American Football League players spent 1960-1969 fighting for legitimacy against the teams of the NFL. The players from the AFL spent the next 50+ years wishing for legitimacy from the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Of course there have been a number of legendary AFL’ers inducted – Alworth, Dawson, Maynard, Mix and a handful of others, but what about Jim Tyrer, Walt Sweeney, Otis Taylor and Charlie Hennigan? How about Winston Hill, Dave Grayson, Goose Gonsoulin and Gino Cappelletti? And that just scratches the surface.
In conjunction with the NFL celebrating it’s 100th anniversary, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced that it will be expanding the number of inductees they will allow for the Class of 2020. That means there could finally be a bit more HOF recognition for the AFL. Per the Hall of Fame website:
The Hall of Fame Board recently passed a resolution that suspended the Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee By-Laws for the Class of 2020 election cycle only. The measure is intended to honor the NFL’s Centennial Celebration through a special Centennial Class that will be comprised of 20 members in 2020. The group will include five Modern-Era players to come from the list announced today in addition to 10 Seniors (a player who has been retired for more than 25 seasons), three Contributors (an individual other than a player or coach) and two Coaches.
For AFL fans, this brings a handful of questions to the forefront, namely of the 10 Senior Committee members that will be in the Class of 2020, how many AFL’ers will be inducted? As the Senior Committee will cover a period from 1920 through roughly 1995, sheer numbers say that we can only legitimately hope for two or three AFL’ers at the most to receive the honor. That won’t come close to satiating most AFL fans, but it is a start.
The question that I pose to you all is this… What AFL team has the most players who deserve HOF recognition? Cast your vote here and I will announce the results next week. Feel free to share the petition via social media to increase the number of votes!