Kelly Clarkson Makes History as First Female Host of NFL Honors

The 2022 NFL MVP will also be named Thursday night

The 12th annual NFL Hall of Fame class will be announced on Thursday, Feb. 9 on NBC, Peacock and the NFL Network.

Kelly Clarkson, the songstress and Emmy-winning daytime talk show host, will be the first woman ever to host the award show. In an interview with "Access Hollywood" last month, the North Texas native revealed she initially wasn't sure about taking the gig.

“I had mixed feelings. … I was like, ‘Now, wait, I’m not involved in sports ball whatsoever,'” Clarkson joked. “‘Shouldn’t you ask someone who’s involved in the sports community?'”

There are 15 finalists in this year's Hall of Fame class including defensive end Dwight Freeney, cornerback Darrelle Revis and left tackle Joe Thomas -- all of whom qualified in their first year of eligibility.

The finalists are determined by a vote of the Hall’s Selection Committee. They started with 129 nominees and trimmed that to the 28 finalists up for the Hall.

Defense seems to be a common theme amongst this year's crop of Hall of Fame finalists. The 2023 list has zero quarterbacks on it, and only three skill position players (Torrey Holt, Andrew Johnson, and Reggie Wayne).

Some other notable defensive players looking to be inducted are middle linebacker Zack Thomas, safety Darren Woodson and outside linebacker Demarcus Ware.

Ware, a former Dallas Cowboy great, recently spoke about the nomination and what it would mean to him to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

“I get the opportunity to walk through that tunnel one more time,” Ware said. “You get to see the fireworks again. Not just in Cowboys stadium with 100,000 fans screaming for you, but now it would be the opportunity to walk through one more time and put that jacket on. The world has to listen and I get to do that one more time. There would be nothing better and I’m just honored.”

The remaining nominees for the 2023 Hall of Fame are cornerback Albert Lewis, offensive tackle Willie Anderson, kick returner Devin Hester, defensive end Jared Allen, linebacker Patrick Willis, and defensive back Ronde Barber.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023 will be announced during the NFL Honors show, which will air at 9 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. CT on NBC, Peacock and the NFL Network.

Who are the senior finalists in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023?

Three former football players were also named as senior finalists for the 2023 Hall of Fame class. That list of senior finalists include:

  • Chuck Howley, LB: 1958-1959 Chicago Bears, 1961-1973 Dallas Cowboys, 
  • Joe Klecko, DE: 1977-1987 New York Jets, 1988 Indianapolis Colts
  • Ken Riley, CB: 1969-1983 Cincinnati Bengals

Who is the coaching finalist in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023? 

Don Coryell, who died in 2010 at the age of 85, coached football from 1950 to 1986 and is the coaching finalist in 2023.

Coryell, whose offensive mind helped influence the modern NFL, coached the St. Louis Cardinals from 1973 to 1977 and the San Diego Chargers from 1978 to 1986. He has been a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist six times prior. 

Who are the Salute to Service finalists at the NFL Honors show?

Cincinnati Bengals tight end Hayden Hurst, San Francisco tight end George Kittle and Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera are the three finalists for the NFL's Salute to Service Award.

The NFL announced the finalists for the 12th annual award earlier this week.

It's designated for exceptional effort to honor and support members of the military community. The winner will be announced at the NFL Honors ceremony on Feb. 9 in Phoenix along with the rest of the on-field performance awards.

Award sponsor USAA will contribute $25,000 in the recipient’s honor to the official aid societies representing each of the military branches, and the NFL will donate $25,000 to the recipient’s military charity of choice. Finalists were determined by a consensus vote of fans, an NFL internal committee and USAA.

What awards are given out at NFL Honors?

In addition to Salute to Service, the following recognitions will be awarded Thursday night in Arizona:

  • AP Most Valuable Player
  • AP Coach of the Year
  • AP Comeback Player of the Year
  • AP Offensive Player of the Year
  • AP Defensive Player of the Year
  • AP Offensive Rookie of the Year
  • AP Defensive Rookie of the Year
  • Best Moment of the Year
  • Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year
  • NFL Inspire Change Tribute
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023
  • FedEx Air & Ground Players of the Year
  • Bud Light Celly of the Year
  • Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award
  • NFL Fan of the Year
  • Deacon Jones Sack Leader Award
  • AP Assistant Coach of the Year

If Patricks Mahomes take home the top prize -- Most Valuable Player -- he will become a two-time winner of the league’s MVP award and the tenth player in NFL history to have multiple MVPs

Peyton Manning holds the record for most MVPs in NFL history with five.

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