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Hall of Fame ballot will be crowded in 2013

EA SPORTS Madden Bowl Kicks Off The Bud Light Hotel

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 02: Former NFL player Michael Strahan attends EA SPORTS Madden Bowl Kicks off the Bud Light Hotel at the Bud Light Hotel on February 2, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for Bud Light)

Stephen Lovekin

Saturday was a tough day for those who just missed out on election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Things don’t figure to get much easier for Bill Parcells, Cris Carter, Charles Haley, Andre Reed and the other finalists who couldn’t garner enough support to join those elected to the Hall. The ballot will add several big names next year, making it certain that some of those men will miss out on enshrinement once again.

The biggest names on the list are Larry Allen, Jonathan Ogden and Michael Strahan. Allen made seven All-Pro teams during his career with the Cowboys and was a member of the All-Decade team for both the 1990s and 2000s. Ogden joined him on the latter team and made nine All-Pro teams as one of the best left tackles the game has ever seen. Strahan was also on the All-Decade team for the 2000s, holds the single-season sack record and was the 2001 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. All three men have Super Bowl rings on top of those individual accolades and seem like good bets to wind up with yellow blazers in the future.

Once you throw in Warren Sapp, John Lynch, Steve McNair and Morten Andersen and any Seniors Committee candidates, you’ve got a ballot overstuffed with players who achieved great things during their NFL careers. The lack of transparency in Hall of Fame voting makes it hard to know how close some of the near misses came to getting elected or if they were even near misses in the first place. That makes it that much more difficult to predict who might be joining Curtis Martin, Chris Doleman, Willie Roaf, Dermontti Dawson, Cortez Kennedy and Jack Butler the Hall of Fame in New Orleans this time next year.