For years, Canton was some obscure town that Washington Redskins fans had never seen. Sure, they had something there called the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but unless you were on some kind of family vacation driving on Interstate 77 through Ohio, you were unlikely to ever see the city limits of Canton.

Recently, though, Redskins fans have been to Canton so much they probably know it was founded in 1805 and is the Stark County seat.

In 2008, Canton turned into a Redskins town when both Art Monk and Darrell Green were inducted into the Hall of Fame in the same class. It was almost too good to be true for Washington football fans -- two of their most beloved players celebrated in the same year -- and likely it seemed as if perhaps it would have to suffice for a long time.

Then came the surprising -- and deserving -- election of Redskins guard Russ Grimm last year. And now it appears Redskins fans may be making another trip to Canton this August to celebrate another Washington football great -- linebacker Chris Hanburger, one of two senior committee selection finalists for election in the Class of 2011.

If Hanburger makes it into the Hall, that would mean four Redskins in four years, a remarkable run for a franchise that appeared to have been forgotten for a period at the place where NFL history is celebrated.

It is reminiscent of the early 1980s, when from 1982 through 1986, five Redskins were elected to the Hall -- Sam Huff in 1982, Sonny Jurgensen and Bobby Mitchell in 1983, Charley Taylor in 1984 and Ken Houston in 1986.

After that, it was John Riggins in 1992 and Joe Gibbs in 1996 (there also was George Allen, posthumously, in 2002). After that the door seemed to close on the Redskins.

The door figured to open back up when Green was eligible in his first year in 2008, and the movement to get Monk in as well was finally successful that same year. Two years later, the one constant of those the three Super Bowl teams -- the core of the Hogs -- was recognized with Grimm's election.

It didn't seem likely Redskins fans would turn around and make another trip to Canton in 2011. But, rightly so, the accomplishments of Hanburger were too great to ignore any longer for consideration. He will find out in several weeks if those accomplishments will get him in the door.

Hanburger was drafted in the 18th round of the 1965 draft and played 14 seasons, all with the Redskins. He was one of the great outside linebackers of his time, with nine Pro Bowl selections -- more than any Redskin -- and more impressively, he was a first team All-Pro selection four times.

Hanburger had been with the Redskins for six years when Allen arrived, but the defensive-minded coach would come to rely on Hanburger as a coach on the field, eventually naming him the defensive play-caller.

"We had an array of defenses, and we would call them right on the field, based on what you saw or what was going on," Hanburger told me for an interview in my book, "Hail Victory," an oral history of the Washington Redskins. "I think we had close to 150 audibles, with multiple defensive sets that we could go to anytime. ... I brought films home with me during the week and would go into the basement and watch films at night."

All that work may have paved the way to Canton -- now a familiar route for Redskins fans.

Examiner columnist Thom Loverro is the co-host of "The Sports Fix" from noon to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on ESPN980 and Contact him at