(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Former Steelers guard Alan Faneca made the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021. Faneca has been a finalist since 2016 and has been patiently waiting to get in after being passed on year after year. This August, the long wait will pay off as he'll be enshrined into football immortality in Canton. It was long overdue.
Faneca is a nine-time Pro Bowler (2001-2009) and was named first-team All-Pro six times in his career (2001, 2002, 2004-2007). Faneca was named second-team All-Pro in 2003 because he moved from left guard to left tackle for nine games because of injuries to the Steelers’ tackles. If it wasn't for that, he would have been named first-team All-Pro in seven consecutive seasons. Faneca was also selected as second-team All-Pro in 2008, which was his first season with the Jets after the Steelers didn't re-sign him due to a disagreement in negotiations.
Faneca was also named to the Steelers All-Time Team and the NFL 2000s All-Decade Team. Faneca missed just two games in his 13-year career, one because of an injury in his second season in 1999 in Week 4 against the Jaguars. And the other coming in 2001 when Bill Cowher rested some starters in a meaningless Week 17 contest against the Browns due to having the No. 1 seed sealed already. Faneca was also penalized just four times for holding in his 13-year career.
Faneca started 201 of 206 regular-season games and all 14 postseason games. He was 7-4 with the Steelers in the playoffs and was a part of the Steelers' 2005 team that won the Super Bowl. In Super Bowl XL, Faneca pulled to the right and delivered a key block on a counter play that sprung running back Willie Parker free for a 75-yard touchdown, which is still the record for the longest rushing touchdown in Super Bowl history. The Steelers went on to defeat the Seahawks 21-10 in Super Bowl XL to capture their fifth Lombardi Trophy.
Faneca started all 48 regular-season games with the Jets and Cardinals in the three seasons he played after he left the Steelers as a free agent following the 2007 season. Faneca played in three playoff games with the Jets in 2009, and went 2-1, with the loss coming against the Colts in the AFC Championship Game.
"I want to congratulate Alan Faneca on his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame," Steelers President Art Rooney II said. "Without a doubt, Alan was one of the best guards in Steelers history, and one of the best in the NFL during a 13-year career that saw him voted first-team All-Pro six times and to nine Pro Bowls. Alan was unique in that he was big and strong enough to handle interior pass rushers and keep them off our quarterback, but also mobile enough to pull in either direction and lead one of our running backs around the end. In Super Bowl XL, Alan showcased his athletic ability in our victory when he pulled to the right from his left guard spot and made the block that sprung Willie Parker into the secondary on a 75-yard touchdown run that remains a Super Bowl record to this day.
"I am very excited for Alan and his family for this well-deserved individual honor. I am sure it will be a special weekend in Canton for his entire family and for Steelers Nation."