Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement: What It REALLY Means to an Inductee's Bottom Line

There are some nervous men waking up across North Texas Saturday morning.  Not members of the Packers or Steelers competing in Super Bowl XLV.  It's the men who will find out on this very day if they will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH later this year.

Finalists include former Cowboys Deion Sanders and Charles Haley as well as Dallas native Tim Brown.  Here is a complete rundown of the 17 finalists.

Enshrinement in football's most exclusive club is a true honor.  The Hall of Fame weekend is August serves as reunion for some of the sports most cherished contributors.  Having been to three of them, it's the real deal.

But going into the Hall is about a lot more than prestige.  It's about the cash, marketing opportunities and exposure.  I talked to one finalist who told me that if he gets in, it's a complete game-changer.  If he gets to hang the gold jacket in his closet, he will sign about a half-million dollar autograph deal.  He has three huge household name sponsors anxious to use him as a spokesman if he is a Hall of Famer.

I talked to John Randle about just that Friday night at the NFL Alumni's Player of the Year Awards.  The former Vikings defensive tackle was a member of the 2010 Hall of Fame class.  When I asked how much things have changed for him this last year, he respond with sort of a half-smirk/half-smile.

"Let me tell you this," he said.  "I haven't paid for one round of golf the entire year."

He wouldn't elaborate but he made his point.

The Selection Committee meets today in Dallas to elect the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2011. The election results will be announced at 6 p.m. during a one-hour NFL Network special, live from the Super Bowl Media Center.
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