Jim Marshall, the ironman who set the Vikings’ gold standard for toughness and leadership while never missing a game in the franchise’s first 20 seasons, did not make the list of finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 20-member Centennial Class.
The Hall on Wednesday released the list of 20 senior candidates, 10 contributors and eight coaches who will be considered by the special Blue Ribbon committee. That committee will then select 10 seniors, three contributors and two coaches. The other five members of the Class of 2020 will be modern-era players chosen by the 48-member selection committee on the eve of Super Bowl LIV in Miami.
The Vikings have made strong pushes to get Marshall into the Hall of Fame for years, but they stepped up efforts this year in hopes that the expanded field would include the man that Hall of Fame coach Bud Grant considers the cornerstone of a franchise that’s in its 59th season.
Marshall’s only year as a Hall of Fame finalist was in 2004. He played for the Vikings from 1961 to 1979 after playing in the CFL in 1959 and with the Browns as a fourth-round draft pick in 1960.
Marshall played 282 straight games, a record that only Brett Favre ended up breaking among position players.
Of the 38 finalists presented to the Blue Ribbon committee, running back Roger Craig is the only one with ties to the Vikings. He played the final two years of his career with the Vikings in 1992-93.
Here are all the finalists that will be considered by the Blue Ribbon committee:
SENIORS (20 FINALISTS) – A player who last played more than 25 seasons ago
Cliff Branch, WR – 1972-1985 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
Harold Carmichael, WR – 1971-1983 Philadelphia Eagles, 1984 Dallas Cowboys
Jim Covert, T – 1983-1990 Chicago Bears
Roger Craig, RB – 1983-1990 San Francisco 49ers, 1991 Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-93 Minnesota Vikings
Bobby Dillon, S – 1952-59 Green Bay Packers
LaVern Dilweg, E – 1926 Milwaukee Badgers, 1927-1934 Green Bay Packers
Ox Emerson, G/LB/C – 1931-37 Portsmouth Spartans/Detroit Lions, 1938 Brooklyn Dodgers
Randy Gradishar, LB – 1974-1983 Denver Broncos
Cliff Harris, S – 1970-79 Dallas Cowboys
Winston Hill, T – 1963-1976 New York Jets, 1977 Los Angeles Rams
Cecil Isbell, TB/DB/HB – 1938-1942 Green Bay Packers
Alex Karras, DT – 1958-1962, 1964-1970 Detroit Lions
Verne Lewellen, HB – 1924-27, 1928-1932 Green Bay Packers, 1927 New York Yankees
Tommy Nobis, LB – 1966-1976 Atlanta Falcons
Drew Pearson, WR – 1973-1983 Dallas Cowboys
Donnie Shell, S – 1974-1987 Pittsburgh Steelers
Duke Slater, T – 1922 Milwaukee Badgers, 1922-25 Rock Island Independents, 1926-1931 Chicago Cardinals
Mac Speedie, E – 1946-1952 Cleveland Browns [AAFC/NFL]
Ed Sprinkle, DE/LB/E – 1944-1955 Chicago Bears
Al Wistert, OT/DT/G – 1943 Phil-Pitt, 1944-1951 Philadelphia Eagles
COACHES (8 FINALISTS) – Coaches who last coached more than five seasons ago
Don Coryell – 1973-77 St. Louis Cardinals, 1978-1986 San Diego Chargers
Bill Cowher – 1992-2006 Pittsburgh Steelers
Tom Flores – 1979-1987 Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, 1992-94 Seattle Seahawks
Mike Holmgren – 1992-98 Green Bay Packers, 1999-2008 Seattle Seahawks
Jimmy Johnson – 1989-1993 Dallas Cowboys, 1996-99 Miami Dolphins
Buddy Parker – 1949 Chicago Cardinals, 1951-56 Detroit Lions, 1957-1964 Pittsburgh Steelers
Dan Reeves – 1981-1992 Denver Broncos, 1993-96 New York Giants, 1997-2003 Atlanta Falcons
Dick Vermeil – 1976-1982 Philadelphia Eagles, 1997-99 St. Louis Rams, 2001-05 Kansas City Chiefs
CONTRIBUTORS (10 FINALISTS) – An individual other than a player or coach
Bud Adams, Owner – 1960-2013 Houston Oilers/Tennessee Oilers/Titans
Ralph Hay, Owner – 1918-1922 Canton Bulldogs
Frank “Bucko” Kilroy, Scout/General Manager/Executive – 1960-61 Philadelphia Eagles, 1962-64 Washington Redskins, 1965-1970 Dallas Cowboys, 1971-2006 New England Patriots
Art McNally, Official/Administrator – 1959-2015 National Football League
Art Modell, Owner – 1961-1995 Cleveland Browns, 1996-2011 Baltimore Ravens
Clint Murchison, Founder/Owner – 1960-1983 Dallas Cowboys
Steve Sabol, Administrator/President – 1964-2012 NFL Films
Seymour Siwoff, Owner/President – 1952-2019 Elias Sports Bureau
Paul Tagliabue, Commissioner – 1989-2006 National Football League
George Young, Contributor/General Manager – 1968-1974 Baltimore Colts, 1975-78 Miami Dolphins, 1979-1997 New York Giants, 1998-2001 National Football League