That Dermontti Dawson did not make the cut as on of the 17 finalists for the Peo Football Hall of Fame this year shows what a flawed process hall of fame voting in the NFL really is.
As it currently stands, just one person in each NFL city and a handful of "at-large" voters make up the panel that chooses who gets in and who doesn't. The final number of voters is 40.
And knowing a number of the voters – they are mostly writers for the large metros – they come with their own biases.
But how Dawson is being overlooked is beyond me.
The guy was the dominant center of his time. He played in playoff games. He played in Super Bowls. He was a Pro Bowl player and made the All-Pro team.
He was also everything that is right about professional athletes.
At the Steelers' 75th Anniversary celebration, I was standing in the hall waiting go in and interview the members of the team. I hadn't seen Dawson in five or six years – since his retirement.
But as he was walking by, he stopped, shook my hand and, with his trademark smile, asked how I had been. Dermontti Dawson was not only a great player, he's an even better human being.
Major League Baseball's Hall of Fame vote is a sham. It enlists hundreds of voters. But the NFL's vote is too small.
Forty people should not be deciding who should get in and who shouldn't. In fact, living members of the hall should have a vote.