The Pro Football Hall of Fame is the hall of fame for professional American football, located in Canton, Ohio. Opened in 1963, the Hall of Fame enshrines exceptional figures in the sport of professional football, including players, coaches, franchise owners, and front-office personnel, almost all of whom made their primary contributions to the game in the National Football League (NFL); the Hall inducts between four and eight new enshrinees each year. The Hall of Fame's Mission is to "Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve its History, Promote its Values & Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE."
The Hall of Fame class of 2019 (Tony Gonzalez, Ed Reed, Champ Bailey, Ty Law, Kevin Mawae, Pat Bowlen, Gil Brandt, and Johnny Robinson) were selected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame by a 48-member selection committee and announced on February 2, 2019. Including the 2019 class, there are now a total of 326 members of the Hall of Fame.
|Pro Football Hall of Fame|
Location of Pro Football Hall of Fame
|Location||2121 George Halas Dr NW, Canton, Ohio|
|Type||Professional sports hall of fame|
|President||C. David Baker|
The community of Canton, Ohio successfully lobbied the NFL to have the Hall of Fame built in their city for two reasons: first, the NFL was founded in Canton in 1920 (at that time it was known as the American Professional Football Association); second, the now-defunct Canton Bulldogs were a successful NFL team based in Canton during the first few years of the league. Groundbreaking for the building was held on August 11, 1962. The original building contained just two rooms, and 19,000 square feet (1,800 m2) of interior space.
In April 1970, ground was broken for the first of many expansions. This first expansion cost $620,000, and was completed in May 1971. The size was increased to 34,000 square feet (3,200 m2) by adding another room. The pro shop opened with this expansion. This was also an important milestone for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as yearly attendance passed the 200,000 mark for the first time. This was at least in some part due to the increase in popularity of professional football caused by the advent of the American Football League and its success in the final two AFL-NFL World Championship games.
In November 1977, work began on another expansion project, costing US$1,200,000. It was completed in November 1978, enlarging the gift shop and research library, while doubling the size of the theater. The total size of the hall was now 50,500 square feet (4,690 m2), more than 2.5 times the original size.
The building remained largely unchanged until July 1993. The Hall then announced yet another expansion, costing US$9,200,000, and adding a fifth room. This expansion was completed in October 1995. The building's size was increased to 82,307 square feet (7,647 m2). The most notable addition was the GameDay Stadium, which shows an NFL Films production on a 20-foot (6.1 m) by 42-foot (13 m) Cinemascope screen.
In 2013, the Hall of Fame completed its largest expansion and renovation today. Currently, the Hall of Fame consists of 118,000 square feet.
An $800 million expansion project, Johnson Controls Hall of Fame Village, is underway and will be completed to coincide with the NFL's Centennial in 2020.
Through 2018, all players in the hall except one, played some part of their professional career in the NFL (the lone exception is Buffalo Bills guard Billy Shaw, who played his entire career in the American Football League (AFL) prior to the 1970 AFL–NFL merger). Though several Hall of Famers have had AFL, Canadian Football League, World Football League, United States Football League, Arena Football League and/or Indoor Football League experience, and there is a division of the Hall devoted to alternative leagues such as this, to this point no players have made the Hall without having made significant contributions to either the NFL, AFL or All-America Football Conference. For CFL stars, there is a parallel Canadian Football Hall of Fame; only one player (Warren Moon) and one coach (Bud Grant) are in both halls.
The Chicago Bears have the most Hall of Famers among the league's franchises with either 34 or 28 enshrinees depending on whether you count players that only played a small portion of their careers with the team .
Enshrinees are selected by a 48-person committee, largely made up of media members, officially known as the Selection Committee.
Each city that has a current NFL team sends one representative from the local media to the committee. A city with more than one franchise sends a representative for each franchise.
There are also 15 at-large delegates including one representative from the Pro Football Writers Association. Except for the PFWA representative, who is appointed to a two-year term, all other appointments are open-ended and terminated only by death, incapacitation, retirement, or resignation.
To be eligible for the nominating process, a player or coach must have been retired for at least five years. Any other contributor such as a team owner or executive can be voted in at any time.
Fans may nominate any player, coach or contributor by simply writing to the Pro Football Hall of Fame via letter or email. The Selection Committee is then polled three times by mail to eventually narrow the list to 25 semifinalists: once in March, once in September, and once in October. In November, the committee then selects 15 finalists by mail balloting. A Seniors and Contributors Committee, subcommittees of the overall Selection Committee, nominate Seniors (those players who completed their careers more than 25 years ago) and Contributors (individuals who made contributions to the game in areas other than playing or coaching). The Seniors Committee and Contributors Committee add two or one finalist(s) on alternating years which makes a final ballot of 18 finalists under consideration by the full committee each year. Committee members are instructed to only consider a candidate's professional football contributions and to disregard all other factors.
The Selection Committee then meets on "Selection Saturday," the day before each Super Bowl game to elect a new class. To be elected, a finalist must receive at least 80 percent support from the Board, with at least four, but no more than eight, candidates being elected annually.
The enshrinement ceremony is usually held during the first full weekend in August. An enshrinement celebration is held throughout the week in Canton surrounding the enshrinement ceremony. All members of the Hall of Fame are invited to attend the annual ceremony.
Enshrinees do not go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of a certain team. Rather, all of an enshrinee's affiliations are listed equally. While the Baseball Hall of Fame plaques generally depict each of their inductees wearing a particular club's cap (with a few exceptions, such as Catfish Hunter and Greg Maddux), the bust sculptures of each Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee make no reference to any specific team. In addition to the bust that goes on permanent display at the Hall of Fame, inductees receive a distinctive Gold Jacket and previous inductees nearly always wear theirs when participating at new inductee ceremonies.
Previous induction ceremonies were held during the next day (Sunday from 1999–2005, Saturday in 2006), situated on the steps of the Hall of Fame building. Starting in 2002, the ceremony was moved to Fawcett Stadium (now Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium), where it was held from 1963 to 1965. Since 2007, the enshrinement ceremony has been held on the Saturday night.
The Hall of Fame Game, the annual NFL preseason opener, is played in Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio. In 2017, the Hall of Fame Game was held for the first time on Thursday night. The preseason classic kicks off Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls and officially kicks off the NFL preseason.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame uses only media representatives to select inductees. This, along with its policy of inducting only a maximum of seven players a year (six in certain years past), with a current maximum of two "senior" candidates and five "non-seniors," has been criticized by sports columnists, former players, and football fans. Such critics would like to see solutions such as expanding the number of selectors, rotating panel members on and off the selection committee, and allowing former players to participate in the voting. The small number of candidates elected each year has helped foster what some perceive as an inequality of representation at certain positions or in certain categories of player, with defensive players in general and defensive backs and outside linebackers in particular, special teams players, wide receivers, deserving players who primarily played on bad teams, and those from the "seniors" category, being slighted. This has included a 2009 The New York Times article which criticized the Hall for not including punter Ray Guy on its ballot, also noting that the Hall did not have an inductee at the time representing the position. (At least two inductees, Sammy Baugh and Yale Lary, punted in addition to playing other positions.) Guy was eventually inducted as part of the 2014 class for the Hall of Fame. There has also been criticism that certain players get overlooked because their team underproduced during their careers.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is unique among North American major league sports halls of fame in that officials have generally been excluded from the Hall. Only one official, 1966 inductee Hugh "Shorty" Ray, has been enshrined. The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and Hockey Hall of Fame have each inducted game officials as members. In part to rectify the lack of officials and other off-field contributors, the Hall of Fame added a “Contributors” committee beginning with the class of 2015, which will nominate officials, general managers, owners and other positions that have historically been overlooked by the committee at large.
Another prominent absence from the Hall is sports-journalist Howard Cosell, who has yet to be awarded the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award despite his well-known association with Monday Night Football. An August 2010 Sports Illustrated article hints that Cosell may have even been "blacklisted" by the NFL.
As the late 2010s approached, a number of controversial and polarizing figures began to reach eligibility for the Hall. Terrell Owens's exclusion from the Hall in his first two years of eligibility despite his strong individual statistics was a subject of public debate. Owens was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2018, but refused to attend the enshrinement ceremony.
Michael Anthony Muñoz (born August 19, 1958), is a former American football offensive tackle who played 13 seasons for the National Football League's Cincinnati Bengals. Muñoz is widely considered one of the greatest offensive linemen in NFL history. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.Art Monk
James Arthur Monk (born December 5, 1957) is a former American football wide receiver in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins, New York Jets, and the Philadelphia Eagles. Monk was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2008.
He is a relative (first cousin once removed) of jazz pioneer Thelonious Monk.Claude Humphrey
Claude B. Humphrey (born June 29, 1944) is a former American football defensive end in the National Football League (NFL) for the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles. Humphrey was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014.Cortez Kennedy
Cortez Kennedy (August 23, 1968 – May 23, 2017) was an American football defensive tackle who played his entire eleven-season career with the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL). He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012. He redefined and expanded the possibilities of how a large-bodied interior lineman could be used.Dwight Stephenson
Dwight Eugene Stephenson (born November 20, 1957) is a former professional American football player. He was a center for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League (NFL) from 1980 to 1987. He played college football under coach Bear Bryant at the University of Alabama. Stephenson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998.Elvin Bethea
Elvin Lamont Bethea (born March 1, 1946) is a former American football defensive end who played his entire career with the Houston Oilers. He played for North Carolina A&T State University and was the first person from that school to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, having been inducted in 2003.Gene Hickerson
Robert Gene Hickerson (February 15, 1935 – October 20, 2008) was an American Football offensive guard who played for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL) in a fifteen-year career from 1958 to 1960 and 1962 to 1973. Hickerson was a six-time Pro Bowler from 1965 to 1970. He was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 4, 2007.John Hannah (American football)
John Allen Hannah (born April 4, 1951), nicknamed Hog, is a former American football left guard who played for the New England Patriots (1973–1985) in the National Football League (NFL). In 1999 the Sporting News ranked him as the second greatest offensive lineman in NFL history after Anthony Muñoz. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1991 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1991. Sports Illustrated dubbed him, on its August 3, 1981, cover, "The Best Offensive Lineman of All Time."Ken Houston
Kenneth Ray Houston (born November 12, 1944) is a former American football safety in the American Football League and National Football League. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
Houston played for the AFL's Houston Oilers from 1967 through 1969, and after the AFL–NFL merger, with the Oilers from 1970 through 1972, then with the Washington Redskins until 1980.List of Chicago Bears in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
The Chicago Bears are a professional American football team based in Chicago, Illinois. They are currently members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL), and are one of two remaining charter members of NFL. Founded in 1919 by the A.E. Staley Company as the Decatur Staleys and based in Chicago since 1922, the Bears organization has become one of the most successful professional football teams, having won a total of nine professional American football championships—eight NFL Championships and one Super Bowl—second most in the NFL, behind the Green Bay Packers. The franchise has recorded 18 NFL divisional titles, four NFL conference championships, and the most regular season victories of any NFL franchise. In 1963, the Pro Football Hall of Fame was created to honor the history of professional American football and the individuals who have greatly influenced it. Since the charter induction class of 1963, 32 individuals who have played, coached, or held an administrative position for the Bears have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Bears hold the record for the most individuals enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.Of the 35 inductees, 28 made their primary contribution to football with the Bears, while the other 7 contributed only a minor portion of their career with the Bears. Of the original 17 individuals inducted in 1963, three spent a majority of their careers with the Chicago Bears. This includes the founder, long time owner, and head coach George Halas, long time halfback and two-way player Bronko Nagurski, and the "Galloping Ghost" Red Grange. The first few years of the Hall of Fame's existence saw 14 Bear players enshrined. Jim Finks was enshrined due to his contributions to the team as a general manager, not a player. Mike Ditka was inducted into the Hall of Fame while serving as the team's head coach. The most recent Bear to be inducted was Brian Urlacher in 2018.List of Chicago Bears players
The following are lists of past and current players of the Chicago Bears professional American football team.List of Green Bay Packers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are currently members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL), and are the third-oldest franchise in the NFL. Founded in 1919 by coach, player, and future Hall of Fame inductee Curly Lambeau and sports and telegraph editor George Whitney Calhoun, the Packers organization has become one of the most successful professional football teams, having won a total of 13 professional American football championships—nine NFL Championships and four Super Bowls—the most in the NFL. The franchise has recorded 18 NFL divisional titles, eight NFL conference championships, and the second most regular season and overall victories of any NFL franchise, behind the Chicago Bears. In 1963, the Pro Football Hall of Fame was created to honor the history of professional American football and the individuals who have greatly influenced it. Since the charter induction class of 1963, 31 individuals who have played or coached for the Packers have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.Of the 30 inductees, 25 made their primary contribution to football with the Packers, while five only contributed a minor portion of their career to the Packers and two were assistant coaches. Of the original 17 individuals inducted in 1963, four spent the major part of their career with the Green Bay Packers. This includes the founder Curly Lambeau, the NFL's all-time offensive tackle Cal Hubbard, the 1941 and 1942 Most Valuable Player Don Hutson, and 1931 All-NFL player Johnny (Blood) McNally. The first two decades of the Hall of Fame's existence saw 17 Packers enshrined, including one inductee who was not a player for the Packers, Vince Lombardi. Coaching the Packers from 1959 to 1967, Lombardi led the team to five NFL Championships, plus winning the first two Super Bowls against the American Football League, and an overall winning percentage of .754. The most recent Packer to be inducted was Jerry Kramer in 2018.List of Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees
The Pro Football Hall of Fame includes players, coaches, and contributors (e.g., owners, general managers and team or league officials) who have "made outstanding contributions to professional football". The charter class of seventeen was selected in 1963. As of 2019, 326 individuals have been elected.Enshrinees are selected by a 48-person selection committee which meets each year at the time and location of the Super Bowl. Current rules of the committee stipulate that between four and eight individuals are selected each year. Any person may nominate an individual to the hall, provided the nominee has not played or coached for at least five seasons prior to the nomination. Not including the charter class, 76 players have been inducted in their first year of eligibility.In addition to the regular selection committee, which primarily focuses on contributions made over the past approximately thirty seasons, a nine-member seniors committee (which is a subset of the larger committee) submits two nominees each year whose contributions came prior to 1985. These nominees are referred as "seniors nominees" (formerly "old-timer" nominees).Mick Tingelhoff
Henry Michael "Mick" Tingelhoff (born May 22, 1940) is a former American football center who played for the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League (NFL) from 1962 to 1978. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015, his 32nd year of eligibility.Ozzie Newsome
Ozzie Newsome Jr. (born March 16, 1956) is a former American football tight end for the Cleveland Browns, as well as a former general manager of the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL). Newsome was inducted into both the College Football Hall of Fame (1994) and the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1999).Paul Krause
Paul James Krause (born February 19, 1942) is a former American football safety who played in the National Football League (NFL). Gifted with a great frame, speed and range, Krause established himself as a defensive force against opposing wide receivers. He led the league with 12 interceptions as a rookie before going on to set the NFL career interceptions record with 81 (which he picked off from 45 different quarterbacks) and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998. Krause was selected eight times to the Pro Bowl during his 16 seasons in the NFL.Pro Football Hall of Fame Game
The Pro Football Hall of Fame Game is an annual National Football League (NFL) exhibition game that is held the weekend of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's induction ceremonies. The game is played at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, which is located adjacent to the Hall of Fame building in Canton, Ohio. It is traditionally the first game played in the NFL preseason for any given year, marking the end of the NFL's six-month off-season.Ron Wolf
Ron Wolf (born December 30, 1938) is the former American football general manager (GM) of the National Football League's Green Bay Packers. Wolf is widely credited with bringing success to a Packers franchise that had rarely won during the two decades prior to Wolf joining the organization. He also played a significant role in personnel operations with the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders from 1963 to 1975 and again from 1978 to 1990. He joined Green Bay's front office in November 1991 from a personnel director's job with the New York Jets. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August 2015.Shannon Sharpe
Shannon Sharpe (born June 26, 1968) is a former American football tight end who played for the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL), as well as a former analyst for CBS Sports on its NFL telecasts. He is a TV presenter who co-hosts Skip and Shannon: Undisputed with Skip Bayless.
Sharpe was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 6, 2011. He played 12 seasons for the Broncos (1990–99, 2002–03) and two with the Ravens (2000–01), winning three Super Bowls and finishing his career as the NFL’s all-time leader in receptions (815), receiving yards (10,060) and receiving touchdowns (62) by a tight end, until Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten surpassed all three of those records. He was the first tight end to amass over 10,000 receiving yards. He was named to the First Team of the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s.
Members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
|Wide receivers /|
Italics denotes players who have been voted in but not yet inducted.