That’s how long it took 46 voters from around the country to “discuss” Brett Favre’s worthiness for the Pro Football Hall of Fame during today’s selection meeting on the third floor of the Moscone Center in downtown San Francisco.
That’s nine seconds out of an 8-hour, 49-minute meeting in which 18 finalists were considered for the Hall’s Class of 2016.
Yeah, that’s how good the ole gunslinger was. A Hall of Famer who stands out even among Hall of Famers.
And, oh yeah, Brett made it. The record-setting NFL ironman needed only his 20 seasons, three MVPs, one Super Bowl title and record 297 consecutive regular-season starts (321, including playoffs) to gain the votes necessary to become one of the 303 Hall of Famers in NFL history.
Meanwhile, in a bit of a surprise, Tony Dungy, the former Gophers quarterback who rose to prominence as an NFL defensive mastermind and the only black coach to win a Super Bowl, also made the Class of 2016. So did pass rusher Kevin Greene, who is third on the career sacks list with 160; former Colts receiver Marvin Harrison, who played 11 seasons with Peyton Manning and finished his career with 128 touchdown receptions; former Rams left tackle Orlando Pace; senior committee finalists Ken Stabler, the Super Bowl-winning quarterback of the Oakland Raiders; Dick Stanfel, a guard for the Lions and Redskins in the 1950s; and contributor category finalist Eddie DeBartolo Jr., the five-time Super Bowl-winning former owner of the 49ers.
Dungy, a former Vikings defensive coordinator who later turned the Tampa Buccaneers around before winning his Super Bowl with Peyton Manning in Indianapolis during the 2006 season, was in his third year as a finalist and wasn’t expected to survive a tightly-packed group of modern-era players and coaches who shared the final 15 with Favre, the one slam-dunk of this year’s meeting.
The selection meeting began with discussion and votes on the two senior committee finalists and DeBartolo. After that, the discussion moved to the modern-era candidates.
As a member of the committee, I was in the meeting. But specifics of the meeting are confidential. There was a lengthy discussion on receiver Terrell Owens, a first-year eligible player who had five first-team All-Pro selections but also was known for being a divisive player on teams throughout his career.
When the selectors were asked to reduce the modern-era field from 15 to 10, Owens didn’t make the cut. Neither did first-year eligible player Alan Faneca, who had more first-team All-Pro honors than any other finalist up for discussion this year. Also failing to survive the first cut were kicker Morton Andersen, the NFL’s leading scorer, who played 25 seasons, including the 2004 season as a Viking; Broncos safety Steve Atwater; and running back Edgerrin James.
The next cut was from 10 to five. Failing to make that cut were: coach Don Coryell; Terrell Davis, the Broncos running back whose brilliant career was cut short by a knee injury; Redskins offensive tackle Joe Jacoby; Bucs and Broncos safety John Lynch; and Rams and Cardinals two-time MVP quarterback Kurt Warner.