I recently ranked former Bears players I feel are most deserving of enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We asked fans to rank the six players as well, and nearly 4,000 responded. The following is the order they finished, based on a points system. The small arrows indicate the difference between the fan rankings and my rankings.
Hester received 80 percent of the first-place votes from fans, crushing the rest of the field. None of the other five garnered more than 7 percent, with Jay Hilgenberg receiving 7 percent, followed by Steve McMichael (6), Charles Tillman (5), Lance Briggs (2) and Olin Kreutz (1). Hester also received 9 percent of the second-place votes, giving him 89 percent of the first- and second-place votes.
Hilgenberg finished second in the fan vote after receiving the most second-place votes (38 percent). The 38 percent was more than double the votes he garnered in any of the five other positions. Fans ranked Hilgenberg in the middle of the pack; he received 17 percent of the third-place votes, 16 percent of the fourth-place votes and 14 percent of the fifth-place votes.
Tillman finished third, although he received far fewer third-place votes (19 percent) than Steve McMichael (36). Tillman had the most fourth-place votes (37 percent) of any of the players, but receiving the second most second-place votes (25 percent) helped lift him into the third spot.
McMichael garnered the most third-place votes as mentioned, but he dropped to fourth in the fan rankings because he received only 15 percent of the second-place votes. Mongo compiled 17 percent of the fourth-place votes, 14 percent of the fifth-place votes and 12 percent of the sixth-place votes.
Briggs garnered the most sixth-place votes by a wide margin with 48 percent, but he finished fifth in the fan voting because he received a decent amount of consideration in the third (15 percent), fourth (13 percent) and fifth (14 percent) spots.
Kreutz received the most fifth-place votes (46 percent), but he also garnered a large chunk in the sixth spot (25 percent) and not a lot of consideration in the top three slots with 1 percent of the first-place vote, 5 percent of the second-place vote and 8 percent of the third-place vote.
No matter where any of the players finished in the rankings, though, all deserve at least Hall of Fame consideration.