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2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame: Faneca denied entry, but several Steelers ties within class

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Alan Faneca, in his first year of Hall of Fame eligibility, was not chosen as a member of the class of 2016. Two inductees with Steelers ties are on the list, however.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On the eve of Super Bowl 50, Pittsburgh Steelers guard Alan Faneca learned he was NOT?? chosen as member of the Class of 2016. This year's inductees include quarterback Brett Favre, wide receiver Marvin Harrison, tackle Orlando Pace, and former Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy, who also coached for the Steelers under Chuck Noll. The late Ken Stabler of the Oakland Raiders will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as a senior along with guard Dick Stanfel.

Linebacker Kevin Green was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in the fifth round of the 1985 draft. He stayed with the organization until 1992 when he began playing with the Pittsburgh Steelers, staying with the organization until 1995. He went on to play with both the Carolina Panthers and the San Francisco 49ers. He eventually retired in 1999, but not before recording 160 sacks, the most ever by a linebacker. His only Super Bowl victory was as a coach of the Green Bay Packers, the year they took on the Steelers in Super Bowl XLV. Greene is currently coaching high school football so that he can spend more time with his family, but has indicated he will return to the NFL once his children are older.

Faneca was a long shot to make the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. Offensive linemen are some of the most important men on the field, but their job description is far less flashy and glamorous than quarterbacks, receivers, and running backs. Faneca ensured the success of 2015 Hall of Fame inductee, running back Jerome Bettis who said of the guard in July  via Pro Football Talk, "He deserves to be in the Hall of Fame." Running backs know that much of their productivity depends on the effectiveness of their blockers. When Emmitt Smith was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2010, he tearfully  thanked Daryl Johnston for making his Hall of Fame moment possible:

While Faneca looks ahead to next year and another shot at Hall of Fame glory, he has plenty of new interests to keep him occupied. Faneca is an avid marathoner, dropping over 100 pounds since he retired from football. He is also a spokesperson for epilepsy awareness, an issue close to his heart since he himself suffers from the neurological condition.