As most have heard by now, former Pittsburgh Steelers guard Alan Faneca did not get selected as a member of the 2017 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. Instead, he was passed over for the following individuals:
Congratulations to Hall of Famers LaDainian Tomlinson, Terrell Davis, Kurt Warner, Jason Taylor, Morten Andersen, Jerry Jones, Kenny Easley.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 5, 2017
You won’t hear any complaints from me when it comes to most of the players above. I certainly feel LaDanian Tomlinson and Terrell Davis were worthy of their place in Canton, OH. I also feel Kurt Warner and Jason Taylor are Hall of Fame players, but the amount of waiting for some players, and none for others, certainly makes me scratch my head.
However, while I see a kicker, Morten Anderson, get enshrined before an All-Pro, perennial Pro Bowl guard like Alan Faneca, it makes me really wonder what is going on with the process.
This isn’t a witch hunt for kickers to not be enshrined, but Faneca did plenty for the Steelers, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals to have his bust immortalized in those hallowed halls of the Hall of Fame.
Instead, another year passes and you have to wonder when Faneca will finally break through. This is his second year being at least a semi-finalist, and next year’s first-time Hall of Fame eligible class for 2018 shows there is no gimme he will get the call before Super Bowl 52.
Take a look at next year’s first-year eligible players, courtesy of ESPN’s Adam Schefter:
1st Time HOF Eligibles for Class of 2018:— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 5, 2017
LB Ray Lewis
WR Randy Moss
G Steve Hutchison
DE Richard Seymour
LB Brian Urlacher
CB Ronde Barber
The biggest change is Faneca will have direct competition with Steve Hutchison, who many believe was one of the greatest guards of his era, the same position Faneca played.
I’ve always felt it is more difficult for linemen to get into the Hall of Fame since they don’t have the statistics and air time to give them the credit they truly deserve in comparison to the skill position players. Most of the time they have to rely on the running backs they blocked for to provide the statistics they desire for enshrinement.
Faneca paved the way for the likes of Jerome Bettis, Willie Parker and a slew of other backs with his time in the black and gold. Having Bettis’ open endorsement should certainly help him get a gold jacket eventually, but just how long will it take?