The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its 2023 class at the NFL Awards show on Thursday night.
While the class may lack a headliner, it’s very clearly not short on quality.
The nine inductees are offensive tackle Joe Thomas, linebacker Zach Thomas, linebacker DeMarcus Ware, cornerback Darrelle Revis, cornerback Rondé Barber, coach Don Coryell, linebacker Chuck Howley, defensive lineman Joe Klecko and cornerback Ken Riley.
Both Coryell and Riley will go in posthumously.
But there was one major name left off the list that had both ex-players and fans furious. That name is former Chicago Bears superstar Devin Hester.
The Bears selected Hester in the second round of the 2006 NFL Draft. The wide receiver/corner went on to play 10 NFL seasons and make four Pro Bowls. But it was neither his play as a wide receiver nor as a corner that made him a superstar.
Hester is widely regarded as the best NFL return man of all-time. He holds three NFL records: the most kick returns for touchdowns (20), the most punt returns for touchdowns (14) and the most return touchdowns in the season (six, 2007).
Hester’s legendary rookie season, in which he returned five kicks and punts for touchdowns, culminated in one of the most iconic moments in league history when he returned the opening kick of Super Bowl XLI 92 yards for a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts.
The return game has become largely obsolete due to NFL rule changes. But Hester’s place in history is secure. While he did not make much impact beyond the return game, many believe he belongs in the hall of fame.
NFL Players, Fans Furious Over Devin Hester’s Exclusion From Hall Of Fame
This was the Miami product’s second time on the ballot, and his second failing to make it in. Both players and fans were (yet again) unhappy with the outcome.
Devin Hester not making the Hall is probably the craziest thing I heard of ,but you they letting nvm 🙃
— Ty Hill (@cheetah) February 10, 2023
FAM!!!!! Shoutout to ALL of the Hall of Famers!!! 🙌🏾🙌🏾
BUT, HESTER AINT A HALL OF FAMER THO??!!!!! 👉🏾 @D_Hest23 👈🏾 pic.twitter.com/6DXDZeb5XX
— ANTHONY ADAMS (@spiceadams) February 10, 2023
My dog Devin Hester better get into the HOF next year. Just saying. #NFLHonors #Bears
— Jarrett Payton (@paytonsun) February 10, 2023
Devin Hester will eventually make the HOF but when you’re the best ever at your position you should be first ballot & it’s bullshit that the voters treat special teams like it’s a side act
— VP of Wu Tang Financial (@BarbChairScott) February 10, 2023
It’s a shame that the Pro Football Hall of Fame continues to ignore special teams. Devin Hester is a Hall of Famer. The kicking game is one-third of the game, and he’s the greatest returner ever.
— Evan Lazar (@ezlazar) February 10, 2023
Devin Hester should be in the Hall of Fame already and I’m saying that as a Packers fan. The best to ever do it.
— Andy Herman (@AndyHermanNFL) February 10, 2023
What say you? Should Hester be in the Hall?