Today in Arizona (take off your rainbow shades!), possibly even at this very moment (time zones, people!), the Pro Football Hall of Fame's 46-member selection committee is meeting to decide the fate of the 18 finalists for the Class of 2015 inductees.
Local leg-end Morten Andersen, who kicked FGs and XPs for the New Orleans Saints from 1982-94 in the first leg of his 25-year NFL career, is a finalist in his third year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame. He seeks to become the HOF's second placekicker and third overall legman, following in the footsteps of the great Jan Stenerud and Ray Guy. Andersen, who is the leading scorer in NFL history, has kicked the most FGs and played in the most games in NFL history, while being named to the NFL's All-Decade Teams of both the 1980s and 1990s.
The selection committee consists of a media representative from each NFL team's city (Jeff Duncan is ours), one rep from the Pro Football Writers of America, and then 13 at-large members. These guys will sit in what I imagine to be a deeply-curtained, smoke-filled room with lots of former USFL players' heads stuffed and mounted on the walls while they get busy trimming the list down. Those nominees who receive affirmative votes from 80% of the committee members are in the HOF.
First they will discuss and vote on the single Senior Nominee (Minnesota Vikings C Mick Tingelhoff) and the two Contributor Nominees (GMs Bill Polian and Ron Wolf).
Next, a vote is held to reduce the modern-era finalist list from 15 to 10 (clicking that hot link takes you to a page where you can not only read the full list of 18 finalists, but also vote for your very own HOF selections in a fan contest). Then another vote halves that list to five. Finally, the remaining candidates are voted on individually in a YES/NO format, and those who receive YES votes from 80% of the committee members will get an ugly yellow jacket in August.
The results of this selection meeting will be announced tonight as part of the NFL Honors awards show, which pre-records this afternoon, and then airs nationally at 9:00 pm Eastern time on NBC. It is preceded by a "red carpet special" at 8:00 pm in an effort to convince us this indulgent, self-congratulatory s***show is a SIGNIFICANT EVENT OF MAJOR IMPORTANCE. Those of you interested in hot wives and girlfriends/boyfriends of NFL "celebrities" should be sure to tune in early for this one. The Chiefs' official site has posted the players, coaches and "talent" expected to appear on the red carpet HERE.
Now that you know how things are going down today, what do you think about The Great Dane's chances of getting in this year? Do you even care? How many @clever@ kicking puns can you count in this post? Do you see any pun chances I missed out on above? Will you watch the NFL Honors tonight?
Let me know in the comment section if you'd be interested in an Open Thread for tonight's festivities...
I'll be keeping an eye on Duncan's Twitter-feed to see if he clandestinely leaks any juicy info on the meeting proceedings during the day. I should probably follow Gregg Wiliams, too, to see if Dunc uses him to get the news out (lulz).