The offseason is inevitably a period of projection and speculation, which makes it the ideal time to ponder the hypotheticals that the Pittsburgh Steelers will face over the course of the next year, whether it is addressing free agency, the draft, performance on the field, or some more ephemeral topic.
That is what I will look to address in our Buy or Sell series. In each installment, I will introduce a topic statement and weigh some of the arguments for either buying it (meaning that you agree with it or expect it to be true) or selling it (meaning you disagree with it or expect it to be false).
The range of topics will be intentionally wide, from the general to the specific, from the immediate to that in the far future. And as we all tend to have an opinion on just about everything, I invite you to share your own each morning on the topic statement of the day.
Topic Statement: Both Troy Polamalu and Alan Faneca will be elected to the 2020 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Explanation: Tonight is the night. It’s ‘Selection Saturday’, the day that the Hall of Fame voters…well, vote, to decide which of 15 modern era finalists gets whittled down to the five members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2020. Troy Polamalu and Alan Faneca are among the 15 finalists.
Polamalu is not even a discussion. He is widely regarded as the best of his position in his era, and he plays a position that puts up numbers. He has the signature plays, the reputation, even the look. Ed Reed set the precedent last year. He is getting in.
And it’s Faneca’s year, too. He had a longer and more noteworthy career than Tony Boselli, and even on equal ground, he is more of a name than Steve Hutchinson. They already got Kevin Mawae out of the way last year, and with a backlog along the offensive line, at least one is going to get in.
The voters, for once, will also be motivated to maximize Steelers representation in the Hall of Fame class this year, with the team all but assured to play in the Hall of Fame game to get all the fans out there for that weekend. You already have Bill Cowher and Donnie Shell going in. Bring all of Yinzer county on down. It’s your time.
Let’s look at the finalists. You have Reggie Wayne, Torrey Holt, and Isaac Bruce. At least one of them are going to get in at wide receiver, if not two. Both Polamalu and Faneca are part of deep positions. There are three linemen and four safeties among the finalists, and they’ve already made Faneca, Dermontti Dawson, and Jerome Bettis wait.
We all thought they would get in sooner. Boselli plays the more desirable position of tackle and could have the edge there. Hutchinson is equally regarded, and if there is an anti-Steelers bias, that would come into play here.
Steve Atwater and John Lynch are both due to get on. LeRoy Butler is a clear fourth, but Lynch’s post-playing career could give him an unofficial boost, as he just took his team to the Super Bowl, and that could even be a storyline for the game.