The Hall of Fame, for the next couple of weeks, will need to be a cone of silence.
On Tuesday, the 48 Hall of Fame selectors met virtually to debate and to vote on the new class. Fifteen modern-era finalists will become five finalists — all (or in theory none of whom will get in with enough up-or-down votes. Three other candidates (coach (Tom Flores), contributor (Bill Nunn), and senior (Drew Pearson)) had only the “yes” or “no” selection from the selectors.
The challenge now becomes keeping it all quiet until the new class is announced the night before Super Bowl LV.
Clark Judge of SI.com takes a closer look at what transpired during the meeting that lasted eight hours and 47 minutes.
Usually, the modern-era finalists are reduced by the voters from 15 to 10 and then from 10 to five. In order to promote secrecy, the voters know the 10 names but not the final five. They voted both on the reduction from 10 to five and on the up-or-down proposition for all 10.
So only those from the Hall of Fame who gathered and collected the votes know the outcome. The question becomes whether anyone will blab before Super Bowl eve.
One inductee is obvious: Peyton Manning. The presentation lasted seconds, with no debate. Some would say that should be the standard for all enshrinees.
But that wouldn’t be good for the business of the Hall of Fame, a museum that needs to have a full slate of new Hall of Famers every year, in order to ensure that there’s a reason for the Hall of Fame and Canton to become, for one weekend in August, the center of the football world.