Photo: Pro Football Hall of Fame by Erik Drost via Flickr
The Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2020 was recently announced, and this class is the largest to ever be inducted in NFL history. In honor of the NFL’s 100th anniversary season, the 2020 centennial class features 20 members including 15 players, three contributors and two coaches.
Legendary coaches Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson were the first new members to be revealed. Cowher was the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers for 15 seasons, winning a Super Bowl and compiling a total of 161 wins, including the playoffs. Jimmy Johnson is best known as the coach of the Dallas Cowboys, and in four seasons, between 1989 and 1993, he led the team to two Super Bowl Wins. Both coaches took home the AP NFL Coach of the Year Award during their careers, with Johnson winning it in 1990 and Cowher in 1992.
The three contributors to make this year’s class are Steve Sabol, Paul Tagliabue and George Young. Sabol was the Administrator and President of NFL Films — a company that he founded with his father Ed Sabol. He won 35 Emmy Awards during his time for writing, editing, directing, producing and cinematography, and his company has forever changed the way that football is watched and analyzed by its fans.
Tagliabue was the commissioner of the NFL for 17 years, and during his time we saw the NFL expand from 28 to 32 teams, and the league produced many new television contracts. His contributions during his time as commissioner were notable, and he is a major reason as to why the NFL is as successful as it is today. Young was the general manager of the New York Giants between 1979 and 1997, and during his time with the team they won two Super Bowl championships.
On Jan. 15, the senior group, which is compiled of players who have not played in the NFL for over 25 seasons, was announced. This group included wide receiver Harold Carmichael, offensive tackles Jim Covert, Winston Hill and Duke Slater, safeties Bobby Dillon, Donnie Shell and Cliff Harris, defensive tackle Alex Karras, defensive end Mac Speedie and linebacker Ed Sprinkle.
The most notable member of this group to many fans in the area is Harold Carmichael. Carmichael played for the Philadelphia Eagles for 13 seasons, and the Dallas Cowboys for one season. He made the Pro Bowl four times, and was a three-time NFL Second team All Pro member. He finished his career with 79 touchdowns, and was one of the best wide receivers of his time.
Finally, on Feb. 1, the five modern era members of the 2020 Hall of Fame class were announced. These players are Steve Atwater, Isaac Bruce, Steve Hutchinson, Edgerrin James and Troy Polamalu. Atwater spent his career with the Denver Broncos and the New York Jets, and he was named to eight Pro Bowl rosters and won two Super Bowls.
Bruce played for the Los Angeles/St Louis Rams and the San Francisco 49ers during his career, making four Pro Bowl appearances, and winning a Super Bowl in 1999 as a member of the Rams. Hutchinson was a member of the Seahawks, Vikings and Titans during his career, and he was named to seven NFL All-Pro rosters, and is a member of the NFL 2000’s All Decade Team.
James finished his career with an impressive resume, including four Pro Bowl appearances, the 1999 Rookie of the Year Award and a two-time NFL rushing leader. Last but not least Polamalu spent his entire career with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was one of the most feared defenders in the game, and his statistics speak for themselves. In 11 seasons, he compiled a statline of 770 tackles, 32 interceptions, four forced fumbles and three defensive touchdowns. He was a part of two Super Bowl teams, and was named to eight Pro Bowl rosters.
Congratulations to all the members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2020. They will be enshrined in August, as part of Hall of Fame Weekend, and their legacy will forever be shown in Canton, Ohio.
Erick Klambara is a first-year student majoring in media and cultures. EK924666@wcupa.edu.