There is still just one true Cincinnati Bengals player enshrined in the NFL’s Hall of Fame.
Votes were calculated on Thursday for candidates in the senior category and former Bengals quarterback Ken Anderson was not selected as a finalist. Former Packers offensive lineman Jerry Kramer and former Houston Oilers defensive lineman, Robert Brazile, were chosen to move on to a committee process to determine if they will be enshrined in the next HOF class.
Five members of the Hall of Fame's seniors committee voted for Kramer and Brazile to be nominated for potential induction. The 48-member Hall of Fame selection committee will determine in February if one or both will be enshrined as part of the next Hall of Fame class. They must receive 80 percent of the committee's votes in order to be inducted.
Kramer has long been a name that many believe should be enshrined in Canton. He was an unheralded and integral figure on the offensive line of those iconic Green Bay Packers teams in the 1950s and 1960s. Additionally, Brazile was a seven-time Pro Bowl nominee and also garnered two first team All-Pro honors.
Meanwhile, it’s been a long and tough road to Canton for Anderson. While he had his own ups and downs in his NFL career, the former Cincinnati signal-caller ended with quite a few accolades.
He was a four-time Pro Bowl nominee and three-time All-Pro (one first-team designation, two second-team) in his 16-year Bengals career. The 1981 season was a banner year for Anderson, as he led the Bengals to a Super Bowl XVI appearance, while also winning awards for NFL MVP, NFL Offensive Player of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year in 1981.
Anderson is also the career leader in franchise history in passing yards (32,838) and passing touchdowns (197). And, in the Bengals’ release of their top-50 players of all-time, Anderson was voted No. 2 in franchise history behind Anthony Munoz, who is the lone player enshrined in the Hall of Fame representing the Bengals.
This isn’t the first snub of Anderson into the Hall of Fame, though. He has been a finalist for nomination in 1995 and 1998, but his failure to be elected has landed him in the senior committee process.
As it is with any professional sports Hall of Fame induction process, it’s a matter of discerning who was truly excellent against who may have been “very good”. Most Bengals fans put Anderson in the former category, while many national media members and voters place him in the latter.
Regardless of one’s stance on the issue, Anderson will continue to wait to get into the NFL Hall of Fame and hopefully get in soon.