Time flies, doesn’t it? Just 99 years ago, the NFL was a fledgling league, trying to find its way in the world. Of course back then we called it the “American Professional Football Association.” And back then they didn’t care about silly things like helmets not made out of cow hide. But fast forward nearly a century and things are ... well, they could be worse, right? At least we use face masks (good lookin’ 1962!) and punish players for using steroids (thanks 1989!) in 2019. Like I said, it could be worse.
I’d imagine the NFL will call a lot of attention to their centennial next year. 100 years is a long time to keep anything going, and the modern NFL is nothing short of remarkable. Plus why not? They surely aren’t running a surplus on positive PR. They have to take advantage of these opportunities to put the league in a positive light.
Along these lines, we already know 2020 will bring an expanded Hall of Fame class, including 5 “modern era” players, 10 “seniors,” three contributors, and 2 coaches. If you recall, in any other year, a Hall of Fame class consists of no more than 8 inductees. Guys like Mike Kenn and Jeff Van Note might actually have a shot at a Hall of Fame induction in 2020, if we’re playing by these rules. If that doesn’t warm your heart, then I don’t know what would.
So will this actually happen? Will some noteworthy Falcons alumni finally get a fair shake at a Canton induction? To be frank, I remain skeptical. While Kenn and Van Note are undoubtedly deserving in their own right, the last time I checked, the Falcons still haven’t won a championship. They don’t play in a “football market” like Chicago, New York, or Philadelphia. Very few people that don’t live in Atlanta like the Falcons. In short, even if this makes the road to a spot in the Hall of Fame a little bit easier, it makes it that much easier for everyone; not just guys who played for the Falcons.
How do you see this playing out, Falcoholics? Will we still get overlooked?