Highlighting Top Finalists for the 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class
Mike Powell/Getty Images
The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its 2013 finalists on Friday.
According to NFL.com, here are the individuals listed:
Larry Allen (G/T), Jerome Bettis (RB), Tim Brown (WR), Cris Carter (WR), Curley Culp (DT/G), Edward DeBartolo Jr. (owner), Kevin Greene (LB), Charles Haley (DE), Art Modell (owner), Jonathan Ogden (OT), Bill Parcells (coach), Andre Reed (WR), Dave Robinson (LB), Warren Sapp (DT), Will Shields (G), Michael Strahan (DE), Aeneas Williams (CB).
With so much history and legendary impact the aforementioned people had on the game, only a select few will earn the distinguished honor of football immortality.
Then again, it is an exclusive fraternity for anyone affiliated with pro football to enter. So, it's only right to induct those worthy of the utmost recognition.
According to ProFootballHOF.com:
There is no set number of enshrinees for any Hall of Fame Class, the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s current ground rules stipulate that between four and seven new members will be selected each year.
The class of 2013 will be announced on the day before the Super Bowl, February 2, in New Orleans. The enshrinement of the class will take place on August 3, in Canton, Ohio.
Here, we check out the ones who deserve to receive that acknowledgement this August.
Larry Allen: Guard/Tackle, Cowboys and 49ers
Want to know why Emmitt Smith finished his NFL career as the all-time leading rusher?
Larry Allen, period.
Playing with the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers from 1994 through 2007, Allen appeared in 11 Pro Bowls and won one Super Bowl. Also, according to Jaime Aron of the Associated Press via The Abilene Reporter-News in 2001:
Allen recently bench pressed 700 pounds, 65 more than the career-best he lifted last summer and well into the world-class level
Put another way, Allen lifted about 30 pounds more than the combined weight of Baltimore tackles Tony Siragusa and Sam Adams. It's also more than the combined playing weight of Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin.
Allen was also ranked No. 95 on NFL Network's Top 100 players of all time.
Jonathan Ogden: Tackle, Baltimore Ravens
Arguably the best offensive tackle to ever step on a football field, Jonathan Ogden was a beast for the Baltimore Ravens.
From 1996 through 2007 he walled off the blindside in Baltimore and was selected to a Pro Bowl every season except his rookie campaign.
A part of the Ravens' 2001 Super Bowl team, Ogden started 176 of 177 games played throughout his career. He was ranked No. 72 on NFL Network's top 100 players of all time.
Michael Strahan: DE, New York Giants
Michael Strahan was a machine.
As a rookie in 1993 with the New York Giants he only played in nine games, but took the pass-rushing torched from Lawrence Taylor.
Thereafter a Hall of Fame career was put together, which included two Super Bowl appearances and winning one: The upset over Tom Brady and the undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
Factor in seven Pro Bowls and 141.5 career sacks, Strahan is a lock. Not to mention he still holds the single season sack record with 22.5 set in 2001.
On NFL Network's top 100 players of all time, Strahan was ranked No. 99.
Cris Carter: WR, Eagles, Vikings and Dolphins
From 1987 through 2002 Cris Carter burned NFL defensive backs with spectacular catches.
Accumulating 13,899 receiving yards with 130 touchdowns on 1,101 receptions, Carter solidified himself among the best of his era.
Appearing in eight Pro Bowls, Carter was just shy of the Super Bowl on two occasions as the Minnesota Vikings lost in the 1998 and 2000 NFC Championship Games.
Nevertheless, Carter's highlight reel of plays, where NFL Network ranked him No. 1 with the best hands, is quite a sight for pro football history buffs.
Bill Parcells: Head Coach, Giants, Patriots, Jets, Cowboys
George Rose/Getty Images
Easily among the greatest coaches ever, Bill Parcells won two Super Bowls with the New York Giants in 1986 and 1990.
Making 10 postseason appearances during his entire NFL coaching career, Parcells totaled three Super Bowl appearances, the last coming with the New England Patriots in 1996 (loss to Green Bay Packers)
Even more impressive, his coaching tree produced fellow Super Bowl-winning leaders, Bill Belichick and Tom Coughlin.
That's a combined five Super Bowl victories from his former assistants. Finishing his career with a combined regular season and playoff record of 183-138-1, Parcells was an innovator that shaped today's game.
Warren Sapp: DT, Buccaneers and Raiders
An impenetrable force in the middle of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' feared defense, Warren Sapp was the the nucleus holding everything together.
Constantly controlling the line of scrimmage and causing turbulence in the backfield, Sapp collected 96.5 sacks, 438 tackles and forced 19 fumbles during his career.
The end result was seven Pro Bowl appearances, one Super Bowl victory and getting named the 1999 Defensive Player of the Year.
Given the nature of a defensive tackle, Sapp's impact and evidence of production drastically outperformed the standards of his position.
Aeneas Williams: CB, Cardinals and Rams
Aeneas Williams is one of the most underrated shutdown corners in history.
When we first think of a true No. 1 corner, guys such as Deion Sanders, Rod Woodson, Dick "Night Train" Lane and Darrell Green immediately come to mind, and rightfully so.
Williams, though, was a consistent force on the outside as he squared off against the likes of Jerry Rice, Cris Carter and Michael Irvin throughout his career. At the same time, Williams recorded 55 interceptions and took nine back for touchdowns.
Playing in one Super Bowl, Williams made eight Pro Bowls during his 14-year career.
Follow John Rozum on Twitter.