Four Bears Among HOF Nominees

The 1985 Chicago Bears, victors of Super Bowl XX, is arguably the greatest team in NFL history, and four members of that legendary ballclub are among 124 potential enshrinees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio: Jim Covert, Richard Dent, Jay Hilgenberg, and Wilbur Marshall. Additionally, current linebackers coach Hardy Nickerson is eligible for the first time.

CANTON, OH – Wide receivers Cris Carter and Herman Moore and cornerback Darrell Green are first-year eligible candidates among a list of 124 modern-era players, coaches, and contributors who make up the preliminary list of nominees for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2008.

From this preliminary list of modern-era nominees, Hall of Fame selectors will choose 25 candidates who will advance as semifinalist nominees. The list of 25 modern-era semifinalists will be announced later next month.

The 25 modern-era semifinalists list will be reduced by a mail ballot to 15 modern-era finalists.

The final list for Hall of Fame consideration will consist of those 15 modern-era nominees plus two previously announced senior nominees, Marshall Goldberg and Emmitt Thomas. Goldberg, a multi-purpose back was a two-way star with the Chicago Cardinals from 1939-1943 and following World War II from 1946 to 1948. Thomas, an all-league cornerback, starred for 13 seasons (1966-1978) for the Kansas City Chiefs. The two senior nominees were selected this past August by the Hall of Fame's Senior Selection Committee.


DE Richard Dent
Mike Powell/Getty Images

The Class of 2008 will be selected from the list of 17 finalists (15 modern-era and two senior nominees). The actual voting will be conducted at the Hall of Fame Selection Committee's annual meeting, which will be held on Saturday, February 2, 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona the day before Super Bowl XLII. The election results will be announced immediately after the meeting at a press conference in the media headquarters. While there is no set number for any class of enshrinees, the ground rules provide that between four and seven new members will be selected.

Other first-year eligible candidates for the Class of 2008 include running back Eric Metcalf, offensive tackles Tony Boselli, Lomas Brown, and Richmond Webb, and linebackers Levon Kirkland and Hardy Nickerson.

Also on the impressive preliminary list are seven former coaches and 19 contributors, including former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and longtime team owners Bud Adams, Jerry Jones, Art Modell and Ralph Wilson.

To be considered for Hall of Fame election, a nominated player or coach must have been retired at least five years. A contributor, who is a nominee who has made outstanding career contributions to pro football in capacities other than playing or coaching, may still be active in his pro football career.

This is the first year that coaches are affected by the mandatory five-year waiting period, one of three significant changes to the selection process by-laws approved by the Hall of Fame's Board of Trustees this year. The other major changes include increasing the minimum and maximum number of nominees that can be elected from a minimum of three and a maximum of six, to a minimum of four and a maximum of seven. The Board of Trustees also approved an increase in the number of selectors on the Selection Committee from 40 to 44.


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