How Are Hall of Fame Pro Footballers Chosen?

How Are Hall of Fame Pro Footballers Chosen? - partycasino

No matter how well a player has performed on the field, the biggest honour is being awarded a place in the Hall of Fame. It doesn’t matter what is written or said about your achievements elsewhere; if a player is enshrined into the Hall of Fame, there’s no doubting that they are among the best of all time. 

But how do NFL players get nominated, and who makes the final decision? Here's a closer look at what goes on behind the scenes.

Who Are the Selection Committee?

The Selection Committee is made up of 49 people responsible for ensuring that only the very best candidates are enshrined into the Hall of Fame. All of the Selection Committee members have to be approved every year by the Board of Trustees.

The Selectors represent a diverse geographical area and with different professional backgrounds. However, as a minimum, each pro football city must have at least one media representative on the Selection Committee. 

New members of the Hall of Fame are decided by the Selection Committee but must have a majority vote of at least 80%. Every candidate nominated undergoes a thorough inspection by the Selectors, with the aim of enshrining 4-8 new members into the Hall of Fame every year.

Who Nominates the Hall of Famers?

Anyone can nominate candidates for the Hall of Fame, including members of the Selection Committee. Any professional connected with pro football can be considered for enshrinement into the Hall of Fame on receipt of a written nomination. 

There is no pre-screening process; every eligible player or contributor who is nominated will be passed to the Selection Committee for proper consideration. The only criteria is that players and coaches must have been retired for at least five years before being nominated. There is no time restrictions on the nomination of contributors.

A Long Process

Whittling down the list of nominations takes a considerable length of time, and the Selectors will be asked to consider the candidates three times before they reach a list of finalists. 

The first list is provided to them in March when Selectors are able to review the nominees and make any suggestions for players who appear to have been overlooked. Players who have only just become eligible but are expected to have a strong case can be added. Finalists from the previous year who had more than four votes will also be added back in at this stage. 

In July, the second round of names is sent to the Selectors. This will include everyone from the first list, plus anyone new added. 

The third list is circulated in September, and this time the Selectors will need to choose the 25 semi-finalists. This is done by scrutinising the nominee's bio in-depth and checking for any signs of controversy or weakness. 

A decision must be made in January or February and involves a much more comprehensive look at each finalist during the annual Selectors meeting. A series of votes takes place to shorten the list down to the best five. Selectors must then vote yes or no to the question of whether they should be enshrined into the Hall of Fame. A minimum of 80% is required to get the green light.