For Bill Nunn and Alan Faneca, it’s been a long-time coming. Hopefully 2021 is the year Faneca and Nunn’s family get word they’ve been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “Hopeful” is the word Team President Art Rooney II used to describe their chances of being enshrined.
Speaking with Steelers.com’s Missi Matthews, Rooney talked about the potential of both men getting into Canton.
“Well, we have high hopes for Bill and Alan,” he told Matthews. “I wish I could say that I know what the outcome is, but certainly two deserving men and really people that distinguished themselves throughout their career. So, we’re keeping our fingers crossed and looking forward to that announcement in the next couple of weeks.”
That announcement will be made on February 6th, one day before Super Bowl 55 between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs. Six times, Faneca has been eligible for the Hall. Six times, he’s been a finalist. And yet he’s still been snubbed by voters. His time’s been spent watching other linemen, Kevin Mawae and Steven Hutchison the two most recent examples, get the nod instead.
Faneca is just one of two linemen on the final ballot this year and he should have better odds of getting in than Tony Boselli. But Faneca is part of a talented class. First-timers Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson are locks while Calvin Johnson has strong odds of joining them. That alone leaves only two remaining spots. Other names like DE Jared Allen, DB Ronde Barber, and WR Torry Holt are strong contenders. Most HOF predictions have Faneca making it and this should be the year he receives his gold jacket. But we’ve said the same thing before only for the announcement to end in disappointment.
Nunn is on a separate list, part of the Senior Committee. Almost all contributors in his position get in, making his place as finalist feel like a formality. But nothing is official until it’s official. And for whatever it’s worth, the HOF committee reportedly took over 30 minutes discussing Nunn’s candidacy. Either someone got long-winded or there was serious debate if Nunn should make it.
Should this be the year for both men, they’ll join several Steelers for the 2021 induction, assuming COVID doesn’t again postpone things. Bill Cowher, Troy Polamalu, and Donnie Shell were all selected in 2020 and will be officially enshrined this summer.