The lamentable underrepresentation of the Broncos in the sport’s shrine could be somewhat alleviated later this year.
Gary Zimmerman will be the lone Bronco up for discussion when the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s board of selectors meets the day before Super Bowl XLI to decide this year’s enshrinees.
Zimmerman is part of a group that does not include Randy Gradishar and Terrell Davis, both of whom were eliminated as the group of 25 semifinalists was whittled down to 17 finalists as announced today in Canton, Ohio.
Davis was in his first year of eligibility.
Gradishar has been eligible for 17 years, but has only been a finalist once — in 2003, when he and Zimmerman became the first to be finalists based in large part on their careers as Broncos. (Hall of Famers Willie Brown and Tony Dorsett both played in Denver, but spent the bulk of their standout days in Oakland and Dallas, respectively).
For Zimmerman, this is his fourth time on the finalist list. In addition to his 2003 finalist status, he was also among the group in 2004 and 2006. He is, at present, the only Hall-eligible player to be named to two All-Decade teams and not be among the men honored with a bust in the museum, which was established in 1963.
Seven Broncos were on the list of preliminary nominees: Steve Atwater, Davis, Gradishar, Karl Mecklenburg, Dan Reeves, Louis Wright and Zimmerman. Atwater, Mecklenburg, Reeves and Wright were trimmed from the list when it was narrowed to 25 semifinalists in November.
So what do you think? What other Broncos deserve the proper due in Canton? Discuss below …