Over the past year, the MHR Hall of Fame Committee has been communicating with voters and getting the word out about Shannon Sharpe's historic career and we come bearing good news. We'll get to that in a moment. First, let's provide a little bit of groundwork for those who aren't familiar with the Hall of Fame induction process.
The 15 Hall of Fame finalists are as follows:
Chris Hanburger (senior committee finalist)
Les Richter (senior committee finalist)
Between 4 and 7 finalists will be chosen to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame. An 80% majority vote from the Hall of Fame committee is required to be inducted. If more than 7 finalists receive an 80% majority vote, then only the top 7 vote-getters will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame. If fewer than 4 finalists receive an 80% majority vote, then the top 4 vote-getters will be enshrined into the Hall of Fame.
That last scenario isn't likely to happen this year.
There are so many quality names on the list and I doubt that the committee will be hurting to reach 4 candidates. The challenge will be narrowing them down from 15.
The second thing you need to know is why Shannon Sharpe wasn't inducted in 2010. To answer that question, I'll show you an excerpt from an email that the MHR HOF Committee received from one of the NFL Hall of Fame voters. For privacy's sake, I'll just submit the statement.
In giving the nod to Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson, John Randle, Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith for induction, we on the 44-member committee left behind six all-decade performers: wide receivers Tim Brown and Cris Carter, tight end Shannon Sharpe, running back Roger Craig, center Dermontti Dawson and defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy.
They return to the queue in 2011 and will be joined by first-time eligibles Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Jerome Bettis, Curtis Martin and Willie Roaf.
So, the ballot for the Class of 2011 will include two of the top five rushers of all time (Bettis and Martin), two of the top five receivers of all time (Carter and Brown), a couple of eight-time Pro Bowlers (Kennedy and Sharpe), the usual assortment of all-decade performers (Craig, Dawson, Roaf, Sanders, Chris Doleman, Terrell Davis, Aeneas Williams) plus Charles Haley and his five Super Bowl rings.
Remember that the committee can only enshrine five modern era candidates at a time.
Of those candidates that the voter listed in the email, Sanders, Faulk, Bettis, Martin, Roaf, Carter, Brown, Sharpe, Kennedy, Dawson, Doleman and Haley are finalists for the Hall of fame. That email was from June, by the way. This means that the voter has successfully predicted 12 of the 15 finalists.
But we, as Broncos fans, want to know what the chances are for Shannon Sharpe this year. Right?
Well, the MHR Hall of Fame Committee asked that question. Here are a couple responses.
Shannon will get in. I don't think there's any question that he's a Hall of Famer. Whether it's in 2011 or 2012 or some other year, I can't predict.
There is no reason he hasn't made it other than it's not his time yet. It will be soon.
I would say sometime in the next three years.
I think Shannon Sharpe should make it and I believe he eventually will. Right now he's part of a group of candidates where there is a backlog that will be rectified over the next couple years.
As you can see, even a handful of Hall of Fame voters believe that Shannon Sharpe deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. The problem, however, is the voting system. There are just far too many Hall of Fame caliber candidates and too few spots for induction. It's a numbers game, not a talent game.
There's no question that Shannon Sharpe will get in. The question is... will this be the year?
Hall of Fame Class of 2011 Announcement: The Committee will begin meeting this Saturday, with the announcement to be broadcasted later that day on NFL Network at 7:00PM EST. Have your browser locked to MileHighReport all day for up to the second coverage. Be sure to follow MHR on Twitter as well - @MileHighReport
The Path of the MHR Hall of Fame Committee: Early last year the 2009 Pro Football Hall of Fame class was announced, and once again there were no Broncos inducted. There was anger and outrage, it was called a travesty, then it was called a travesty again. It was out of those posts a committee was born. No more weeping and gnashing of teeth, we're taking action. With John (Guru) advising and great help from Tim (Zappa), a committee consisting of Jezru, studbucket, and firstfan was formed with the purpose gathering data and opinions to create an organized campaign to get more Broncos in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. To see the first post in this series, go here. The second post can be found here. The third from November 2009, can be found here. After the successful campaign for Floyd Little and the celebratory post from here, here, and here, the committee passed the torch to a new slate of members. Bfree2bronc, broncosmontana and Troy (kentuckybronco) became the new faces of the committee. The mission continues. The walls of the Hall of Fame will be painted orange and blue.