The bust display in the HOF museum before the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement ceremony Sunday, Aug. 8, 2021 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.

Hof Calvin

Art McNally named Contributor Finalist for Hall of Fame 2022 class

Art McNally, often referred to as “The Father of Modern Officiating,” was selected as the Contributor Finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022 on Tuesday.

The 96-year-old McNally would be the first official honored in the Hall of Fame if he were to be inducted next year.

McNally became an official in 1959, served as referee from 1960-67 and was supervisor of officials from 1968-1991. He oversaw the implementation of instant replay in 1986.

“Officiating is critical every day for those who work in the game, and the most important part of officiating is integrity,” said Hall of Famer Bill Polian, one of nine members of the Contributor Committee that selected McNally over 10 others.

“Art McNally first and foremost is a man of utmost integrity. … He set up a system of scouting, training and evaluating officials that is the gold standard for every officiating group in every other sport.”

After his initial retirement, McNally stayed involved and returned to the NFL as assistant supervisor of officials from 1995-2007. He worked as an observer through the 2015 season.

In 2002, then-NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue created the Art McNally Award, which honors a game official each season who exhibits “exemplary professionalism, leadership and commitment to sportsmanship” on and off the field.

To be elected to the Hall of Fame, McNally must each receive 80 percent of the vote by the full 49-member Selection Committee when it meets in early 2022.

Last week, former wide receiver Cliff Branch was selected the Senior Finalist and Dick Vermeil was tabbed the Coach Finalist.

–Field Level Media