Fans braved the rain on Sunday prior to the New York Giants-Philadelphia Eagles game. Those on hand at the free event as part of the Van Heusen/JC Penney Fan's Choice Tour were urged to cast their ballot for who they believed should be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2010.
A panel that included Hall of Famers Harry Carson and John Riggins along with former NFL stars Carl Banks and Jim Burt discussed among other topics their picks for the Class of 2010, the role special contributors and their induction into the Hall of Fame and the number of offensive players in the Hall versus defense.
The Week 14 stop was the fifth in a series of Fan's Choce events held at an NFL stadium during the season.
Highlights from the discussion include:
Harry Carson talked about being in the Hall of Fame and stated, “Making it into the Hall of Fame is the ultimate honor when you play football.”
Ray Guy is currently number one in the Fan’s Choice poll and the panelists discussed the role of special teams players in the Hall. In regards to Guy, Banks said, “He had skills that punters these days would kill to have. Ray Guy is the gold standard of punting.”
Burt made a case for Phil Simms, who is currently on the Fan’s Choice list, but not on the Board of Selectors list, “Phil Simms not only won a Super Bowl…he’s done some great things are should definitely be recognized.”
This marks the first time that fans are being asked to voice their choice for the players they think should be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The fans can vote for the Class of 2010 at the dedicated fan forum at www.fanschoice.com and although the fan’s vote does not count toward the official selection, the Hall will hear what the fans have to say and the Fan’s Choice will be revealed on the NFL Network on February 6, 2010 in Miami.
The Fan’s Choice campaign selection process mirrors that of the Board of Selectors and on November 28, 2009, the list was cut down from 131 candidates to the Top 25. Fans cite 11 candidates that did NOT make the Board of Selectors list and those left off the Selectors list but still in the running for the Fan’s Choice Class include: Quarterbacks Randall Cunningham, Jim Plunkett, Phil Simms and Joe Theismann, defensive back Steve Atwater, tight end Todd Christensen, defensive lineman Ed “Too Tall” Jones, wide receiver Sterling Sharpe, head coach Tom Flores, game official Jim Tunney, and athletic trainer Otho Davis.
The fans and Selectors did however agree on 14 candidates including: Cliff Branch, Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Richard Dent, Kevin Greene, Ray Guy, Charles Haley, Lester Hayes, John Randle, Andre Reed, Jerry Rice, Shannon Sharpe, Emmitt Smith, and Steve Tasker.
Over 433,000 votes have been cast since the website’s launch on September 19, 2009, and the top 10 currently includes:
1. Jerry Rice
2. Ray Guy
3. Tim Brown
4. Emmitt Smith
5. Jim Plunkett
6. Lester Hayes
7. Cliff Branch
8. Tom Flores
9. Todd Christensen
10. Cris Carter
For additional information about the campaign please visit www.fanschoice.com.
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