Updated: Feb 9
(Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
In Peter King's "Football Morning in America" column on Monday, he revealed that he didn't have former Steelers guard Alan Faneca on his ballot for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2021. Faneca ended up getting nominated anyway, but it's still interesting that the longtime Hall of Fame voter didn't have him on his ballot.
On the cut from 10 to five, King voted for Peyton Manning, Charles Woodson, Calvin Johnson, John Lynch and Clay Matthews. All but Matthews ended up making the HOF.
King said Manning was easy, Woodson slightly less so and Johnson was a very strong candidate. After that, King had Lynch, Tony Boselli and Matthews, in some order. King ended up voting for Matthews instead of Boselli because it was Matthews' final year of eligibility as a modern-era player. He'll move to the Senior pool next year.
King had Boselli on his ballot last year and has always been high him, but he made just 90 career starts. King points to the fact that Boselli was dominant as an offensive tackle in his era and says he'll have him on his ballot again next year. Boselli is deserving of making the HOF, but I think Faneca had a better career.
Faneca is a nine-time Pro Bowler and was named first-team All-Pro six times and started 201 of 206 regular-season games. Faneca also was a member of the Steelers' 2005 team that won Super Bowl XL. In the third quarter of the game, Faneca pulled from his left guard spot to the right and delivered a key block for Willie Parker who ran for a 75-yard touchdown, which still remains as the longest rushing touchdown in Super Bowl history. Parker's touchdown gave the Steelers a 14-3 lead and they ultimately beat the Seahawks 21-10.
Boselli was named to five Pro Bowls and was first-team All-Pro three times. He also played just 90 of 91 regular-season games. Boselli was a left tackle and had to face some of the best pass rushers of the 1990s, so I assume that's why King had Boselli over Faneca.
King didn't have Troy Polamalu on his ballot last year because he knew he was a lock to make it and wanted to cast his vote for a player that's on the fence. Interestingly enough, King had Manning on his ballot this year, who was a no-brainer.
The Senior, Contributor and Coaches nominee needed an 80 percent approval rating from the Selection Committee to get elected into the HOF and it's a yes or no vote. King voted "yes" for Cowboys' wide receiver Drew Person (Senior), "yes" for longtime Steelers' scout Bill Nunn (Contributor) and "no" for Raiders' head coach Tom Flores (Coaches).
King said Nunn was the easiest vote other than Manning. Nunn is responsible for building the Steelers' 1970s dynasty and opening the doors for players from Historically Black Colleges and Universities to the NFL. The Steelers had several players on their championship teams in the 1970s who played at HBCUs, three of whom are in the HOF -- Mel Blount (Southern University), John Stallworth (Alabama A&M) and Donnie Shell (South Carolina State). Nunn is the first Black contributor to make the HOF.