So we've reached the end of the our long list of 90min Premier League Hall of Fame inductees. Some true greats
But this isn't where our story ends. We still have to sort out - *lights dim, smoke begins to fill the room, a lone microphone pops up* - the pyramid.
The inspiration to this whole sh'bang came from Bill Simmons' Book of Basketball, considered the most influential piece of literature in the sport's history. In it, he rips up the NBA's Hall of Fame and starts again himself, settling on housing the true greats (metaphorically) in a pyramid.
Five floors, two levels of basement, one place for the greats to be immortalised. Premier League Hall of Fame, you're getting the pyramid treatment. Buckle up.
Basement Level 2
Welcome to the start of the tour, two floors underground and everything is in sepia tone. Don't wipe your feet, we won't be here for long.
This level is all about the pre-Premier League era, when people stood on the terraces for 5p a head, when players only earned a fiver a week, when a Dortmund season ticket was worth a pint of lager and a packet of crisps, when top level athletes lived on diets of pork pies and gravy - truly the glory days of elite football.
In true English fashion, there's a shrine to the 1966 World Cup winners, where West Ham fans have left their claret and blue scarves to hang over the statues and the portraits. Don't look at them.
Okay, everyone in the lift.
Basement Level 1
While we air out the old people smell from Basement Level 2, take a look around at the floor where the Premier league is celebrated on a non-individual level.
Interactive big screens show classic matches - Liverpool 4-3 Newcastle, Newcastle 4-4 Arsenal, Manchester City 6-1 Manchester United, Manchester City 3-2 QPR...Leicester City 9-0 Southampton is on a brand new 55" plasma TV - and there are statues erected to celebrate each Premier League title winner, from United in 1992 to City last year.
There's an 'honourable mentions' corner of statuettes (somewhere between Academy Award and Subbuteo) for those who weren't quite good enough to earn a place in the main Hall of Fame upstairs. Here are your grafters, your team players, your Nobby Solano's, your Jermaine Jenas'. God bless, boys, but please don't come to life a la Doctor Who and try and force your way into the main pyramid.
Enough of that, let's head to the main lobby, have a look around the gift shop, maybe buy a bottle of Coke for £3.50, and get to the real deal.
Level 1 (Ground Floor)
And so we're into the actual pyramid, where the walls are made of marble and you can see in higher definition than in the real world. Take off your glasses, soak it all in.
L1 is home to those who just about warranted a place in the Hall of Fame, where good-but-not-great players are honoured for their services to the Premier League.
Level 1 Hall of Famers: Dion Dublin, Nwankwo Kanu, Sylvain Wiltord, Nigel Winterburn, Gary Kelly, Graeme Le Saux, Nigel Martyn, Brad Friedel, David James, Lee Dixon, Chris Waddle, Emmanuel Petit, Jaap Stam, Darren Anderton, Phil Neville.
Level 2 (Second Floor)
Level 2, the guys who are definitely icons at the very least, but have little in the way of a true personal legacy or career achievements (not necessarily both) to warrant a place on a higher, fancier floor.
The air is just that little bit fresher, the floor just that little bit shinier, the players just that little bit better. No fancy gimmicks on L2, just cleanliness and a mythical atmosphere.
Level 2 Hall of Famers: Matt Le Tissier, William Gallas, Nicky Butt, Juninho, Lauren, Paul McGrath, Jurgen Klinsmann, Mark Hughes, Les Ferdinand, Tim Flowers, Martin Keown, Tim Sherwood, Andrei Kanchelskis, Chris Sutton, Paul Ince, Gary Speed, Lauren.
Level 3 (Third Floor)
Oh yeah, this is where the pyramid really gets going. These guys are decorated from head to toe in gold medals and silver trophies, they've earned this legacy and earned their place on L3, where the flowers are always in bloom and the water is purely filtered by mother nature (it's my pyramid I can decide what I want is in here).
What stops these guys from reaching a higher level is they don't quite enter the discussion of 'are they the greatest?', whether that's in their own position, their own team or in general. The question marks over them are unfortunate, but that's tough. Be thankful you're here.
Level 3 Hall of Famers: Ian Wright, David Ginola, Tony Adams, David Seaman, Denis Irwin, Gianfranco Zola, Ray Parlour, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Mark Viduka, Jamie Carragher, Nicolas Anelka, Damien Duff.
Level 4 (Fourth Floor)
As said, these guys are in the discussion, you could chuck their name in a debate and it would probably be considered at best, and quietly dismissed at worst. Their careers are still glistening off of the golden walls of L4, each statue carved to extreme detail, none of that Cristiano Ronaldo bust rubbish.
It's all well and nice this life of luxury, but at this point, these players are probably wondering what they had to do to be put on the floor above, to be considered the granddaddy, the gee oh ay tee, the
Level 5 - The Penthouse
Of all 69 current inductees in the Premier League Hall of Fame, the top 14 reside up here in The Penthouse. Peer over the balconies to the city below (I'm thinking London, because no one wants to look out to Leeds' skyline), take it all in, enjoy the portraits of the big boys, their statues crafted by creating a stone exoskeleton (our lawyers handled the health and safety concerns, we strongly refute claims players were trapped inside and lost consciousness).
The Penthouse. The best of the best. The
If you're up in the gods, you are on some level a god. We're going to limit future year inductions to one new entry to The Penthouse per year, we don't want it getting crowded.
Thank you for joining us at at the 90min Premier League Hall of Fame.
Source : 90min