2011 NFL Hall Of Fame: Deion Sanders, Shannon Sharpe Among Seven Greats Inducted
Just moments ago, the names of seven great NFL players were called as they ready themselves for a new legacy: To be known as a pioneer and master of the game America loves.
But on a day of such excitement, players such as Curtis Martin are left to wonder. Surely being fourth in all-time rushing yards warrants a spot in the coveted NFL HOF, right?
Not so much.
Instead, voters took a liking to former Bronco Shannon Sharpe and NFL filmmaker Ed Sabol.
You would think that a player should trump a camera-guy, but that's how wrapped up in television we tend to be. Don't get me wrong; I love those NFL Films clip montage moments, but overall, Curtis Martin or Andre Reed should have gotten the nod.
Let's take a interactive look at the players inducted and the ones left out, re-living some of their most memorable video moments. Maybe I can find some Ed Sabol material to cover everyone.
1. Deion Sanders- Inducted
Prolific explains Deion Sanders. The showboating persona of Deion was only part of it: The blazing 40-yard dash numbers and his ability to change the complexion of the game on any given play was the crux.
Deion Sanders played in MLB for 11 seasons and the NFL for 16. He's made the Pro Bowl eight times and taken the Lombardi trophy home twice.
Over the course of his career, Deion recorded 53 interceptions and 22 touchdowns. Mix in the punt return yards, and that makes Deion a scoring threat.
Did you know that Deion has the Pro Bowl record of INT's in a game with four? Apparently he never got the "half-speed" memo.
2. Richard Dent- Inducted
From 1983 to 1997, Richard Dent wreaked havoc in the world of football.
Really, though, this video is so great. The 1985 Bears were simply the baddest team on defense.
Dent recorded over 137 sacks, even scoring on one occasion. He also managed to pick off eight passes.
Welcome to Canton, Richard.
3. Marshal Faulk- Inducted
Marshall has done it all.
He's a Super Bowl champ, a seven-time Pro Bowler, 2000 AL MVP, and was rookie of the year in 1994.
He ran a 4.24 40-yard dash at his pro day and never lost a step.
His jersey was retired in St. Louis in remembrance of his career achievements.
Faulk both ran and received for over a thousand yards in his first season with the Rams in 1999.
Marshall currently is an analyst for the NFL Network, where he breaks down games and gives his expert advice.
Long live the greatest San Diego State Aztec football player, Marshall Faulk.
4. Shannon Sharpe- Inducted
"I forgot my helmet. I almost pulled a Thurman Thomas".
"Call the President, the National Guard, 'cause we are killin' the Patriots".
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, click play on the video and listen to Shannon's memorable quotes in this awesome tribute video.
Shannon is virtually the best tight-end in history: He leads the category in receiving yards with over 10,000.
I witnessed his 90-yard reception during the season Baltimore came into Oakland en route to their Championship run, so this induction kind of stings. I've always lived in spite of Shannon Sharpe.
He is one funny dude, though.
Ed Sabol- Inducted
The man created NFL Films, a great program that was basically the first of its kind. It allowed for fans to see the lighter side of the game as well as the tension on the sidelines. Without this insight nowadays, ESPN wouldn't even exist.
Congratulations to Ed; however, I still feel as if it's dicey if you think of it in the context of stealing a spot. Andre Reed and Curtis Martin are too good to be left out any longer.
For a tribute, let's watch how the "stiff arm" came to be. Thanks, Ed and son Steve.
Of the two old school players inducted today, Hanburger boasts the most impressive stat: He played in every game from 1968 to 1977. The only reason the streak ended was because he had surgery for appendicitis.
Hanburger recorded 19 picks and five touchdowns in 187 games over his career.
Check out this video on Hanburger depicting his awesome high-tackles and his entertaining Hall Of Fame interview.
Les Richter- Senior Candidate
I can't argue with a guy who played kicker, linebacker, and guard making the HOF. He recorded 198 points, snagged 16 picks, and jumped on 12 fumbles.
He was the second overall pick in the 1957 draft and played his entire career until 1966 with the Rams.
Richter rounds out the inductions made in 2011.
Curtis Martin- Rejected
Being fourth all-time on the rushing leader boards just didn't cut it.
There's always next year.
Andre Reed- Rejected
This video is from a great game that many Bills fans missed due to a blackout.
Andre Reed was something very special in the NFL. Perhaps one of the best crossing route receivers, Andre Reed was part of the big-air connection Buffalo featured during the Jim Kelly era.
I hope next year is the time for Andre Reed and another great that I will get to.
Cris Carter- Rejected
He pretty much invented the one-hand grab phenomenon. Chris Carter mentored Randy Moss into existence, back when Randy was a freak on the field.
Next year, I'd be surprised if Carter is left out.
Tim Brown- Rejected
I chose this video because I was at this game, like many others, where he dazzled the crowd. He hadn't been back to return punts because of the emergence of Charles Woodson, and due to an injury, Brown resumed his role as a special teams weapon.
Tim Brown is my favorite player to wear the silver and black, and I'm positive that one day he will get into the HOF. He has the resume, which includes a Heisman, and leads basically all receiving categories in Raider history.
Brown is a lock for the Hall; he just needs to wait it out.
Willie Roaf- Rejected
No dice for the explosive lineman.
Jerome Bettis- Rejected
The Bus was one of my favorites to watch, even when he almost fumbled away his Super Bowl hopes. He was one heck of a bruising running-back.
The Bus, much like all of these names whom were rejected, will eventually get his time.
Cortez Kennedy- Rejected
Cortez was crazy on the field and will eventually claim his spot in the HOF.
Charles Haley- Rejected
Haley terrorized quarterbacks during his entire career.
I'd love to see him make it in; he just needs to get a couple more votes.
Don't forget, he has five Super Bowl rings. That's pretty impressive.
Dermontti Dawson- Rejected
A member of the fierce Steeler line of previous years, Dawson is already a member of the Steelers Hall Of Fame.
You'd have to think that he will make the Hall based off that, as Pittsburgh is basically football's mecca and home of the Lombardi Trophy.
Chris Doleman- Rejected
Chris Doleman was a monster at 6-foot-5.
Next year will have to bring him the good news he was waiting for this year.