49ers legendary owner Eddie DeBartolo and former linebacker/defensive end Charles Haley both came up short yesterday in their bids for entry into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. DeBartolo made his first appearance as one of the Final 15, but he did not make it to the first cut to ten. Haley made the cut to ten, but did not make the next cut to five. The 2012 Hall of Fame class includes Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin and Willie Roaf. Jim Trotter has an interesting report on what it was like for the voters in the room yesterday.
As we look ahead to next year, it gets a little more difficult for previous nominees. With both Eddie DeBartolo and Bill Parcells coming up short in the balloting, it seems like they will end up going in one at a time (if at all, of course). The NFL does not enshrine multiple non-player nominees in many years, so these two could have to deal with continued splitting of votes.
Roger Craig did not make his way into the finalists this year and will likely continue to struggle with next year's class. Michael Strahan, Larry Allen and Jonathan Ogden are among the leading new candidates and could very well take up three quick spots in their first year of eligibility. Craig lost a little momentum this year and it could be a struggle for the 49ers great to get his spot in Canton.
Oh and a little known 49er named Bryant Young will be in his first year of eligibility. Bryant Young was an absolute beast for the 49ers and will likely be enshrined in the 49ers Hall of Fame in the near future. But will he get into the Pro Football Hall of Fame? He has the benefit that the media absolutely loves the guy. Charles Haley has struggled in his candidacy because he was not exactly beloved by the media. It should not come down to that, but sometimes people are petty in that regard.