This weekend is one of the busiest football weekends of the entire season. Of course, Super Bowl LIV takes place on Sunday featuring the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. It's also NFL Honors weekend as a multitude of NFL players and coaches take home hardware for NFL MVP, Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, Coach of the Year and Walter Payton Man of the Year. Texans defensive tackle D.J. Reader is one of the 32 men up for the award for his outstanding work in the Houston community and beyond.
On Saturday, though, the greatest of all individual honors is decided upon and that's induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Now, there was a one-time, unique Hall of Fame Centennial Class named two weeks ago that included Super Bowl winning coaches Jimmy Johnson and Bill Cowher and long-time stars such as Harold Carmichael, Donnie Shell and Jimbo Covert.
This weekend, though, the Hall of Fame voting committee, which includes our pal John McClain from the Houston Chronicle, convenes in Miami to determine which five current era stars will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in August 2020.
The list includes:
Broncos safety Steve Atwater
Giants linebacker Carl Banks
Bucs safety Ronde Barber
Jaguars tackle Tony Boselli
Rams wide receivers Isaac Bruce and Torry Holt
Steelers guard Alan Faneca
Vikings/Seahawks guard Steve Hutchinson
Colts running back Edgerrin James
Bucs/Broncos safety John Lynch (current 49ers general manager)
Browns linebacker Clay Matthews
Saints/Panthers linebacker Sam Mills (former USFL star)
Steelers safety Troy Polamalu
Bucs edge rusher Simeon Rice
Patriots/Raiders defensive end Richard Seymour
Bills special teams star Steve Tasker
Jaguars running back Fred Taylor
Dolphins linebacker Zach Thomas
Steelers receiver Hines Ward
49ers/Eagles running back Ricky Watters
Colts receiver Reggie Wayne
49ers linebacker Patrick Willis
Cowboys safety Darren Woodson
49ers defensive lineman Bryant Young
The Texans don't have representation, yet, even though technically Boselli was a member of the organization. Unfortunately, he didn't play in Houston due to lingering injuries that happened at the end of his career in Jacksonville. However, there are plenty of players that Texans fans had the unfortunate opportunity to watch over the years, including the two Colts stars, Wayne and James.
But, the city of Houston does have representation in the form of former Lamar Consolidated HS star Faneca. He moved from Louisiana to Richmond/Rosenberg for his high school years and played at my alma mater where my Pops helped coach him through those years. I'll never forget my dad telling me when I got back from college that I needed to see this guy play. Being skeptical, I wasn't all that jazzed about it... then I saw him. Oh my gosh, he was the best guard I ever saw play at all three levels. So, the Harris family is watching this weekend's proceedings with more interest than usual.
It's strange to get that point in life when you distinctly remember each and every one of these players, in some cases dating all the way back to their high school years. But, that's where I am and I can recall each of these players well. As such, The General and his pals have some tough work to do this weekend to find the five most worthy candidates in this group.