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Patriots three 2012 Hall of Fame finalists announced
This year's Patriots Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, the day before the Patriots' regular season home opener against the Arizona Cardinals (9/16/12). The hall of fame induction ceremony takes place each year on the Patriot Place Plaza, located just outside The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon. The induction ceremony is open to the public and free to attend. The time of this year's event will be announced at a later date.
Beginning in 2007, the Patriots started a new hall of fame tradition, inducting one player or head coach into the team's hall of fame each year. The process for induction involves a panel of media, alumni and staff who collectively nominate the players and/or head coaches who have been out of football for at least four years who are most deserving of induction. After the nominations are made, the committee votes and the top three tallies become that year's finalists. The Patriots then give their fans the opportunity to vote online to select each year's hall of fame honoree.
In 2011, the Patriots formed a senior selection committee that meets every three to five years to ensure that early era players are not overlooked in the voting process. The committee consists of 10 veteran media and staff members who gather to discuss any candidates who have been retired for at least 25 years to identify the player most deserving of Patriots Hall of Fame recognition. The committee selected seven-time AFL all-star center Jon Morris, who joined Drew Bledsoe in last year's induction class into the Patriots Hall of Fame.
Earlier this month, a 17-person nomination committee met to discuss this year's candidates for induction. Those votes were tallied and the three finalists are now being revealed. Now it is up to the fans to decide who is most deserving. Voters for the Patriots Hall of Fame will be limited to one vote per computer IP address. The nominee receiving the most votes will become the 19th person named to the Patriots Hall of Fame. This year's finalists are listed below:
About the Patriots Hall of Fame
The Patriots Hall of Fame was officially formed in 1991 after John Hannah became the first Patriots player to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. With the hall of fame, the Patriots created a new way of honoring their greatest players. It wasn't until 2008, with the opening of The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon, that Patriots players, past and present, truly had a place to call home that they could share with their fans. Now, enshrinement into The Hall is an honor befitting of the franchise's greatest players, with 30-foot video pylons displaying each enshrinee. Beginning in 2007, fans became part of the hall of fame tradition and active participants in the selection process.
The complete list of Patriots Hall of Famers (with their year of induction) is listed below:
John Hannah (1991)
Nick Buoniconti (1992)
Gino Cappelletti (1992)
Bob Dee (1993)
Jim Lee Hunt (1993)
Steve Nelson (1993)
Vito "Babe" Parilli (1993)
Mike Haynes (1994)
Steve Grogan (1995)
Andre Tippett (1999)
Bruce Armstrong (2001)
Stanley Morgan (2007)
Ben Coates (2008)
Jim Nance (2009)
Sam Cunningham (2010)
Jon Morris (2011)
Drew Bledsoe (2011)
William "Billy" Sullivan (2009)
About The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon
The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon is the crown jewel of Patriot Place and the only sports and education experience of its kind. Through a dazzling array of interactive multimedia exhibits and artifacts never before viewable by the public, The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon showcases the tradition of the New England Patriots, explores the history of football in New England, and promotes math and science education for the thousands of schoolchildren expected to visit each year. For more information, please visit www.thehallatpatriotplace.com.