Sapp In, Lynch Out Of Hall Of Fame FinalsJanuary 11th, 2013
Warren Sapp is one step closer to entering the Hall of Fame in 2013. The list of 17 finalists was announced this morning and Sapp, in his first year of eligibility, made the cut. The panel of Hall voters meets the day before the Super Bowl to select up to five modern-era nominees.
Sapp’s got a tough road, with Michael Strahan, Charles Haley, Jerome Bettis, Larry Allen, Bill Parcells and Jonathan Ogden on the finals ballot. (Here’s the full list.)
The Tampa Bay area’s lone voter, Tampa Tribune writer eye-RAH! Kaufman, also dubbed “The Custodian of Canton” by national radio host Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, will present the case for Sapp before his colleagues.
John Lynch, also in his first year of eligibility, was a semifinalist, but Lynch didn’t make the finals. Bruising former Broncos safety Steve Atwater also was a semifinalist but was iced out of the finals. It’s a tough road for safeties and it could take Lynch years to get in, if he gets in at all.
Those hoping Ronde Barber gets in the Hall one day should keep an eye on former Cardinals and Rams great Aeneas Williams. He’s a finalist for the second consecutive year. Over a 14-year career, Williams made seven Pro Bowls as a cornerback (two more than Barber) and one Pro Bowl as a safety. He’s also got more career interceptions than Barber.
Joe’s not saying Williams is better than Barber, but how the voters treat Williams could indicate how Barber’s eventual process might go.