Every year, usually the last Friday in July at a different location each time, members of the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame council gather to select the newest Hall inductees.
Council members pick three inductees from the pre-1970 era and seven from the post-1970 time frame.
As a council member, I return from every meeting wondering if I made the right choices. Did I truly vote for deserving candidates? Or did I miss a person or two who should be in the hall?
The selection process is a daunting task. On July 26, council members had 290 candidates in which to consider for inclusion.
That's right, 290.
A vast majority have been up for a vote for a long time - some more than 30 years - without gaining the necessary majority votes to make the hall.
Every year, there are 15 to 20 new candidates to be considered. Perhaps one to four of them will be considered "no-brainer" selections in the post-1970 voting.
That makes it difficult for anyone else who may have been considered for induction in the past to make the current list.
There are 22 UPSHF council members representing, I believe, all 15 peninsula counties. Some counties, like Marquette and Delta, have several council members. Others, like Schoolcraft, have one.
Every council member has his or her own ideas as to what makes a good UPSHF inductee. One person's criteria is not necessarily another's.
Council members every year are reminded before voting that candidates from the entire U.P. must be considered and "homer" voting should not be part of the process.
That's difficult, since all council members have favorites from their area they'd like to see get into the hall. It's human nature.
Fortunately, most council members vote for the best candidates, no matter where they hail from.
The voting results are still open to criticism. Every year, there are people who criticize the selections and complain their personal candidate(s) should have been elected.
If they only knew how difficult it is to select the best candidates from the information available from a long list of worthy individuals. Then they might cut the council members some slack.
The council decided at its last meeting July 26 to have each member submit a list before the next meeting of the candidates in his or her particular area most deserving of hall inclusion, in order of importance.
The thought is, the lists would give council members a better idea of the top candidates from a particular area they never saw or only marginally know about.
It might pare down our list of candidates and make it easier to select the most worthy. Ideally, it won't lead to any more homer voting than there might be now.
For those waiting eagerly to be named to the hall, be patient. Your time may still come.
And for those who have made a nomination and can't believe his or her candidate is not an automatic shoe-in, chill out.
It's hard to make the best choices.
Craig Remsburg can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 251. His email address is email@example.com.