If the Pro Football Hall-of-Fame’s proposed idea for a Centennial Class in 2020 is approved Friday, there will be 10 seniors entering Canton next year.
But while that seems like a substantial number, it barely includes the litany of qualified seniors waiting to hear their names called. Nevertheless, it’s a start – if only for one year – of trying to reduce an absurdly long list of Hall-of-Fame worthy names.
That’s the good news. The bad: With so many qualified players (and there are 65 all-decade choices, according to our Rick Gosselin), how do we determine which 10 those are?
That’s up to the Hall, which has dropped no hints as to how or when the list will be compiled and voted upon – and won’t until after the idea is brought before the Hall’s board of directors (and likely approved) at the end of this week.
In the meantime, plenty of people are making recommendations, with none more informed than NFL historian Chris Willis of Pro Football Journal, who has drawn us a comprehensive map to the most deserving players from the pre-World War II era.
The head of the Research Library at NFL Films, Willis recently named his first-and-second-teams of all-stars from the period, and list that could … no, should … serve as reference material for all those thinking about filling out their 2020 ballots.
Sammy Baugh is on it. So are Bronco Nagurski, Don Hutson and Red Grange – household names that became Hall-of-Fame inductees. But so are others that, in all likelihood, you don’t know … and that voters might not, either.
Which is why we recommend that anyone interested in the Class of 2020 seniors to start taking notes by reading below.