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Boselli, Butler, await Hall of Fame vote, taken virtually this year

FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2015, file photo, a visitor to the Pro Football Hall of Fame pauses to take a photo of the sign in front in Canton, Ohio. The NFL has canceled the Hall of Fame game that traditionally opens the preseason and is delaying the 2020 induction ceremonies because of the coronavirus pandemic, two people with direct knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Thursday, June 25, 2020. The people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the decision has not been publicly announced, though an announcement is expected later Thursday. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Usually, the Hall of Fame selectors meet in a conference room at the league hotel at the site of the Super Bowl on Saturday morning, the day before the game. There, they present the 15 finalists, discuss and vote, paring the list down to 10, and finally to the 5 modern-day players selected for enshrinement in the hall of Fame in Canton.

This year, because of the pandemic, like so many other things, the voting has gone virtual. The 48 selectors met in an online video conference today to select the honorees. We don’t know who made the cut—none of the voters will know the final five—until they are revealed a week from Saturday. That is, unless there is a leak. It’s going to be interesting to hear if word does get out before the official announcement.

Of course, there are a couple of Jacksonville connections among the final 15. Jaguars great Tony Boselli is a finalist for the fifth year in a row. And Former Lee high school star LeRoy Butler, who made his name in the NFL with the Packers—is also a finalist.

Former WJXT sports director Sam Kouvaris, now with the Florida Times-Union, presented Boselli’s case to the panel for the fifth straight year. The Hall of Fame tweeted out a piece of his presentation:

Of the two, it seems that Boselli has the better chance to make it in, but once you get past first-time candidates Peyton Manning and Charles Woodson, nobody is guaranteed a spot. As Boselli told me a couple of weeks ago, he’s looking at it as 3 spots for 13 guys to contend for.

“All the guys on that list have great credentials,” Boselli said after being named as one of the final 15 yet again. “You can argue for every one of them to get into the whole thing.

“It’s tough to these 48 voters, you start looking around saying, ‘OK, we have to tell 10 guys, who were some of the best players that will play this game, that they either have to wait or they’re not going to get in.’ And so that’s where it becomes really tough on the voters.”

The ballots are normally paper ballots turned in within the room where the selectors discuss the candidates. This year, because of the distance between the selectors, a voting system was created.


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