NFL Hall of Fame Class of 2006
The fifteen finalists this year were:
Troy Aikman - Quarterback - 1989-2000 Dallas Cowboys
Harry Carson - Linebacker - 1976-1988 New York Giants
L.C. Greenwood - Defensive End - 1969-1981 Pittsburgh Steelers
Russ Grimm - Guard - 1981-1991 Washington Redskins
Claude Humphrey - Defensive End - 1968-1978 Atlanta Falcons, 1979-1981 Philadelphia Eagles (injured reserve - 1975)
Michael Irvin - Wide Receiver - 1988-1999 Dallas Cowboys
Bob Kuechenberg - Guard - 1970-1984 Miami Dolphins (injured reserve - 1984)
John Madden - Coach - 1969-1978 Oakland Raiders
Art Monk - Wide Receiver - 1980-1993 Washington Redskins, 1994 New York Jets, 1995 Philadelphia Eagles
Warren Moon - Quarterback - 1984-1993 Houston Oilers, 1994-1996 Minnesota Vikings, 1997-1998 Seattle Seahawks, 1999-2000 Kansas City Chiefs
Derrick Thomas - Linebacker - 1989-1999 Kansas City Chiefs
Thurman Thomas - Running Back - 1988-1999 Buffalo Bills, 2000 Miami Dolphins
Reggie White - Defensive End/Defensive Tackle - 1985-1992 Philadelphia Eagles, 1993-1998 Green Bay Packers, 2000 Carolina Panthers
Rayfield Wright - Tackle - 1967-1979 Dallas Cowboys
Gary Zimmerman - Tackle - 1986-1992 Minnesota Vikings, 1993-1997 Denver Broncos
The inductees were Troy Aikman, Harry Carson, John Madden, Warren Moon, Reggie White and Rayfield Wright.
Aikman: An obvious first year inductee. Three Super Bowl wins as a starting quarterback.
Carson: Surprised he wasn't in before this. Fine player.
Madden: Should have been in long before this. His career winning percentage (including postseason games) was only a shade behind that of Vince Lombardi. An average season for Madden saw the Raiders go 10-4.
Moon: A debatable pick. Racked up lots of yards and TDs, had two terrific years (1990 and 1995, in each of which he threw 33 TDs), and a lot of good years. Obviously if you consider his CFL career, where he led his team to five consecutive championships, he tips the scales towards induction.
White: No question first rounder. The kind of player the Hall of Fame was made for.
Wright: Don't remember him very well, but his bio at the HOF website
says he was selected to the NFL's all-decade team, which is good enough for me. He had not been on the ballot in a long time; I assume he was one of the "veteran" picks.
Almost all of the other players listed on this ballot will be inducted eventually. I'd personally vote for Art Monk, Thurman Thomas and Bob Kuechenberg. Irvin's the only one I'd definitely not vote for. But as I said, almost all of these guys will get in eventually, probably including Irvin.