If you want to be an NFL analyst on a pre game show, you'd be smart to pad your resume with a Hall of Fame career. Today NFL Network's Deion Sanders and Marshall Faulk were enshrined into the Hall of Fame along with CBS's Shannon Sharpe. Also inducted from the sports media world was Ed Sabol, the visionary behind NFL Films (something that no other pro league has anything similar to).
If you actually look across the NFL Sunday preview shows, you'll see it's actually a bastion of Pro Hall of Famers.
Sharpe, Sanders, and Faulk join the likes of Mike Ditka, Steve Young, Dan Marino, Michael Irvin, Terry Bradshaw, and Howie Long as Hall Famers working Sunday mornings. Rod Woodson recently left this group to take a job with the Raiders.
In the years to come you may see other studio analysts like Michael Strahan, Warren Sapp, and Bill Cowher joining the select fraternity within the fraternity.
Being on the west coast where a night out will often mitigate the need for a pre game show starting at 9am, I don't really have a strong take on any of the trio of new entries.
Who has a long term career in the industry and who could you see fizzling out? Should Marshall Faulk worry about an anti running back conspiracy as Emmitt Smith, Jerome Bettis (not inducted just yet), and Marcus Allen were quickly shown the door after brief stints.
Given there are now four channels utilizing similar formats, how about some innovation instead of imitation for a change?
My idea is that you have one host and four first round busts getting hammered at a bar. How about Petros Papadakis along with Cade McNown, Joey Harrington, Ryan Leaf, and recently "retired" Carson Palmer who can keep the seat warm for Matt Leinart. A little west coast flavor to greet your morning hangover perhaps?
All kidding aside, congratulations to Canton's newest class and especially Ed Sabol who is the one guy whose impact to the game of football and sports media is impossible to measure. Ed has had some health issues and unfortunately his son and heir apparent, Steve, is battling cancer. It was uplifting to see them on stage together given Steve's condition and his comments about the significance of his father's induction.
"Though Sabol hasn’t asked for information on his long-term prognosis, he has asked if he’ll make it to August, when the induction ceremony will be held. “You’ll make it,” Sabol was told by his doctors."