Tag:Hall of Fame
Posted on: February 29, 2012 3:58 pm
Edited on: February 29, 2012 4:08 pm
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Saints, Cardinals in Hall of Fame Game August 5th

Roaf will be honored before his old team plays in the 2012 Hall of Fame Game. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

The Saints and Cardinals will square off in the 2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio on Sunday, August 5, the NFL announced on Wednesday.

The game will kickoff at 8 p.m. EST and will be aired on NFL Network.

2012 will be the Saints fifth appearance in the Hall of Fame Game and their first since 2007, when they lost to the Steelers 20-7. The Cardinals last played in the Hall of Fame Game in 1986 and also played in the first-ever Hall of Fame Game, when they tied the New York Giants 21-21.

The Hall of Fame Game traditionally follows the induction of Canton's newest class; the game will take place the day after Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin and former Saints tackle Willie Roaf are inducted. Roaf played for the Saints from 1993 to 2001, when he made seven Pro Bowls and two All-Pro teams.

Last season, the NFL cancelled the Hall of Fame Game -- the Bears and Rams were scheduled to play -- because of the lockout, costing the city of Canton $30 million in revenue. Here's hoping the league does its best to make it up to the city this time around.

Tickets will go on sale March 13. Those tickets will go much faster if the Cardinals go from being a darkhorse to a serious suitor for likely-free-agent-to-be Peyton Manning.

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Posted on: August 7, 2011 10:19 am
Edited on: August 7, 2011 10:27 am
 

Video: Sharpe, Sanders Hall of Fame speeches

Posted by Ryan Wilson



                                                             Ed Sabol | Richard Dent (photos) | Chris Hanburger 
                         Shannon Sharpe (photos) | Marshall Faulk (photos) | Les Richter | Deion Sanders (photos)
                           Pro Football Hall of Fame: Class of 2011
 | Hall of Fame photos | More Hall of Fame news




On Saturday night, Shannon Sharpe and Deion Sanders gave two of the most impassioned Hall of Fame speeches in recent memory. Here are the highlights, courtesy of NFL.com.


Shannon Sharpe, left, unveils a bust of himself along with his presenter and brother, Sterling Sharpe, during the induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2011, in Canton, Ohio. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane)



CANTON, OH - AUGUST 6: Former Atlanta Falcons cornerback Deion Sanders talks to the fans after unveiling his bust at the Enshrinement Ceremony for the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 6, 2011 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

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Posted on: August 6, 2011 11:17 pm
Edited on: August 7, 2011 2:59 pm
 

2011 Hall of Fame induction poignant, emotional



Posted by Ryan Wilson



                                                             Ed Sabol | Richard Dent (photos) | Chris Hanburger 
                         Shannon Sharpe (photos) | Marshall Faulk (photos) | Les Richter | Deion Sanders (photos)
                           Pro Football Hall of Fame: Class of 2011
 | Hall of Fame photos | More Hall of Fame news




The 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame weekend may have been without an actual NFL game (the Bears and Rams were scheduled to play before the lockout dragged into July and led to its cancellation), but the induction ceremony wasn't without poignant moments, raw emotion, and inspiration.

Seven members were a part of the 2011 class: 

Ed Sabol. Ninety-four years old, Sabol gave his acceptance speech from a wheelchair while sounding every bit as lucid and spry as he appeared in possibly one of the best Hall of Fame introduction videos ever. Sabol's son, Steve, who is battling brain tumors, presented Ed for introduction.

"I've dreamt the impossible dream and I'm living it right now," Sabol said Saturday night. "This honor tonight really goes to NFL Films. I just happen to be accepting all the accolades. … I just want to say one thing: I've been very, very happy to have been your boss for all these years. You're a great bunch of people, dedicated, hard-working and loyal, and the reason I'm sitting up here."

Richard Dent. The former Tennessee State University player was an integral part of the 1985 Chicago Bears defense, one of the best defenses in modern NFL history. And Saturday, he becomes the third member of that unit to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Dent, who had to wait seven years for this day, joins Dan Hampton and Mike Singletary.

"I grew up in a town where a man said 'I have a dream.' … As a kid growing up at that time, listening to [Martin Luther King], all I could do was dream," said Dent Saturday night. "… Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be here."

Chris Hanburger. With his North Carolina drawl and dry wit, Hanburger's speech was as much a stand-up set as it was an acceptance speech. And by the end of the night, Deion Sanders called Hanburger, who Sanders hadn't met before the weekend, a friend, saying "I love you, man."

As for his career, Hanburger played all 14 years with the Washington Redskins, and he was the original cerebral NFL linebacker. He was an 18th-round selection in 1965 who ended up a nine-time Pro Bowler, four times a first-team All Pro, and an eight-time first team All Conference selection.

"It's been a tremendous thrill for me," Hanburger said Saturday. "… I've never had a chance to meet members of the Hall of Fame like this. It's a great honor. ... This is one of the greatest moments of my life and I mean that from my heart."

Shannon Sharpe. Twitter was abuzz, even as Sharpe was still on stage, calling his speech (see it here) one of the best in Hall of Fame history, surpassing the impassioned words Michael Irvin just years before.

Sharpe spoke about mostly about his family and their role in his journey.

“Sterling was supposed to be in the Hall first," Shannon said Friday. "I was supposed to introduce him for his speech, for his introduction and then take his bronze bust into the Hall. But now we’re going in together. I’m taking him in with me. … I’ve always wanted to be like him. …

"I'm here today for a lot of reasons," Shannon contineued. "… Some have absolutely nothing to do with me, and everything to do with the kindness and patience of all the people who guided me through my life."

Marshall Faulk. The San Diego State star revolutionized the running back position during his 12-year NFL career. After five seasons in Indianapolis where he never averaged more than 4.1 yards per carry, Faulk teamed up with Dick Vermeil and Mike Martz in St. Louis and became an integral part of the "Greatest Show on Turf." In his first three years with the Rams, Faulk averaged 5.4 yards per carry, in addition to more than 1,600 receiving yards over that time. He ended his career with 12,279 yards rushing, 6,875 yards receiving and 136 touchdowns.

"This is pretty special -- this right here, these guys … I'm glad to be a part of it," Faulk said. "I want to thank God. And I want to thank God because this is football heaven."

Les Richter passed away in June 2010, but his legacy as a hard-hitting, game-defining player remains. At 6-3, 240 pounds, he was one of the most physical linebackers in the league during his nine-year career that began with the the Los Angeles Rams in 1954.

“It always puzzled me why Les was not in the Hall of Fame," said Hall of Famer Frank Gifford, who played against Richter in high school, college and the NFL. "He was a great, great player. I don’t know any linebacker in that era who even compares to him.”

Deion Sanders. In the second-most emotional speech of the night, Sanders was funny, poignant and passionate.

Deion is widely considered the best cover cornerback in NFL history and his first-ballot enshrinement is a testament to his effect on the position and the game during a 14-year career.

"I appreciate this game so much," Sanders said Saturday. "...This game taught me so much about people, about focus, about sacrifice."

Sanders also addressed the doubters who said he wasn't much of a tackler during his NFL career.

"Some of my critics say, 'You know, Prime didn't tackle.' I want to respond to that publicly, because that affects me, that bothers me. …Since 1989 I've tackled every bill my mama has every given me. Haven't missed one. The next time they say 'Prime didn't tackle.' Let them know 'Yes he did.'"

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Posted on: August 6, 2011 10:37 pm
Edited on: August 6, 2011 10:42 pm
 

Deion Sanders: 2011 Hall of Fame Class



Posted by Ryan Wilson

"He's the first shutdown corner ever. He introduced the concept." - Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young

“Not in the NFL,” Sanders' agent Eugene Parker said when asked if there was anyone like Sanders when he came into the NFL in 1989. “He was the Muhammad Ali of the NFL.”

"You don't go from a Yugo to a Benz, back to a Yugo." - Deion Sanders, on being asked if he was going back to the Falcons, after a year with the 49ers



                           Pro Football Hall of Fame: Class of 2011
 | Sanders in photos | More Hall of Fame news




Deion Sanders is widely considered the best cover cornerback in NFL history and his first-ballot enshrinement is a testament to his effect on the position and the game during a 14-year career.

"Lord, I thank you. Jesus I love. If it wasn't for God I wouldn't be here today," Sanders began. "…I appreciate this game so much. … They told me we would get compensated for a game? And I hear so many people say, 'I would do this for free.' I would too as long as you're doing it for free," Sanders said to a stadium full of laughs. 

"...This game taught me so much about people, about focus, about sacrifice."

Sanders told an impassioned story about his mother, and a promise he made that she would never have to work again.

"The problem with some dreams is that they're only about you," Sanders said. "If you're dream ain't bigger than you, there's a problem with your dream." 

Sanders also addressed the doubters who said he wasn't much of a tackler during his NFL career. 

"Some of my critics say, 'You know, Prime didn't tackle.' I want to respond to that publicly, because that affects me, that bothers me. …Since 1989 I've tackled every bill my mama has every given me. Haven't missed one. The next time they say 'Prime didn't tackle.' Let them know 'Yes he did.'"

A former first-round pick (fifth overall) out of Florida State, Sanders played with the Falcons, 49ers, Cowboys, Redskins and Ravens. He's an eight-time Pro Bowler, six-time first-team All-Pro selection, two-time Super Bowl champ, and was named AP Defensive Player of the Year in 1994.

Sanders now works as an analyst for NFL Network. He also founded Prime U, which helps college athletes prepare for the NFL Combine.

Eugene Parker presented Sanders for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


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Posted on: August 6, 2011 10:06 pm
 

Les Richter: 2011 Hall of Fame Class



Posted by Ryan Wilson

“It always puzzled me why Les was not in the Hall of Fame. He was a great, great player. I don’t know any linebacker in that era who even compares to him.” - Hall of Famer Frank Gifford, who played against Richter in high school, college and the NFL

“(He was) the best. Why he is not in the Hall of Fame (before now) is beyond me. ... I played 10 years with the Rams and Bears and would find it hard to find anyone who excelled at his position as much as Les Richter did at middle linebacker, period.” - Former Rams teammate Jack Pardee, who played 17 years in the NFL, and later coached the Bears, Redskins and Oilers



                           Pro Football Hall of Fame: Class of 2011
 | Hall of Fame photos | More Hall of Fame news




Les Ricther, passed away in June 2010, but his legacy as a hard-hitting, game-defining player remains. At 6-3, 240 pounds, he was one of the most physical linebackers in the league during his nine-year career that began with the the Los Angeles Rams in 1954.

We was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, a two-time first-team All Pro, and was once traded for 11 players.

According to NFL.com, Richter never missed a game during his 112-game NFL career, battling through various injuries. Richter broke his cheekbone early in the 1961 season against the Steelers, but played through it not realizing that it was broken. He had a protective guard added to his helmet and completed the season even though he broke his cheekbone again five weeks later.

Richter was represented Saturday by son, Jon and daughter, Anne.

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Posted on: August 6, 2011 9:58 pm
 

Marshall Faulk: 2011 Hall of Fame Class



Posted by Ryan Wilson

"I don't believe you can set the Hall of Fame as a goal. …When you set out to make the Hall of Fame, they don't give you targets to shoot at. …My goal when I got into the NFL was to have fun, to be successful and to take care of my family. If I left a mark on the NFL or left a name for myself, all that was extra." - Marshall Faulk

"You're talking about a guy who transcended and revolutionized the running back position and how it was played, doing it in the passing game, doing it in the run game, doing it in the pass-protection game." - former Rams teammate Torry Holt



                           Pro Football Hall of Fame: Class of 2011
 | Faulk in photos | More Hall of Fame news




Marshall Faulk revolutionized the running back position during his 12-year NFL career. After five seasons in Indianapolis where he never averaged more than 4.1 yards per carry, Faulk teamed up with Dick Vermeil and Mike Martz in St. Louis and became an integral part of the "Greatest Show on Turf." In his first three years with the Rams, Faulk averaged 5.4 yards per carry, in addition to more than 1,600 receiving yards over that time. He ended his career with 12,279 yards rushing, 6,875 yards receiving and 136 touchdowns.

"This is pretty special -- this right here, these guys … I'm glad to be a part of it," Faulk said. "I want to thank God. And I want to thank God because this is football heaven."

Other honors: seven-time Pro Bowler, three-time first-team All Pro, AP NFL MVP in 2000, NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1994, and 2000 Super Bowl champion. Faulk was the Colts' 1994 first-round pick, taken second overall after Dan Wilkinson and ahead of Heath Shuler. He currently works as an analyst on NFL Network.

Faulk's agent Rocky Arceneaux presented him for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


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Posted on: August 6, 2011 9:13 pm
 

Shannon Sharpe: 2011 Hall of Fame Class



Posted by Ryan Wilson

“Sterling was supposed to be in the Hall first. I was supposed to introduce him for his speech, for his introduction and then take his bronze bust into the Hall. But now we’re going in together. I’m taking him in with me. … I’ve always wanted to be like him." Shannon, on his older brother and former Packers' WR Sterling Sharpe

“Let’s just say he was one of the best trash-talkers to ever play the game." - Broncos safety Brian Dawkins

"I've got a better chance of winning the Kentucky Derby on the back of a donkey than they have of winning the Super Bowl with Kyle Boller." - Shannon Sharpe on former Ravens' quarterback Kyle Boller



                           Pro Football Hall of Fame: Class of 2011
 | Sharpe in photos | More Hall of Fame news




You might be able to make the case that Shannon Sharpe shouldn't have been a Hall of Fame inductee this year, but there's no disputing that he had a Hall of Fame career and was eventually destined for Canton. During 14 seasons that took him to Denver, Baltimore and back again, Sharpe was an eight-time Pro Bowler, four times a unanimous first-team All Pro, and he retired as the NFL's career leader in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns by a tight end.

"People from the Hall of Fame tell me, I only have 8-10 minutes to do this. No chance," Sharpe began.  "Determination, dedication and discipline … there's a reason they call it chasing your dreams and not walking after them. … I'm here today for a lot of reasons … some have absolutely nothing to do with me, and everything to do with the kindness and patience of all the people who guided me through my life. ... Dan Reeves remembered to draft me, but forgot to cut me. Thanks, coach, for having a lousy memory."

Sharpe made a plea during his speech for Hall of Fame voters to consider his brother, Shannon, whose career was cut short after seven years.  He then spoke eloquently about his grandmother, Mary Porter, who passed away last month. "The only regret that I have in my 43 years is that I never told my grandmother just how much she meant to me."

A 1990 seventh-round selection out of Savannah State by the Broncos, Sharpe also started for two Super Bowl-winning organizations. He becomes the eighth modern-day tight end to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Sharpe currently works as an analyst for CBS' Sunday pregame show, "The NFL Today." Sterling presented Shannon for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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Posted on: August 6, 2011 8:36 pm
 

Chris Hanburger: 2011 Hall of Fame Class



Posted by Ryan Wilson

“Today’s media applauds Peyton Manning and Tom Brady for being able to run the offense and audible and check. Well, Chris Hanburger did that in the ‘70s. He not only called [audibles] on his own, he had over 100 audibles each game that he had to manage. One of the reasons we were so successful was our defense, because Chris managed it no different than quarterbacks do today. That type of field general should be recognized for his contribution.” - Redskins general manager Bruce Allen, son of Hall of Fame coach George Allen

“He was at that time the smartest player in the league. We did everything we could to try to eliminate him from the play. We knew if we didn’t neutralize him, then we had less of a chance of winning.” - John Hannah, New England Patriots Hall of Fame guard



                           Pro Football Hall of Fame: Class of 2011
 | Hall of Fame photos | More Hall of Fame news




Chris Hanburger played his entire 14-year career with the Washington Redskins, and he was the original cerebral NFL linebacker. He was an 18th-round selection in 1965 who ended up a nine-time Pro Bowler, four times a first-team All Pro, and an eight-time first team All Conference selection.

PFT.com's Michael David Smith writes that Hanburger "quickly became a team leader and the defensive signal caller … but he wasn’t just a cerebral player. He was also a vicious hitter who earned the nickname The Hangman.

"It's been a tremendous thrill for me," Hanburger said Saturday in his North Carolina drawl. "… I've never had a chance to meet members of the Hall of Fame like this. It's a great honor. ... This is one of the greatest moments of my life and I mean that from my heart."

Hanburger's son, also named Chris, presented his father for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


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