About a month ago, I wrote a short piece detailing the JC Penney/Van Heusen Fan's Choice vote, giving NFL fans a chance to cast votes for Hall of Fame candidates. That post was written for two reasons - because JC Penney and Van Heusen sponsored SB Nation's NFL blogs this season, and because several former Buffalo Bills, including Darryl Talley, Kent Hull and Cornelius Bennett, needed a little boost in the voting process.
Now that the Hall of Fame has released its list of 25 semi-finalists - with two former Bills (receiver Andre Reed and special teams ace Steve Tasker) on the list - it seemed like a good time to compare results.
NFL fans voting at www.fanschoice.com currently rank Reed at No. 18 on the voting list. He trails four other receivers on the list - Jerry Rice, Tim Brown, Cris Carter and Cliff Branch. Meanwhile, Tasker comes in at No. 23. If the fan vote is indicative of the real vote, Reed and Tasker don't have good, strong shots at enshrinement next August. Still, it's nice to see that experts and fans alike recognize the quality of play Reed and Tasker provided some of the NFL's best teams of the '90s, and recognized them on each semifinalist list.
Of the 25 semifinalists actually in the running, fans agreed with just 14 of those selections. The mutually exclusive groups are below; the first group are actual semifinalists that were not recognized as such by fans, and the second group is men recognized as semifinalists by fans, but not by the experts.
Semi-finalists: Don Coryell, Roger Craig, Terrell Davis, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Russ Grimm, Rickey Jackson, Cortez Kennedy, Art Modell, Paul Tagliabue, Aeneas Williams
Fan semi-finalists: Randall Cunningham, Jim Plunkett, Phil Simms, Joe Theismann, Sterling Sharpe, Todd Christensen, Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Steve Atwater, Tom Flores, Jim Tunney, Otho Davis
The final results of this vote will be announced on NFL Network early next year, just before the official results are announced. Voting is still open, so if you'd like to cast votes for either Andre or Steve to get them recognized on NFL Network, do it quickly over at www.fanschoice.com.