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A look at a loaded Hall of Fame class

The SportsXchange

NEW ORLEANS -- Forty-four voters on the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee meet Saturday to elect the 2013 class to be announced at 5:30 p.m. ET.

First-year candidates Larry Allen, Jonathan Ogden, Warren Sapp, and Michael Strahan are among the 15 modern era finalists announced in January.

Also on the list are two contributors and a coach -- former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., former Browns, late Ravens owner Art Modell and Bill Parcells, who coached four NFL teams and was involved in administration with another. Modell died in September. He moved the Ravens from Cleveland to Baltimore before selling the team to Steve Biscotti in 2000.

"The National Football League wouldn't be the same," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "Isn't that the measurement, how much better they made our game and the National Football League? By any measurement it wouldn't be the same and it wouldn't be as good as it is right now. He changed football. He changed the way that it was perceived. He helped make it the popular game that it is today. He had a vision that very few people had in his time."

Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who resurfaced in the league this last season to rule on current commissioner Roger Goodell's actions in the Bountygate controversy, was not a finalist. Tagliabue was eliminated in the reduction from 25 to 15 on the final ballot.

A troika of wide receivers once again is among the finalists -- Tim Brown, Cris Carter and Andre Reed. For several years, the group seems to split the vote for wide receivers, effectively barring any of them from entry thus far. Brown's recent inflammatory comments regarding the 2002 Super Bowl loss with the Raiders and Bill Callahan changing he game plan late in the week to "sabotage" the team, won't likely help his case.

The 15 modern-era finalists, along with the two senior nominees announced in August 2012 -- former Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Oilers defensive tackle Curley Culp and former Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins linebacker Dave Robinson -- will be the only candidates considered for Hall of Fame election when the 46-member Selection Committee meets.

The 15 modern-era finalists were determined by a vote of the Hall's Selection Committee from a list of 127 nominees that earlier was reduced to a list of 27 semifinalists, during the multi-step, year-long selection process. Culp and Robinson were selected as senior candidates by the Hall of Fame's Seniors Committee. The Seniors Committee reviews the qualifications of those players whose careers took place more than 25 years ago.

To be elected, a finalist must receive a minimum positive vote of 80 percent.
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