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ICYMI: The Guardian’s Grove

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Aug 4, 2012; Canton, OH, USA; Fans look at busts at the Pro Football Hall of Fame before the 2012 enshrinement at Fawcett Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

With the rest of 2013 NFL Football Preseason waiting in the wings, the annual NFL Hall of Fame preseason opener in Canton, Ohio is set to take the stage this Sunday, 4 August 2013, between the Dallas Cowboys and the Miami Dolphins. While the game is both an appetizer to the starving refugees of the offseason as well as much ado about nothing, it is often the Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremony that calls the majority of discussion and reflection among fan and analysts alike. This year the inductees include Cris Carter, Larry Allen, Warren Sapp, Curley Culp, Jonathan Ogden, David Robinson, and Bill Parcells. Unlike years past, these are clearly Hall of Fame caliber players and coaches with undeniable contributions to the game of football.

However, this is not always the case. Each year as ballots are being cast for the Hall of Fame, there are always the fringe candidates who were amazing players, but perhaps never won an elusive Super Bowl or perhaps was only ‘Pro-Bowl productive’ for a handful of remarkable seasons. The question, “what makes a ‘Hall of Famer’” is nearly rhetorical as the customary answer to the debate seems equally circular; you’ll know it when you see it.

An NFL Network special several years back said something very profound with regards to the process of selection,

"…if the story of the NFL cannot be told without mentioning specific players those players should be considered for the Hall of Fame."

By this logic, Vincent “Bo” Jackson is a shoe in.