It will be a busy Super Bowl eve Saturday, with the announcement of the selections for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and a new television show to hand out the major awards for this season, including most valuable player and coach of the year.
The Hall of Fame announcement is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Super Bowl media center in downtown Indianapolis and is to be televised by the league-owned NFL Network. The media members who serve as Hall of Fame voters are scheduled to meet earlier Saturday and elect four to seven inductees from a list of 17 finalists. Enshrinement ceremonies will take place in August in Canton, Ohio.
The list of finalists includes Dick Stanfel, a guard who finished his career with three seasons with the Washington Redskins between 1956 and ’58. Stanfel played his first four seasons with the Detroit Lions. He was named to five all-pro teams in his seven seasons and was a member of the all-decade team of the 1950s.
Stanfel and Jack Butler, a cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the ‘50s, are the two nominees of the senior committee. They’re joined by 15 modern-era finalists.
Former coach Bill Parcells and former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward DeBartolo, Jr. are among the finalists, which also include former players Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Kevin Greene, Charles Haley, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin, Andre Reed, Willie Roaf, Will Shields and Aeneas Williams.
The annual NFL awards given by the Associated Press are to be announced at a two-hour ceremony beginning at 6 p.m. at another downtown Indianapolis venue, the Murat Theatre at Old National Centre. The ceremony is to be taped and aired on NBC from 9 to 11 Saturday night.
The MVP front-runner appears to be Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers, followed by fellow quarterbacks Drew Brees of New Orleans and Tom Brady of New England. Rodgers had the highest single-season passer rating in NFL history as the Packers won their first 13 games on their way to a 15-1 regular season. Brees set single-season league records for passing yards and completion percentage as the Saints went 13-3. Brady joined Brees and Detroit’s Matthew Stafford in surpassing 5,000 passing yards and led the Patriots to a 13-3 record.
Neither the Packers nor the Saints reached the Super Bowl, as the Patriots did, but the awards are given based on regular season performance.
The other awards to be announced Saturday include comeback player of the year, offensive and defensive player of the year, offensive and defensive rookie of the year and the Walter Payton NFL man of the year.
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