The 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony kicks off later this afternoon, and it features a fairly star-studded class. Michael Strahan headlines a class that includes Derrick Brooks, Ray Guy, Claude Humphrey, Walter Jones, Andre Reed and Aeneas Williams. I would argue the most notable inclusion is Ray Guy given his status as a punter. There are not a ton of all-time special teamers, but getting a punter into the Hall is a huge deal.
Unfortunately, former 49ers and Cowboys great Charles Haley continues to sit and wait. Haley was an all-time great pass rusher, and while Lawrence Taylor is the first name you think of when you think of fearsome pass rushers, Charles Haley was a serious bad-ass. And considering his five Super Bowl rings, and the fact that he was an impact player in all five Super Bowls, it just seems to make sense. Unfortunately, some in the media still hold his mental issues against him. After his career was over, Haley was diagnosed as being bipolar, which goes a long way in explaining the issues he had during his playing days.
Another person we continue to wait on is Eddie DeBartolo. The Hall of Fame has inducted a host of owners, but they have focused on old school owners that helped create the league. Much like Ray Guy breaks the seal on punters, DeBartolo could be the guy who eventually gets more modern owners into the Hall. It didn't happen this year, but hopefully soon.
Roger Craig is another guy who continues to wait. At some point we might see him get in, but given the depth of the coming classes, it's going to be tough.
And with that, I'm done complaining. There are some all-time greats getting recognized today. It should be a fun ceremony. Jim Kelly, who has been battling cancer, is making his way to Canton, so his appearance could prove to be one of the highlights.
Here is a quick rundown of how to watch the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
Time: 4 p.m. PT
TV: ESPN2, NFL Network