Will the second time be the charm for Pro Football Hall of Fame hopeful Michael Strahan? The former great New York Giants' defensive end, snubbed for Hall of Fame honors a year ago, is one of 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014.
Hall of Fame voters meet Saturday to select this year's enshrinees. Many expected Strahan to be selected last year, when he was a finalist in his first year of eligibility. He lost out, however, as Bill Parcells, Warren Sapp, Jonathan Ogden, Dave Robinson, Larry Allen, Curley Culp and Cris Carter were selected.
Yours truly did not take the news well last year when Strahan did not make it. Here is part of what I wrote:
I am not taking the news as well as the former New York Giants defensive end. As Gregg Rosenthal of NFL.com wrote "It's hard to believe" Strahan and his 141.5 career sacks and seven Pro Bowls were not deemed Hall worthy.
Parcells got in this year, but I remember last year having to listen to reams of excuses from Hall of Fame selection committee members about why he didn't get in. Coaches should never take Hall of Fame spots away from players was a common one.
This year the excuses have already started in relation to the snub of Strahan. Among those floated Saturday night is that there has to be a "pecking order" and that Strahan got bumped because three other players (Warren Sapp, larry Allen and Jonathan Ogden) made it on their first try.
Whatever happened to the best players get elected? Period. Shouldn't that be the criteria? I don't care how many years he waited for selection, and I'm not trying to offend him, but Cris Carter was not a better NFL player than Strahan. Not close. To put him in mostly because he's waited a long time and bypass Strahan is a travesty of justice. Sapp was not a better player than Strahan, either. You can't put everyone in, of course. I get that, but if Sapp is a Hall of Famer so is Strahan.
I am trying to leave Sapp and his long-running feud with Strahan out of the equation, but it is difficult not to compare the two players when it comes to career accomplishments, As you can see below, they are largely identical:
Sapp -- Seven-time Pro Bowler, four-time first-team All-Pro in 13 seasons; 96.5 career sacks; 1999 Defensive Player of the Year; All-Decade Team for the 1990s and 2000s.
Strahan -- Seven-time Pro Bowler, four-time first-team All-Pro in 15 seasons; 141.5 career sacks and the single season sack record of 22.5; Unanimous NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2001; All-Decade Team for the 2000s.
Strahan reportedly is not sweating the results:
"For me, I don't worry about something I can't control. I just don't. I've learned that it's less stress in your life, and I'm trying to live a long time."
Here is the full list of Class of 2014 Hall of Fame finalists in addition to Strahan. The list includes Senior nominees:
Here is the full list of nominees in addition to Strahan:
PK Morten Anderson, RB Jerome Bettis, LB Derrick Brooks, WR Tim Brown, owner Edward DeBartolo Jr., coach Tony Dungy, DE Kevin Greene, P Ray Guy (senior nominee), DE Charles Haley, WR Marvin Harrison, De Claude Humphrey (senior nominee), OT Walter Jones, S John Lynch, WR Andre Reed, OG Will Shields, CB/S Aeneas Williams.
Out of that list it would be hard for me to believe the Hall of Fame voters, a list of whom you can find here, could by pass Strahan for a second straight year.
Before the field of modern-day semifinalists was whittled from 25 to 15, Elliott Harrison of NFL.com put together a 'Hall of Fame Power Rankings' post, listing Strahan No. 2 overall. He wrote:
Many were surprised that Strahan missed the cut last year. From what I've heard, that will not happen this time around; the single-season record holder for sacks will be donning a gold jacket come August.
The selection process stipulates that between four and seven nominees can be selected for the Hall of Fame each year, with a maximum of five modern-day nominees. The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014 will be announced on FOX at 8 p.m. ET Saturday.
Is there any doubt in your mind that Strahan will get in? Who else will be selected?