Class of 2010 semifinalists announced

General Published on : 11/29/2009

 Also Fans “Voice Their Choice” 

Four first-year eligible players Tim Brown, Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith and Aeneas Williams, are among the 25 semifinalists being considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2010.  The Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee chose the 25 semifinalists from the list of 131 preliminary nominees.  Also, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has teamed up with Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation's Van Heusen brand and J.C. Penney, Inc. to ask fans, for the first time ever, to voice their choice for whom they think should be included into the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2010.  

Other than the four first-year eligible nominees, each of the remaining 21 nominees on the Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee’s list of nominees has been a semifinalist at least once prior to this year. The list of 25 includes a coach, Don Coryell, and two contributors, Art Modell and Paul Tagliabue.

The complete list of 25 modern-era semifinalists is as follows: 

 Cliff Branch, WR – 1972-1985 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders 
 Tim Brown, WR/KR – 1988-2003 Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, 2004 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
 Cris Carter, WR – 1987-89 Philadelphia Eagles, 1990-2001 Minnesota Vikings, 2002 Miami Dolphins
 Don Coryell, Coach – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
 Roger Craig, RB – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings
 Terrell Davis, RB – 1995-2001 Denver Broncos
 Dermontti Dawson, C – 1988-2000 Pittsburgh Steelers
 Richard Dent, DE – 1983-1993, 1995 Chicago Bears, 1994 San Francisco 49ers, 1996 Indianapolis Colts, 1997 Philadelphia Eagles
 Chris Doleman, DE/LB – 1985-1993, 1999 Minnesota Vikings, 1994-95 Atlanta Falcons, 1996-98 San Francisco 49ers
 Kevin Greene, LB/DE – 1985-1992 Los Angeles Rams, 1993-95 Pittsburgh Steelers, 1996, 1998-99 Carolina Panthers, 1997 San Francisco 49ers
 Russ Grimm, G – 1981-1991 Washington Redskins
 Ray Guy, P – 1973-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
 Charles Haley, DE/LB – 1986-1991, 1999 San Francisco 49ers, 1992-96 Dallas Cowboys
 Lester Hayes, CB – 1977-1986 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
 Rickey Jackson, LB – 1981-1993 New Orleans Saints, 1994-95 San Francisco 49ers
 Cortez Kennedy, DT – 1990-2000 Seattle Seahawks
 Art Modell, Owner – 1961-1995 Cleveland Browns, 1996-2003 Baltimore Ravens
John Randle, DT – 1990-2000 Minnesota Vikings, 2001-03 Seattle Seahawks
 Andre Reed, WR – 1985-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Washington Redskins
 Jerry Rice, WR – 1985-2000 San Francisco 49ers, 2001-04 Oakland Raiders, 2004 Seattle Seahawks 
 Shannon Sharpe, TE – 1990-99, 2002-03 Denver Broncos, 2000-01 Baltimore Ravens
Emmitt Smith, RB – 1990-2002 Dallas Cowboys, 2003-04 Arizona Cardinals 
 Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League
 Steve Tasker, Special Teams/WR – 1985-86 Houston Oilers, 1986-1997 Buffalo Bills
Aeneas Williams, CB/S – 1991-2000 Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals, 2001-04 St. Louis Rams

The list of 25 semifinalists will be reduced by mail ballot to 15 modern-era candidates.  That list increases to 17 finalist nominees with the inclusion of the two recommended candidates of the Hall of Fame’s Seniors Committee.  The Seniors Committee nominees, who were announced in August, are Dick LeBeau and Floyd Little. LeBeau played 14 seasons (1959-1972) at cornerback for the Detroit Lions. Little, a running back played nine seasons (1967-1975) for the Denver Broncos.
The results of the modern-era reduction vote to 15 finalists will be announced on January 7, 2010. 

To be considered for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a nominated player or coach must have been retired at least five years.  A contributor, who is a nominee who has made outstanding contributions to pro football in capacities other than playing and coaching, may still be active in his pro football career.

Although there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s current ground rules do stipulate that between four and seven new members will be selected each year. No more than five modern-era nominees can be elected in a given year and a class of six or seven enshrinees can only be achieved if one or both senior nominees are elected.

The Class of 2010 will be determined at the Selection Committee's annual meeting on Saturday, February 6, in South Florida the day before Super Bowl XLIV. The election results will be announced at 5 p.m. ET during a one-hour NFL Network special, live from the Super Bowl media headquarters.

For the first time, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has teamed up with Van Heusen to ask fans to voice their choice for whom they think should be included into the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2010.  The Van Heusen Fan’s Choice campaign which launched in September, mirrors the Hall of Fame’s selection process and will name the first-ever Fan’s Choice Class live on the NFL Network just prior to the official announcement from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

After the first cut-down and more than 220,000 votes, the Van Heusen Fan’s Choice Top 25 list includes 14 candidates who also appear on the official Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee list 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. 

Others making the Van Heusen Fan’s Choice Top 25 list who didn’t make the official Hall of Fame Selection Committee list include an athletic trainer, Otho Davis; a game official, Jim Tunney; a coach, Tom Flores; as well as former players Steve Atwater, Todd Christensen, Randall Cunningham, Ed “Too Tall” Jones, Jim Plunkett, Sterling Sharpe, Phil Simms, and Joe Theismann.

Fans are encouraged to visit daily to vote for their favorites before the next Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee reduction vote to 15 modern-era finalists that will take place in January.


Class of 2010 Selection Process

131 preliminary nominees named
Road to Canton (via South Florida) – nine-part series examining the nominees
Dick LeBeau, Floyd Little named as ’10 senior candidates
25 semifinalists by year
Selection process – how are enshrinees elected?
2010 Enshrinement tickets on sale