The Pro Football Hall of Fame (often interchanged with NFL Hall of Fame) will announce the 2011 class of inductees today at 4:00pm pacific (7:00pm eastern) on NFL Network. The finalists for the Class of 2011 includes 17 individuals (15 modern-era, two from the veterans committee). Of the class of finalists, five players are in their first year of eligibility: Jerome Bettis, Marshall Faulk, Curtis Martin, Deion Sanders, and Willie Roaf.
The selection meeting is meeting today to conduct the formal vote (where's the Vatican white and black smoke?) and will announce the results tonight. The Bay Area has several nominees on the ballot this year, although only one of them is closely identified with a Bay Area NFL team. The 49ers are represented by Richard Dent (1986 - his time with the 49ers), Chris Doleman (1996-98), Charles Haley (1986-1991, 1999), and Deion Sanders (1994). The Oakland Raiders have one representative in former wide receiver Tim Brown (1988-2003).
While Charles Haley does still get some love from 49ers fans, there's no doubt that Tim Brown will forever be associated with the Raiders (in spite of his one final season with the Bucs). Brown is far and away the Raiders career leader in receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and punt return yards. In the all-time NFL records books, Brown is fourth in receptions, fourth in receiving yards, and tied for sixth in touchdowns.
And yet in spite of all this he didn't make the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year, and there's a fairly good shot he won't be inducted into Canton this year either. He seems to be following the path of Art Monk, who finished his career with all-time great numbers but took numerous efforts to finally get into the Hall of Fame. As with any Hall of Fame, it's obvious that some players simply improve their career numbers each voting year in the eyes of some voters. It's a flawed system when Tim Brown is not in the Hall of Fame.