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Steve McMichael named Hall of Fame finalist


Former Bears defensive tackle Steve McMichael has been named one of three Senior finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2024.

Senior finalists are players who completed their NFL careers no later than 1998.

To get elected to the Hall of Fame, McMichael must garner 80 percent of the vote from the 50-member Selection Committee early next year.

Since 2010—in years in which there have been a maximum of three Senior finalists—all 21 Senior finalists have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. The last time a Senior finalist failed to gain entry was Clyde Humphrey in 2009.

The one year without a three-person limit was 2020 when there were 20 Senior finalists. Of that group, 10 were voted into the Hall of Fame, including former Bears stars Jimbo Covert and Ed Sprinkle.

McMichael played 13 seasons with the Bears from 1981-93, appearing in a franchise-record 191 straight games. The charismatic Texas native affectionately known as "Mongo" ranks second in team history with 92.5 sacks, helped the Bears win six division champions and was an instrumental part of the 1985 Super Bowl XX championship defense that many consider to be the best in NFL history.

Individually, McMichael was a two-time first-team All-Pro, a three-time second-team All-Pro and a two-time Pro Bowler. He was named the 19th best player in Bears history in 2019 by writers Don Pierson and Dan Pompei in the Chicago Bears Centennial Scrapbook—the second highest slot for a non-Hall of Famer.

McMichael's 95.0 career sacks rank fourth in NFL history by a defensive tackle.

McMichael revealed in April 2021 that he is suffering from ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. He was recently hospitalized with sepsis and pneumonia but has since returned home.

ALS is a neurodegenerative neuromuscular disease that results in the progressive loss of motor neurons that control voluntary muscles. The affected muscles are responsible for chewing food, speaking and walking.

The Senior Committee chose McMichael, Randy Gradishar and Art Powell as the Senior Finalists Tuesday from a group of 12 Senior semifinalists.

"Every one of the individual presentations for the 12 candidates by the members of the Seniors Committee participating Tuesday was outstanding, truly creating the possibility that each one could have reached the position of Finalist," said Jim Porter, president of the Hall. "I applaud the committee for the thorough discussion and consideration for all 12. The depth of the Seniors pool came on full display once again."

In honor of Steve McMichael being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2024, take a look at photos of the former Bears defensive tackle over the years.