The Pro Football Hall of Fame will be announcing its reduction vote Friday, January 8, which will reduce the number of Hall of Fame finalists from 25 down to 15. The announcement will be made at 1pm PT on the NFL Network.
Currently there are five former Raiders in the top 25: Jerry Rice, Ray Guy, Tim Brown, Lester Hayes, and Cliff Branch.
This year, for the first time ever, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has been asking fans to voice their choice for whom they think should be included into the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2010.
After the first cut-down and more than 220,000 votes, the Van Heusen Fan's Choice Top 25 list included 14 candidates who also appeared on the official Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee list, 5 of whom are former Raiders. Expectedly the number one overall vote getter was Jerry Rice followed by Emmitt Smith. After that, Ray Guy came in at #3 with Tim Brown at #5, Lester Hayes at #9, and Cliff Branch at #10.
Other Raiders, despite making the Van Heusen Fan's Choice Top 25 list, who didn't make the official Hall of Fame Selection Committee list include Tom Flores, Todd Christensen, and Jim Plunkett.
Fan voting has continued since the first 25 finalists were announced. And that included those finalists that didn't make the cut. The results have been staggering in support for Raider nominees, including those who are no longer eligible for the 2010 class.
As of the day before the reduction vote, the top ten vote getters on the Van Heusen fan's choice site are as follows:
1. Ray Guy
2. Tim Brown
3. Jim Plunkett
4. Jerry Rice
5. Lester Hayes
6. Emmitt Smith
7. Tom Flores
8. Cliff Branch
9. Todd Christensen
10. Cris Carter
When 8 of the top ten vote getters are former Raiders, that is some serious representing by the Raider Nation. That is truly impressive. Not to mention the feeling around the football world that several long time eligible former Raiders deserve their enshrinement.
Plunkett received the most votes of any vote getter who didn't make the list of finalists. Which says that football fans also think it is time for the only 2 time Super Bowl winning quarterback not in the Hall of Fame, to have his day. Unfortunately the committee will not allow that to happen. Not this year or for the last 20 years.
From here the vote will be cut down to 15 modern-era finalists. This means you have one more day to vote for your favorite players at www.fanschoice.com.
Out of these finalists, it will come down to likely between 4 and 5 from the list for induction into the Hall of Fame.
The Class of 2010 will be determined at the Selection Committee's annual meeting on Saturday, February 6, in South Florida the day before Super Bowl XLIV. The election results will be announced at 5 p.m. ET during a one-hour NFL Network special, live from the Super Bowl media headquarters.
My top three top choices are Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Ray Guy. The three greatest players at their respective positions seemed to me like a good place to start.