacker Robert Brazile along with guard Jerry Kramer were selected as the Seniors Finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018. Brazile and Kramer were picked by the Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee who met at the Hall of Fame in Canton recently.
“I don’t know what to say…I’m speechless,” explained Brazile. “When you play our game and you love the game and you’re being recognized for something that you really enjoy and want to be the best at…I thought it was over.”
The Seniors Committee is comprised of nine members of the Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee who consider players whose careers ended at least 25 years ago. Through mail vote, the 2018 senior nominees were reduced to a final list of candidates. Then, on a rotating basis, five of the nine members meet at the Pro Football Hall of Fame to discuss each of the Seniors candidates and select the finalists.
To be elected, Brazile and Kramer must receive the same 80 percent voting support by the entire 48-member Selection Committee on “Selection Saturday.” The Hall’s Selection Committee, at its annual meeting to be held on Saturday, February 3, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minn., will consider 18 finalists, including two Seniors (Brazile and Kramer), one Contributor (to be named Friday, Aug. 25), and 15 Modern-Era Finalists (to be determined from a preliminary list announced in early-September; trimmed to 25 semifinalists in November and to 15 finalists in January). Current bylaws call for a class no smaller than four or larger than eight. The
Senior Finalists will be voted on for election independent of the other finalists.
Brazile was a preeminent linebacker in the NFL during his career that spanned from 1975 to 1984 with the Houston Oilers. Noted for his speed, size and strength, he was drafted by the Oilers in the first round, sixth player overall, of the 1975 NFL Draft.
He hit the ground running and was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1975 and was named to almost every All-Rookie team named that season.
Brazile was named first-team All-Pro four times (1976, 1978, 1979, and 1980) and was elected to seven Pro Bowls. He was also picked to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1970s.
“Dr. Doom” also held many franchise records including most consecutive games played during the regular season (147), most consecutive appearances in a Pro Bowl (7) and most Pro Bowl appearances (7).
Brazile was born on Feb. 7, 1953 in Mobile, Al. He attended Vigor High and then attended Jackson State to play football, where he was a consensus All-America selection.
After retiring from football, Brazile moved back to his hometown where he coached a minor league pro team. He then became a middle-school teacher for children with special needs. He was inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2004 and Bancorp Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.
The Black College Football Hall of Fame has a permanent home in Canton, Ohio as part of the Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village.
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The Modern-Era Nominees for the Class of 2018 will be announced on NFL Network during the “Contenders Show” on September 12, 2017 at 8 PM ET.