First look at Hall of Fame semifinalists

December, 1, 2012
12/01/12
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Seven of 27 recently announced semifinalists for the 2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame class have ties to current NFC West franchises.

The full list is available here. A few resources on the seven in question:
  • Roger Craig: The San Francisco 49ers great has lived by advice Bill Walsh gave him regarding the Hall. KGO-TV's Mike Shumann has the details in this 2010 item.
  • Eddie DeBartolo Jr.: This 1990 piece by Rick Reilly for Sports Illustrated captures the essence of the 49ers' former owner.
  • Kevin Greene: The former Los Angeles Rams and (briefly) 49ers outside linebacker has been a finalist previously. Jason Lisk's 2010 item for Pro Football Reference looked at Greene, Chris Doleman and the next man listed.
  • Charles Haley: ESPN's Jean-Jacques Taylor made the Hall case for Haley this year. Haley won Super Bowls with the 49ers and Dallas Cowboys.
  • Aeneas Williams: Williams made the final 10 last year. Hall selector Kent Somers profiled the former Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams defensive back this year.
  • Larry Allen: Allen finished his career with the 49ers after spending his best years with the Cowboys. Back in 2006, Dr. Z chose Allen as the most likely offensive linemen of the era to win quick enshrinement.
  • Jerome Bettis: Bettis began his career with the Rams before spending his prime years with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Our AFC North blogger, Jamison Hensley, thinks Bettis has a better shot at enshrinement this year.

I'm one of the Hall selectors and feel privileged to be one. We'll gather in New Orleans one day before the Super Bowl to narrow the list from 15 finalists to no more than five modern-era enshrinees. To simulate the process, reduce from 27 to 15. From there, cut to 10 and then five. There are always tough choices with the bar set so high.

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