Originally posted on 60 Max Power O  |  Last updated 8/6/12

21 Oct 1990: Wide receiver Andre Reed of the Buffalo Bills catches the ball as New York Jets defensive back James Hasty tackles him during a game at Rich Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. The Bills won the game, 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Rick Stewart /

The Pro Football Hall of Fame welcomed its newest class this past weekend, as Willie Roaf, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Dermontti Dawson, Curtis Martin and Jack Butler made up the Class of 2012.

And for the seventh straight year, former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Andre Reed had to watch from home instead of taking his rightful place in the Canton, Ohio, facility.

Reed was once again a finalist in 2012, making it to the very final round of voting before getting left off the list along with fellow receivers Cris Carter and Tim Brown – which was a surprise considering four linemen made the cut.

And, unfortunately for Reed, the path to enshrinement will not get easier in 2013. Along with Carter and Brown, lineman Charles Haley and coach Bill Parcells are holdovers from previous ballots. They will be joined by first-timers Larry Allen, Jonathan Ogden and sure-fire Hall of Famer Michael Strahan. Warren Sapp, John Lynch, Priest Holmes and Morten Anderson will also join the list in 2013.

Strahan is a definite, and Allen is a probable inductee once voting is announced Super Bowl weekend. That leaves a maximum of four spots open in the class. If one goes by the numbers, the odds would be against Reed to get in next year. He ranks 10th all-time in receptions with 951, but he's behind both Carter (1,101) and Brown (1,094). His 13,198 receiving yards are good for eighth all-time, but he's again behind both Brown (14,934) and Carter (13,899).

But with more context, Reed might be a more appealing candidate. He accumulated those huge numbers despite the Bills of the 1990s having one of the league's dominant ground games with Thurman Thomas. He got those numbers while completing most of his routes over the middle in traffic, with James Lofton and Don Beebe drawing some traffic deep down the field with them to open things up for Reed, who was the better threat. Carter and Brown, meanwhile, were downfield specialists who capitalized on the long ball to rack up yardage.

But Reed's name tends to capture more people's minds when thinking about dominant receivers from that era. For all his numbers, Brown certainly is not the quintessential No. 2 receiver of the time (Jerry Rice is No. 1, no questions asked). Carter's name carries more weight, but his teams didn't win as much as Reed's.

Even if voters approve of Reed over his receiving peers, though, getting through the rest of that class will be tough. Lynch was the dominant safety of his day, and Parcells should probably already be in due to what he did as a coach. Sapp was not quite as signature a player at his position, but the former defensive lineman did rack up good numbers and has a Super Bowl ring to his credit.

Reed's day should come when he joins the game's all-time best. But the wait appears as though it might not be short.

Be sure to check out other great articles at Sports Media 101.

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