Item: The one time Orange star receiver (1992-95) and Indianapolis Colts great (1996-2008) missed out on his first shot at making it to Canton, but his eventual enshrinement should come sooner than later.
It was an initial mild surprise to Orange Watch when the seven members (five modern-day players plus two senior nominees) of the newest class of Pro Football Hall of Fame inductees were unveiled this past weekend in New York, and Marvin Harrison, in his first year of eligibility, was not among the names that were announced.
But upon further inspection, and despite the fact that Harrison holds several NFL records including an amazing 143 catches during the 2002 season, and being on the receiving end of 953 of Peyton Manning’s completions forming the top QB-WR duo in league history, only five receivers have made the Hall in their first year on the ballot – Jerry Rice, Lance Alworth, Paul Warfield, Steve Largent, and Raymond Berry, who previously held many of the Colts receiving records that Harrison surpassed.
Becoming the sixth, first time WR inductee among the great names on the 2014 ballot that had to be whittled down from the final 10 to the five enshrines was going to be tough in Harrison’s case, especially with holdover WR Andre Reed (951 career receptions compared to Harrison’s 1,102) having been eligible for eight years, and among the 10 finalists for the past five.
Indeed, it appears as though the voters, after previously cutting Tim Brown (eligible since 2010 and a finalist the last two years) from the list of 10 finalists, acknowledged Reed’s long wait, and that Harrison is likely to be right back among the short list of finalists again next year.
“Not disappointed,” Harrison diplomatically told the Indianapolis Star over the weekend. “The thing is, not once did I psych myself up about being a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
“It definitely would have been a great honor, but I’m more than happy for the guys (Andre Reed included) who made it. It was well deserved.”
One easy prediction in future voting, Harrison won’t have to wait the bewildering eight years it took for fellow former Orange standout WR (1976-79) Art Monk to finally reach Canton in 2008.