JR: Gary, today brings another Hall of Fame debate. There are 15 modern-era finalists on the Hall of Fame ballot, and only five are getting into Canton this month. A whole bunch of people with heads more pointy than ours get to do the actual voting, but we're going to play our own version of Survivor Fame. We get to eliminate candidates each round, and we both have one veto. So you go first.
GS: Wow. This sounds even more fun than your other driving game: My Favorite Show Tune. And let me point this out: For two guys who keep up with football pretty closely, we almost never agree with the voters. But if I have to vote someone off the island to start with, I'm going with Dermontti Dawson. Fine player, but no one accused him of being Mike Webster. And Cortez Kennedy, who wasn't quite Warren Sapp. Your turn.
JR: One of these days, you will come to appreciate My Fair Lady. Anyway, I'm going to whack Andre Reed. I realize he is one of only a dozen players with more than 13,000 yards receiving, but he always struck me as very good and not dominant. I'm also dropping Richard Dent. And already the choices are getting difficult.
GS: Both of those surprise me a little. I guess Reed has to go because of all the receivers in this class, but I think Dent might make it. I'd challenge, but I don't think the replay would be conclusive. I'm going to cut Willie Roaf on the very-good-but-not-great argument, and as much as it pains me, I'm going to cut Ed Sabol. I love NFL Films, and I'd love to see him get it. But halls of fame are more for performers than contributors, I think.
JR: If you were a player, yeah, I could see that point of view on Sabol. But I think of the Hall of Fame as a place for fans to appreciate the history of the game. And Sabol has done more to promote the game than any of these players. Still, I am saving my void. I'm taking aim at another DE and whacking Charles Haley. Also, regrettably, I have to cut Shannon Sharpe. And I'm glad you have to make the final two choices.
GS: Shannon? You're cutting Shannon, the best talker in the history of the game. That's disappointing. But it's a good class, and frankly, I think there are worse players in the Hall than anyone on this list. So let's see. I'll cut Tim Brown because he wasn't as good as Cris Carter and because he was a lousy punt returner for the Bucs. And I'll reluctantly cut Chris Doleman. I don't think he was as good as Haley, and you already cut him. So where does that leave us?
JR: That leaves us with a Hall of Fame class. And we didn't even use a veto. We've got Jerome Bettis, Carter (I was saving my veto for him), Marshall Faulk, Curtis Martin and Deion Sanders. Personally, I would have loved to have cut Deion. I thought he was a prima donna who couldn't make a tackle in flag football, but he was the best cover corner of his generation. What do you think of our choices?
GS: Deion could take half of the field away, though. He was a great defensive weapon. I think we have the best five, although I'm not comfortable with three running backs. Still, it's a good group, although I still think you were wrong about Dent.
JR: And you're wrong about My Fair Lady.