- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots Hall of Fame nomination committee met Wednesday afternoon, and as usual, there was solid discussion on a variety of candidates.
By the end of the day, each committee member cast a ballot with three nominees -- 5 points going to the top choice, 3 points to the second choice, and 1 point to the third choice.
Results will be tallied by team officials and the three finalists will be announced April 15. Fans will then have a month to vote on Patriots.com, and one of the three finalists will be inducted.
My ballot this year was topped by former coach Bill Parcells.
Parcells was a finalist in 2011 and 2012, but didn't make the finalists cut to three last year. Coincidentally, that was the year he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
My strong feelings on Parcells are tied to where the franchise was before his arrival in 1993. I credit him as the driving force/initial spark in making football relevant again in the region, and bringing the Patriots back to respectability.
I'd be surprised if Law isn't the top vote-getter and ultimately this year's inductee, but I kept coming back to this point: Would he even be here if not for Parcells? Ditto on McGinest. Safety Rodney Harrison (second-year eligible) is also a Hall of Famer in my mind, and I believe his time will also come along with other deserving candidates who were discussed.
But my feeling is that Parcells' time is most overdue and if I could do it over again, I would have had him higher on my ballot last year.
Yes, he was only here for four seasons (1993-1996) and the sticky moments have been well-documented. So, too, have the success stories, and it's telling to me that the last three Patriots Hall of Fame inductees (Drew Bledsoe, Troy Brown and Tedy Bruschi) all were drafted and initially coached by Parcells.
Parcells' career has been deemed Pro Football Hall of Fame worthy in part because of his remarkable work with reclamation projects. We saw it first-hand here from 1993-1996.
Now, we are starting to see some of the players drafted and coached by Parcells land in the Patriots Hall of Fame.
In the process, we shouldn't overlook the person mostly responsible for bringing those players here, and making the team relevant again.