The Giants season ended with crushing disappointment, but Giants fans could still have a reason to celebrate come Super Bowl weekend.
That's when the Pro Football Hall of Fame will announce the Class of 2013, and there's a pretty good shot that there could be a Big Blue-tinge to the class picture: Michael Strahan and Bill Parcells were among the 17 finalists for induction announced on Friday.
It's the first year that Strahan has been eligible for induction and he's part of a very strong class of rookies on the ballot. Former Ravens tackle Jonathan Ogden, former Cowboys guard Larry Allen and former Buccaneers defensive tackle Warren Sapp all have credentials for admission to Canton to match those put up by Strahan.
Strahan holds the NFL record for sacks in a single season, he had a Brett Favre-aided 22.5 in 2001, and went to two Super Bowls as a member of the Giants. He ranks fifth all-time with 141.5 sacks and it's hard to think of any compelling argument against a player who was as good as Strahan for such a long period of time.
The same could be said for Parcells, who won two Super Bowls with the Giants and took the Patriots to another before moving on to somewhat less successful stints with the Jets, Cowboys and Dolphins. He also spawned a coaching tree that includes guys like Tom Coughlin, Sean Payton and Bill Belichick to further extend his influence on the game.
The question, as it always is come voting time, is whether the arguments for others are more compelling. Unlike baseball, the voters for this Hall of Fame meet to discuss candidates with voters making cases for players before it goes to the floor.
Those speeches can be impassioned which means that all those other new guys as well as the other 10 modern-day finalists (Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Edward DeBartolo Jr., Kevin Greene, Charles Haley, Art Modell, Andre Reed, Will Shields and Aeneas Williams) will also have people pointing out all the things they did during their moments in the sun. Our own opinion is that owners have already gleaned the rewards for their efforts in the form of money, so we'd cut DeBartolo and Modell from the list before running into a brick wall with the other 13 guys.
All of them have strong cases and we're still not sure how the Hall has failed to honor anyone from the Brown/Carter/Reed wide receiver trio over several years with all of them on the ballot. It's hard to separate them from one another, but not so hard to separate them from their peers.
However the voters shape the class, which can't be bigger than and is rarely smaller than five people, we can be pretty sure that they'll actually have a reason for an induction ceremony this summer. After the baseball fiasco earlier this week, that's reason to celebrate even if the Giants wind up shut out of the fun again.