The 2011 NFL Hall of Fame announcement is under an hour away. We're sitting here at the event as we speak type waiting for it all to start. The candidates include: Cris Carter, Tim Brown, Demontti Dawson, Richard Dent, Chris Doleman, Charles Haley, Chris Hanburger*, Cortez Kennedy, Andre Reed, Les Richter*, Ed Sabol and Shannon Sharpe. (*Senior candidate)
The selection process conducted by the 44 voters took seven and a half hours on Saturday morning. One of those voters, Tony Grossi of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, detailed some of the interesting debates.
The longest discussion came on Ed Sabol, founder of NFL Films. This was to be expected because Sabol's a contributor, and not a player. It's hard to keep him out with the impact NFL Films has had on the league, if you ask me. The second longest debate centered around CB Deion Sanders, which is a surprise considering many consider him the biggest lock in this year's class. The third longest debate, according to Grossi, was WR Andre Reed, which is very interesting. There are two other receivers -- Tim Brown and Cris Carter -- so we'll see how that shakes out. It's hard to see more than one get in.
Here's the scene at at the Sheraton Hotel where the announcement is taking place: