Inside The Bills

Several 90’s Bills, Ralph Wilson on prelim HOF list for 2009

Posted by Chris Brown on October 28, 2008 – 8:59 pm

Bills recent Wall of Fame inductee Bruce Smith, Kent Hull, Andre Reed, Darryl Talley, Cornelius Bennett and Steve Tasker make up the list of AFC Champion 90’s Bills that are are on the preliminary list of modern-era nominees for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2009. 

Also on the list is Bills founder and owner Ralph Wilson as a contributor nominee.

Other former Bills players on the list are Fred Smerlas and those who spent parts of their career with the Bills like Larry Centers and Chris Spielman.

Former Bills head coach Chuck Knox is also a preliminary nominee.

Bruce Smith is a shoe-in as a first ballot nominee being the league’s all time leader in sacks and a four-time AFC Champion and a countless number of Pro Bowls and All-Pro teams. Reed made the list of finalists last year. We’ll see if he can make it in this time. Tasker will get consideration too.

Mr. Wilson stands a good chance I believe as more of the committee I understand is coming around to understand the magnitude of his contributions to the game.

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 of nominees that will be considered for election will consist of the 15 modern-era finalists and the two previously announced senior nominees, Bob Hayes and Claude Humphrey.  Hayes and Humphrey were selected this past August by the Hall of Fame’s Senior Selection Committee. 

The Class of 2009 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, January 31, 2009, in Tampa, Florida the day before Super Bowl XLIII.  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. 

The preliminary list includes 110 players, seven coaches and 16 contributors, including former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and longtime team owners Bud Adams, Jerry Jones, Art Modell and Ralph Wilson.

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