Brown, Bettis Miss Hall of Fame

Two Notre Dame legends who were finalists for this year’s NFL Hall of Fame class will have to wait a least another year to be fit for their gold jacket and ticket to Canton.  Both Jerome Bettis and Tim Brown were not among the seven members selected for enshrinement in July.

jerome bettis hof
Jerome Bettis is one of two Notre Dame legends who missed out on this year's NFL Hall of Fame class on Saturday. (Photo - Icon SMI)

Brown and Bettis were part of a group of 17 finalists from which a maximum of five could be selected for enshrinement with another two members eligible to be selected by the senior committee.  The five who were selected from this year’s finalists were Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Richard Dent, Ed Sabol (NFL Films founder), and Shannon Sharpe.  Les Richter and Chris Hanburger were the two members selected by the senior committee.

It’s hard to argue with any of the selections.  Dent was one of the premier pass rushers of the 80’s and a member of the most dominant defense the NFL has ever seen.  Sanders was one of the best cornerbacks and returnmen the NFL has ever seen. Faulk changed the running back position while he was in the league opening doors for smaller, athletic backs like Brian Westrbook and Chris Johnson. Sharpe was the best at his position throughout the 90’s and Sabol literally changed the way we watch the NFL.

Mike Wilbon actually had an outstanding article on Saturday for ESPN talking about Sabol’s contributions to the game.  He made the point that in the NBA there are so many moments that fans have not seen because footage just doesn’t exist like it does with the NFL.

Earlier in the day Saturday the list of 17 finalists was trimmed to 10.  Brown and Bettis both missed this cut as well.

For Brown, enshrinement could take a few more years.  Both Andre Reed and Cris Carter have similar resumes to Brown and have been seeking enshrinement for years as well.  Only Reed made the cut to 10 finalists among the three receivers.  As more wide receivers begin to retire from the pass happy offenses that have developed in the NFL, more and more worthy receivers will continue to be eligible.

On the hand, for Bettis enshrinement might not be as difficult as NFL teams lean more on multiple running back sets and less on the featured, workhorse back mentality that was prevalent in the league for so many years.  Bettis will be up against Curtis Martin, who did make the cut to 10, again next year though.

Both should eventually be elected although it will take some more time.  The Hall of Fame in the NFL is much harder to get into than the other major leagues due to the sheer number of players.  NFL teams feature a roster of 53 players with 24 starters compared to say 25 player rosters with 14 starters (including closers) in Major League Baseball or 12 player rosters with 5 starters in the NBA.

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  1. If Big Lou is really 6’3″ 350pounds…..WHO IS GOING TO MOVE HIM?? Carlo and Manti must be pissing themselves at the thought of being able to run free while Big Lou takes the center and both guards on…with all the speed coming off the edge too!!!!!! I CAN’T WAIT!!!!

  2. Just got back from KPAX. How is everyone doing? When I left there was mass hysteria, backbiting, name calling, mudslinging.

    I guess it’s true what they say. Winning cures all ills.

    Happy St.Patrick’s day to all my fellow Irish Micks out there!
    Bring us another Guniess laddy!


    1. Happy St Pat’s to you as well Shaz. The one day of the year when it is, in fact, easy being green.

      As to the state of the board, don’t worry. Versus is airing the spring game. So there will be ample opportunity for mass hysteria, back biting, name calling and slinging o’ the mud soon enough.


  3. Now they’re targeting defensive backs and getting commits!! A couple more corners and a couple big time safeties = BCS champs in two years!!

  4. They will both get in. Hard to argue with the guys that went in this year though. Very impressive class. I was a little disappointed to see Tate not joining Jimmy Clausen for classes at South Bend. I give him all the credit in the world for continuing his education at U of Tenn. I just wish that he went forward and completed the degree he started at South Bend. He is still one of my all time favorites. He will have a great NFL career when it is all said and done.

  5. Tim Brown definitely deserves the HOF over both Carter and Reed. Their numbers just don’t compare, especially Reed’s.

    1. I don’t know that you can say Tim Brown deserves the HOF more than Carter. That is the ND bias talking. Carter’s numbers definitely compare and he was also stuck in Minnesota for the majority of his career. Carter had more receptions and 30 more TDs and played in less 21 less games. Brown had around 1,000 more yards and played in 21 more games. Please tell me how the numbers just don’t compare? Both were great and both deserve the HOF….

  6. I don’t know how they did not get in.
    I really do not understand.
    As they say every year after the Cubs Season–there is always next year.
    Go Irish.
    ND now–ND forever.
    Bettis and Brown–great guys-class acts.
    ND was blessed to have them.
    The Hall of Fame will be richer for it—when their time comes.
    That time SHOULD have been now.
    Again, it WILL come.
    WE ARE –ND!

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