With Tony Grossi's removal from the Browns beat, he won't be in Indianapolis this year to cover the Super Bowl like he usually does. That also means that the Pro Football Hall of Fame was suddenly one member short of its 44-person committee that consisted of at least one representative from each of the 32 NFL teams. At first, it was unclear if a representative from the Browns would be found in time. It was revealed by the Plain Dealer today that a replacement was found in Grossi's colleague, Mary Kay Cabot, who has covered the Browns for 23 years:
Joe Horrigan, the Canton-based Hall's vice president-communications/exhibits, who oversees the vote, contacted Plain Dealer Browns beat reporter Mary Kay Cabot to serve as an alternate for this year. Horrigan said he contacted Cabot because he wanted the Browns market represented in the vote, "just like the other 31 [NFL] markets are."
Cabot is being deemed as an "alternate" for now, which makes sense because it gives the Browns a temporary representative while allowing the committee to decide if there is a more qualified individual to vote for the foreseeable future. Grossi had been known for keeping former Browns owner Art Modell out of the Hall of Fame with his vote. Modell is not one of the 17 finalists on this year's ballot.