No such thing as “shoo-in”
A list of 17 finalists (15 modern-era candidates and two senior nominees) will be the topic of discussion when the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Selection Committee meets in Dallas on Saturday to elect the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2011. The election results will be announced at 7 p.m. ET (6 p.m. CT) during a 90-minutes NFL Network special, live from the Super Bowl Media Center.
Earning election into the Pro Football Hall of Fame is not easy. Since the National Football League was founded in 1920, approximately 21,700 players have competed in the league. There are only 260 members who've been enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Take away the coaches and contributors and there are only 229 Hall of Fame players.
What does that mean? A quick tapping of my calculator tells me that an incoming player into the NFL has a 0.0104 percent chance of someday wearing a gold Pro Football Hall of Fame jacket when his career is over.
How about the lucky few who eventually make their way to being a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame? What is their chance of eventually having their likeness cast in bronze?
From 1970, the first year our selection process included the naming of finalists, through 2010, a total of 224 men have been finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Of that total, 202 eventually got the call to come to Canton, Ohio. That's a figure of 83 percent of all finalists who have eventually earned election to the Hall of Fame. A little less than half (100) of the men who earned election into the Hall of Fame, however, made it in their first year as a finalist.
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