By Justin Morris | Jan 02 2020
It’s been 100 years since the National Football League’s inception as a professional sports assocation, which undoubtledly makes this year’s Pro Hall of Fame class extra special. The 2020 induction class was dubbed as the Modern-Era group by NFL Network’s selection show, which premiered Thursday night at 6PM ET.
15 “Modern era” finalists were slated to be announced on the gold jacket special show, and fan voting was permitted for the final selections up until the program began. All players and coaches who had been retired for under 25 seasons were eligible, and this year the HOF voting class made an exception for 10 “senior” members (25+ years out of the league) to be considered for inclusion as well. Once the show commenced, player names began rolling out, and the first name to be announced was none other than the Tasmanian Devil himself, former Pittsburgh Steeler great Troy Polamalu. He’s joined by 14 other players.
Pro Football Hall of Fame finalists:
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter)
It’s clear the decision to include Polamalu required very little discussion. He was a finalist for the NFL’s All-Time 100 team announced earlier in 2019, and many attached Hall of Fame status to his name well before his playing days were over. A quiet assassin, he played with an instinct and ferocity that was the stuff of legend, and his numbers only back that up. He was an eight-time Pro Bowler, four-time First Team All-Pro, and won the NFL’s defensive player of the year in 2010 – one of the only players at his position to do so. He also has two Super Bowl championships to his name.
“This is one of those that doesn’t take a lot of thought.” [email protected]_NFL on the former @steelers safety @tpolamalu being selected as a @ProFootballHOF modern-era finalist for the Class of 2020 ?
?: Gold Jacket Finalists on NFL Network pic.twitter.com/z7eL8mVxVA
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork)
Polamalu’s was the first of 15 nams to be announced for a reason, and it’s more than likely he’ll be on the next list of names that will actually receive a gold jacket in August. It was simply meant to be.