While we've spent yesterday and today talking about the Buffalo Bills loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, another interesting tidbit of news regarding our favorite team was released yesterday. The semifinalists for the 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame were revealed, and the list includes former Bills WR Andre Reed.
Joining Reed on the list are fellow wide receivers Tim Brown and Cris Carter, who Reed outlasted a year ago when he made the top ten. Carter and Brown were eliminated in the cut to ten, though Peter King thinks Carter's the likeliest of the three to go in this year. Those receivers won't be the biggest obstacle for Reed this time around.
The first-year candidates continue to prevent some worthy names from entering. Among the first-year eligible candidates are some sure-fire first-ballot selections. DB Deion Sanders is a lock, while Marshall Faulk is a probable selection. Jerome Bettis and Curtis Martin also present strong cases.
The complete list of semifinalists is: Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Don Coryell, Roger Craig, Terrell Davis, Dermontti Dawson, Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Richard Dent, Chris Doleman, Marshall Faulk, Kevin Greene, Ray Guy, Charles Haley, Lester Hayes, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin, Art Modell, Andre Reed, Willie Roaf, Ed Sabol, Deion Sanders, Shannon Sharpe, Paul Tagliabue, Aeneas Williams, and George Young.
The list of 26 semifinalists will be reduced by mail ballot to 15 finalists. That list will increase to 17 with the inclusion of two candidates recommended by the Hall of Fame's seniors committee. According to the league there isn't a set number of enshrinees for any Hall of Fame class, though the current ground rules stipulate that between four and seven new members will be selected each year. No more than five modern-era nominees can be elected in a given year, and a class of six or seven enshrinees can only be reached if one or both senior nominees are elected.
Michael Irvin is just one Hall of Fame player pulling for Reed.
"It's not just about how many you caught, but when you caught them," Irvin said earlier this year. "To go to four Super Bowls, that means all of your catches meant something. So hopefully he will be here one day."