Entrance into the Canton, Ohio, shrine of the eternals — pro football’s Hall of Fame — may look good on the TV resume when a network has to decide who to keep and who to let go each year.
Emmitt Smith, step aside. You’re skewing this argument.
Today, the list of the 133 players, coaches and contributors who made the preliminary cut for the Class of 2009 came out (linked here) — it’ll be cut down to 25 candidates (announced later this month) and then down to 15 finalists.
Those that jump out from a media side of things, whose career behind the mike probably hasn’t hurt their credibility and visibility in the eyes of those mysterious voters:
==Randy Cross, the former Crespi High and UCLA center who starred with the San Francisco 49ers and now works at CBS. And look at his NFL rookie card — always ready to talk.
==Cris Carter, the former Minnesota Vikings star now with ESPN’s NFL Countdown after a run at HBO’s Inside the NFL.
==Todd Christensen, the former Raiders tight end working for the MTN channel on Mountain West college football, after a run at ESPN.
==Boomer Esiason, the former Bengals and Jets QB who’s in CBS’ studio (with Hall of Famer Dan Marino) and also a former ABC “Monday Night Football” analyst who still does games for Westwood One.
==Tom Jackson, the former Denver Broncos linebacker well
entrenched in ESPN’s NFL programming studio shows.
==Jimmy Johnson, for what he did as coach of the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins, part of the Fox NFL studio set that already has Hall of Famers Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long.
==Ed and Steve Sabol, founders of NFL Films — why they’re not in already is ridiculous.
==Shannon Sharpe, former Broncos and Ravens tight end, part of the CBS NFL studio crew.
==Phil Simms, former New York Giants quarterback, and main game analyst for CBS.
==Steve Tasker, former Buffalo Bills receiver, who works CBS’ regional NFL games.
==Joe Theismann, former Washington Redskins QB, who works for …. no one, really, since ESPN let him go from the “MNF” crew. Maybe it’s good he’s laying low right now.