A wrong was righted this past June when Harold Carmichael was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
That it took a special class of inductees to make it happen was a shame, but it did happen, and that doesn’t make it any less worthy of celebration. Carmichael, who played with the Eagles from 1971-83, went into the Hall as part of the NFL’s Centennial Slate of inductees in celebration of the league’s 100th anniversary.
The actual enshrinement – the weekend in Canton – was scrapped this past summer as the global pandemic raged, and still rages. A future date for the ceremony has not yet been set.
Perhaps now there will be another wrong righted.
On Tuesday, it was announced that former Eagle cornerback Eric Allen was one of 25 semifinalists on the list to potentially be enshrined in the 2021 class. It is the first time Allen has made it to the semifinal.
My reaction: It’s about time.
My question: What took so long?
Allen still has a way to go to make it into the Hall of Fame. The group will be paired to finalists with the players who will earn induction being announced during Super Bowl weekend.
It won’t be easy for Allen because this is a strong group.
Fifteen of the 25 players on the list are from the defensive side of the ball with seven defensive backs.
Other first-time semifinalists, in addition to Allen, are Willie Anderson, Cornelius Bennett, and Rodney Harrison.
Then there are four first-year players who will likely get in: Peyton Manning, Calvin Johnson, Charles Woodson, and Jared Allen.
Eric Allen has been retired for 20 years now. He played 14 years in the NFL, half of those with the Eagles, who drafted him in the second round – 30th overall – in 1988 out of Arizona State.
During his seven seasons with the Eagles, Allen was named to the Pro Bowl five times and was named an All-Pro after the 1989 season when he finished second in the NFL with eight interceptions. He was also a key member of the famed Gang Green defense that led the league in multiple defensive categories in 1991, including total yards per game (221.8), passing yards per game (150.8), and rushing yards per game (71).
Allen is tied with Brian Dawkins and Bill Bradley for the most interceptions in Eagles history with 34 and owns the franchise record for most career interceptions returns for touchdowns with five.
In 2011, he was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame.
After leaving the Eagles following the 1994 season, Allen went to New Orleans and played three years with the Saints, adding five interceptions to his career total.
In 1998, at the age of 33, Allen went to the Oakland Raiders, where he spent the final four years of his career and collected another 15 interceptions.
His 54 career interceptions are tied for 21st-most in NFL history with two Hall of Famers – Willie Brown and Darrell Green.
The five players right behind Allen, and seven of eight, are in the Hall of Fame, including Deion Sanders and Ty Law (53 each), and Champ Bailey (52).
Twelve of the 20 players ahead of him on the NFL’s all-time interceptions list are in the Hall of Fame.
His eight interception-for-touchdown returns are tied for eighth-most in league history. Four of the seven players ahead of him are in the Hall and six of the 12 players behind him are in the Hall.
So, again, what is taking so long?
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