A lot of Pittsburgh Steelers fans are up in arms over the fact that Alan Faneca was not voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the class of 2020. To those fans I would like to remind that not many people really care that Dermontti Dawson and Jerome Bettis had to wait.
The first thought about Dawson and Bettis is that they’re in, not that they should have been in sooner. Once Faneca is in, it will be largely forgotten how many tries it took for him to get in. it has no bearing on how much he deserved to get in. Everybody knows he’s a Hall of Famer. It’s merely a matter of time, probably within the next two years.
That is the opinions shared by Steelers president Art Rooney II, who during a Steelers Nation Unite question and answer session did express the belief that the number of Steelers already in the class, as well as the number of linemen in the final 15 modern candidates, could have worked against Faneca.
“The good news is I think Alan came close this year. I think that bodes well for the future. I do think he will get in in the next couple of years”, Rooney said. “He certainly deserves it”.
“He was disappointed he didn’t get it”, Rooney added. “Nevertheless, he is a class act. We had a little dinner Saturday night for the Hall of Fame guys that got in. We invited Alan and he and his wife came anyway even though he was disappointed”.
As you likely are aware, the final 15 candidates for the five modern enshrinee slots included three offensive linemen, including Faneca (last year, there were four, with Kevin Mawae getting in). The other two were tackle Tony Boselli and Steve Hutchinson, who, like Faneca, was one of the guards on the 2000s All-Decade team.
Hutchinson ended up being the one to get in, even though Faneca, on paper, has the better resume. While I think their candidacy is closer than many Steelers fans believe, the case for Faneca being more deserving is an obvious and easy one to make.
But, like I said, once he gets in, whether it’s in 2021 or 2022, I don’t think many people are going to be very concerned about the fact that he had to wait. They will simply celebrate the fact that he is in. And that’s the way it should be.
Because no matter how long it takes for you to get into the Hall of Fame, once you’re there, you’re there. Your legacy is cemented for the rest of time, so long as time remembers the NFL, and its legacy of great players.