Pro-Football Hall of Fame Inductions Set to Commence Saturday Night
The Pro Football Hall of Fame will induct 7 new members Saturday night into Canton’s prestigious
Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk, Shannon Sharpe, Richard Dent, Chris Hanburger, Les Richter and Ed Sabol will all be crowned with the gold jacket.
Sanders’ was one of the NFL’s most eccentric and electric players, earning the nickname “Prime Time”. He joined the San Francisco 49ers in 1994 helping them win the Super Bowl, and the very next year he was headed to Dallas, where the Cowboys won their third title in four seasons.
“Deion was `Prime Time,’ `Neon Deion,’ always that flashy player that everybody wanted to be,” said Mike Jenkins, the Cowboys cornerback who now wears 21. “He always stood out and he let it be known that he was one of the best. He definitely made it exotic to play cornerback.”
Faulk wasn’t near as flashy as Sanders, but he was a solid running back through-out his career, He retired with 12,279 yards and 100 rushing touchdowns, another 6,875 yards and 36 TDs as a receiver.
Faulk’s dominance in an 12-season career (the first five with Indianapolis, the last seven in St. Louis) earned him election to the hall over two other running backs who became eligible for the first time in 2011. Both Curtis Martin and Jerome Bettis rushed for more yards than Faulk, yet fell short of enshrinement.
Sharpe retired in 2003 and missed out on making the hall in his first two years of eligibility. He will become just the 9th tightend to be enshrined in Canton. Sharpe compiled 10,060 receiving yards and 62 touchdowns, winning three Super Bowls – two with Denver, one with Baltimore. Sharpe made the Hall with hard work, being a seventh-round draft pick out of Savannah State and ending up making eight Pro Bowls throughout his career.
Dent also was a low draft choice who had a long career (15 seasons)—and an even longer wait to make the hall. He retired in 1997 after one season as an Eagle. Dent spent 12 seasons with the Bears and one each with the 49ers and Colts.
He was the main pass rusher on the overpowering Chicago defense that rampaged through the NFL in 1985, winning Super Bowl MVP honors for his performance in the 46-10 victory over New England. An eighth-round choice from Tennessee State, Dent had 10 or more sacks in eight seasons and twice had 4 1/2 -sack games.
Nicknamed “The Hangman,” Hanburger stood out for one violent move he practically patented in 14 seasons with Washington: the clothesline tackle, which eventually was outlawed. Chosen by the senior committee, Hanburger left the game in 1978, never winning a championship.
Richter, also chosen by the senior committee, passed away last year. He played linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams from 1954-62. They traded 11 players total for him and waited two years while he was in the military before he suited up. He made the wait worthwhile, going to eight straight Pro Bowls. He also was a center and kicker.
Sabol is the founder of NFL Films, an organization that changed the way the game is viewed. Considered a pioneer in use of multiple cameras and slow motion to depict the intensity, speed and violence of the sport, Sabol began his association with the NFL in 1962 when he filmed the league’s championship game.