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Pro Football Hall of Fame

Saunders: Maurkice Pouncey Building Hall of Fame Credentials



Is Maurkice Pouncey a future Hall of Famer?

It’s not really fair to judge a player’s career through such a lens until it’s over, but as he enters his 11th season with the Steelers, Pouncey’s career is far closer to its end than its beginning. It’s natural at this stage to wonder what’s left for the decorated leader of Pittsburgh’s offensive line to prove.

Pouncey has made eight Pro Bowls in his 10 years with the Steelers, and five times has been selected as an NFL All-Pro. It’s hard to do much better than that, especially with him missing all but one game of the 2013 season.

Outside of that, Pouncey, has been durable, averaging over 15 starts per season for the remaining nine years of his career.

On Monday, Pouncey was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2010s, joining Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons center Alex Mack.

That honor alone, bestowed upon by a committee organized by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, shows that Pouncey could be on the doorstep of enshrinement.

Of the 10 offensive linemen named to the 2000s all-decade team, only Alan Faneca and Chicago Bears center Olin Kreutz have not made it to the hall, and Faneca has been a five-time finalist that will likely make it eventually.

Three other centers have recently been added to the Hall of Fame’s ranks, with Kevin Mawae inducted in 2019, Vikings legend Mick Tingelhoff getting the call in 2015 and Pouncey’s spiritual Steelers predecessor Dermontti Dawson going to Canton, Ohio in 2012.

Without any real statistics, those voted-upon honorifics are the only tangible things we have to evaluate offensive linemen empirically.

In that way, Pouncey eight Pro Bowls, five All-Pros and all-decade team selection hold up well.

Dawson had seven Pro Bowls, six All-Pros and was on the 1990’s all-decade team. Mawae had eight Pro Bowls, seven All-Pros and was on the 2000s all-decade team. Tingelhof had six Pro-Bowls, seven All-Pros. Interestingly, none of those players owns a Super Bowl ring, though Tingelhof won an NFL title with the Vikings in 1969 and played in four Super Bowls.

When considering the fact that Pouncey has more time to add to his legacy — his recently restructured contract runs through the end of the 2021 season — it seems that he should have a fairly good argument when the time for voting comes.

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine: Fans at Hall of Fame Game ‘Unlikely’



The Pittsburgh Steelers are still expected to play against the Dallas Cowboys in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game on Aug. 5 in Canton, Ohio.

But the idea of that game and the week of ceremonies leading up to it being attended by fans is looking fairly bleak.

“As much as I hate to say this, because we’ve all been looking forward to that and I know how much it means to the Canton area and the Stark County area and really across the country, it’s a great great event that we’ve been looking forward to, having a crowd that size is highly unlikely,” Ohio governor Mike DeWine said on Tuesday. 

“Certainly, it could not occur today. It would be very dangerous to do it today.

The Memorial Golf Tournament, which will be held on July 19, two hours southeast of Canton in Dublin, Ohio, will allow 8,000 fans, so perhaps the outdoor portions of the ceremonies will be permitted to have crowds, but fans in stands in the building does not seem to be in the cards for now.

“Again, we have to see where we are at that point, but that’s a large crowd, a lot of people together,” DeWine said. “These are the things that we’ve talked about all the way through this as we open Ohio up and we get back to work and we get back to doing the things that we like, probably the last things that are going to be able to be open are the big crowds, particularly when you have big crowds that are close together. So we have to continue to look at it and make decisions as we move forward, but if the question was, ‘could that even occur today?’ the answer would be, ‘no.’”

The early August game is traditionally the first to be played of the NFL season and is generally one of the very first competitive American football games played in the entire season.

That means the Hall of Fame Game will be something of a guinea pig for all of the policies and procedures put into place in order to combat the continued threat of coronavirus, from the players on the field, to whether or not there are fans in the stands and much more.

Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted added that the state has in been in close contact with the Hall of Fame about planning for events.

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Pro Football Hall of Fame

Donnie Shell Donating Rare Items to Pro Football Hall of Fame



Steelers legend Donnie Shell is donating some unique and rare memorabilia to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as he prepares to be enshrined as part of the 2020 class.

A number of exclusive items are being donated, including jerseys, personal artifacts, and awards.

The jerseys are Shell’s college jersey from his time a South Carolina State, as well as a throwback Steelers jersey.

Among the many personal artifacts in the collection are Shell’s Bible used during his career, a 1974 Steelers team photo, his Terrible Towel and even a commemorative ball from his second-career interception.

Also included are two of Shell’s awards from his years at South Carolina State, his 1973-74 Sportsmanship Award and his 1973 All-American Award.

Shell spent his entire 14-year career with the Steelers. His 51 career interceptions are the third-most in Steelers history.

Shell will be inducted as part of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Centennial class, along with fellow Steelers Troy Polamalu and Bill Cowher.

Steelers fans can check out all the donated memorabilia here.

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Heinz History Center, Pro Football Hall of Fame Announce Closures



Hall of Fame

At this point, everyone is aware that most sporting events have been canceled or postponed due to the ongoing public heath threat of the novel coronavirus-caused COVID-19 pandemic.

But it isn’t just live sporting events that are being canceled in the pro sports world.

Saturday, the Heinz History Center and Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum in Pittsburgh announced that they will close through March 29.

“In accordance with the recommendations of local and state officials to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Heinz History Center and Fort Pitt Museum will close to the public effective on Saturday, March 14, and remain closed through Sunday, March 29,” the center tweeted on Saturday.

“As always, the health and safety of our visitors, volunteers, and staff is our top priority. Please continue to follow our social media platforms for updated information on this fluid situation.”

In Canton, Ohio, the Pro Football Hall of Fame also announced its closure, at least through March 27.

“The health and safety of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s visitors, as well as staff and volunteers, is a top priority,” the Hall of Fame said in a statement.

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