49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

February 4, 2012
DeBartolo, Haley don't make hall-of-fame cut

eddieDeB.jpg

Eddie DeBartolo, Jr. may have five Super Bowl rings, but he is still looking for one hall-of-fame nod.

The former 49ers owner last month ventured as close as he's been to the Pro Football Hall of Fame when he was named one of 15 modern-day finalists. On Saturday, however, DeBartolo didn't make the first cut as 44 NFL writers ultimately pared the list to six names.

Defensive end/linebacker Charles Haley, who won five Super Bowls with the 49ers and Cowboys, made the cut from 15 to 10 players but will not be part of the 2012 class either. That class contains one former 49er, defensive end Chris Dolemen, who played in San Francisco in 1996-98 but who spent most of his career with the Vikings.

Former Raiders receiver Tim Brown also was a finalist but was not voted in this year. DeBartolo, who was in Tampa, Fla. Saturday, said through a spokeswoman that he was "truly humbled to have made it to the top 15 and that he's proud of his and his teams' accomplishments over the years."

In addition to Doleman, the other members of the 2012 class are:

• Steelers C Dermontti Dawson
• Seahawks NT Cortez Kennedy
• Jets RB Curtis Martin
• Saints OT Willie Roaf
• Steelers CB Jack Butler

Unlike recent hall-of-fame classes that had prominent, first-ballot inductees like Jerry Rice and Deion Sanders, this year's list of finalists lacked star power and was notable for who didn't make the final cut.

Brown, for example, set Raiders franchise records for receptions, receiving yards, and punt return yards, and his 14,934 receiving yards were second-most in NFL history at the time of his retirement. But he will have to wait to be enshrined. Two other prolific receivers from Brown's era, Cris carter and Andre Reed, also fell short.

DeBartolo and former Giants coach Bill Parcells, meanwhile, were the only two non players on the list of 15 finalists, and so-called "contributors" have difficulty getting in. According to voters, there was a regional bias towards both men with West Coast writers favoring DeBartolo and East Coast writers backing Parcells. In the end, it appears the two cancelled each other out.

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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