The finalist list of for the NFL Hall of Fame, class of 2013 had the likes of recent players; Larry Allen (G/T), Jerome Bettis (RB), Tim Brown (WR), Cris Carter (WR), Kevin Greene (L/DE), Charles Haley (DE/L), Jonathan Ogden (T), Andre Reed (WR), Warren Sap (DT), Michael Strahan (DE), and Aeneas Williams (CB/S). Old-timers players like; Wil Shields (G), Dave Robinson (L), and Curley Cup (DT). Coach Bill Parcells(Giants/N.E./N.J./Cowboys) headlined the non-players along with owners Art Model (Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens) and Edward J. DeBartolo, Jr (San Francisco 49ers). A stellar class all worthy but because of the selection process, with the number of possible electees limited to 4-7 who’d be left out? Well the answer came and prior to SB XLVII the class of 2013 was announced;
Larry Allen – Position – Offensive guard/Tackle – Teams – Dallas Cowboys (1994-2005); San Francisco 49ers (2006-07)
14 seasons, 203 games … Selected by Cowboys in 2nd round (46th player overall) of 1994 draft … Versatile, played every position on offensive line except center during 12 seasons with Dallas … Led way in second season for Emmitt Smith who set Cowboys’ franchise record with 1,773 yards … Started at right guard in two NFC championship games and Super Bowl XXX victory … Named NFL Alumni’s Offensive Lineman of the Year in 1997 and the NFL Players Association NFC Lineman of the Year twice (1996-97) … Named first-team All-Pro seven straight years … First-team All-NFC six times, second-team once … Moved to tackle late in 1997 and entire 1998 season, earned All-Pro honors at position … Signed as free agent with San Francisco in 1996 … First season with 49ers led way for Frank Gore who set team single-season rushing record (1,695 yards) … Elected to 11 Pro Bowls … Named to NFL All-Decade Teams of 1990s and 2000s … Born November 27, 1971 in Los Angeles, Ca
Cris Carter – Position – Wide receiver – Teams – Philadelphia Eagles (1987-1989); Minnesota Vikings (1990-2001); Miami Dolphins (2002)
16 seasons, 234 games … Selected by Philadelphia in the 4th round of the 1987 Supplemental Draft … First reception as a pro was a 22-yard touchdown catch … Durable; he played a full 16-game season in 13 of his 16 seasons … In 2000, became only the second player in NFL history to catch 1,000 career passes … Recorded 1,000 receiving yards in a season eight straight years … Broke the 100-yard receiving plateau 42 times during his career … Ranked second on the NFL’s all-time list for total receptions (1,101) and receiving touchdowns (130) at retirement … His 130 TD receptions came from 13 different passers … Caught 70-plus passes in 10 seasons … His 122 receptions in 1994 was a then-NFL single-season-record … Named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s and received the 1999 NFL Man of the Year Award … In 2002, returned to the field when he joined the Miami Dolphins in midseason when injuries decimated team’s receiving corps … Was first- or second-team All-Pro 1994, 1995, and 1999 … Selected to play in eight Pro Bowls (1994-2001) … Born November 25, 1965, in Troy, Ohio
Curley Cup – Position – Defensive tackle – Teams Kansas City Chiefs (1968-1974); Houston Oilers (1974-1980); Detroit Lions (1980-1981)
14 seasons, 179 games … Selected in 2nd round (31st player overall) in 1968 draft by Denver Broncos … Denver attempted to switch him to offense before trading him to Chiefs during training camp … Fit in perfectly with Chiefs’ dominating defense … Member of team’s Super Bowl IV championship team in second season, … Started at left defensive tackle in Super Bowl win over Vikings and registered three tackles, one assisted tackle … Dealt to Houston Oilers in blockbuster trade during 1974 season … Key veteran leader with 11.5 sacks to help Oilers to 10-4-0 record in his first full season with club … Winning record in ’75 was Oilers first winning season in eight years and just second in 13 seasons …. Named NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year by Newspaper Enterprise Association, 1975 … Culp led defense that helped Oilers earn back-to-back appearances in AFC championship game, 1978-79 … Named All-Pro, 1975 … All-Pro Second Team 1971, 1977, 1978, and 1979 …. First- or second-team All-AFC five times … Elected to six Pro Bowls … Born March 10, 1946 in Yuma, Arizona.
Jonathan Ogden – Position – Offensive tackle – Team – Baltimore Ravens (1996-2007)
Taken in 1st round (4th player overall) in 1996 draft … Won Outland Trophy Award as top lineman in college … Instant starter for Baltimore, earned All-Rookie honors … Leader of offensive line that helped Ravens amass more than 5,000 yards of offense in back-to-back seasons, 1996-97 … Noted as strong pass protector as well as effective run blocker … Led way for running back Jamal Lewis who became fifth player in NFL history to rush for 2000 yards in a season, 2003 … Key blocker for Lewis’ then-record 295 rushing yards versus Cleveland Browns, Sept. 14, 2003 … Started at left tackle in Ravens’ 16-3 win over Oakland Raiders in 2000 AFC Championship Game and 34-7 victory over New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV … NFL Alumni’s NFL Offensive Lineman of the Year, 2002 … Named All-Pro in 1997, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2006 … Earned All-AFC honors nine times … Voted to 11 Pro Bowls … Selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of 2000s … Born July 31, 1974 in Washington, D.C.
Bill Parcells – Position – Coach – Teams – New York Giants (1983-1990); New England Patriots (1993-1996), NY Jets (1997-1999); Dallas Cowboys (2003-2006)
19 seasons, 303 games … Regular season record: 172-130-1 … Postseason record: 11-8 … Overall record: 183-138-1 … Parcells reversed the fortunes of four NFL teams … After a 3-12-1 season (1983), he took Giants to playoffs twice as Wild Card … In 1986 led Giants to 14-2 record and defeated Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XXI … Led Giants to NFC Eastern Division title in 1989 … In 1990 won second world championship with dramatic victory over Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV … Left coaching for two years, returning in 1993 with New England Patriots … Within two years led Patriots to playoffs after seven-year absence … Two years later, 11-5 Patriots were AFC representative in Super Bowl XXXI … In 1997 took over 1-15 New York Jets and led them to 9-7 record in 1997, 12-4 record and AFC championship game in 1998 for the best two-year turnaround of a 1-15 team in NFL history … Coached Dallas Cowboys from 2003 until 2006 … Became first coach to coach four different teams into the playoffs when his 10-6 Cowboys played in the 2003 Wild Card Game … NFL Coach of the Year 1986, 1994 … Born August 22, 1941 in Englewood, New Jersey.
Dave Robinson – Position – Linebacker – Teams – Green Bay Packers (1963-1972); Washington Redskins (1973-1974)
12 seasons, 155 games … Selected in 1st round (14th player overall) by Packers in 1963 NFL Draft … Chosen in 3rd round (17th player overall) by San Diego Chargers in AFL Draft … Signed with Green Bay and quickly built reputation as big-play performer on Vince Lombardi-coached Packers dynasty … Started at left outside linebacker in three straight NFL championship wins, 1965-67 … Starting OLB in Packers victories in Super Bowls I and II … Recorded two tackles, five assisted tackles, one fumble recovery and pass defensed in Green Bay’s 33-14 win over Oakland Raiders, Super Bowl II … Rebounded from Achilles tendon injury in 1970 to regain form as one of game’s finest linebackers … Intercepted 27 passes which he returned for 449 yards in career … Lone interception return for touchdown came in first season with Washington … Named All-Pro second-team in 1968 and 1969 … First-team All-NFL selection three straight seasons, 1967-69 … Elected to three Pro Bowls … Named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1960s … Born May 3, 1941 in Mt. Holly, New Jersey.
Warren Sapp – Position – Defensive tackle – Teams – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1995-2003); Oakland Raiders (2004-2007)
13 seasons, 198 games … Selected in first round (12th player overall) by Tampa Bay in 1995 NFL Draft … Instant starter … Named to All-Rookie Team, 1995 … Amassed 96.5 career sacks despite playing on interior of defensive line … Recorded double-digit sack totals four times … Had more than one sack in a game 23 times … Named 1999 NFL Defensive Player of the Year after helping lead Tampa Bay to first division title in 18 years … Registered 12.5 sacks, 54 tackles, three forced fumbles, and recovered two fumbles, 1999 … Recorded career-high 16.5 sacks, 2000 … Started in two NFC championship games, one Super Bowl … Recorded two tackles, one sack, two passes defensed, and forced fumble in Bucs’ 48-21 win over Raiders, Super Bowl XXXVII … Additional career statistics include four interceptions, two touchdown receptions … First-team All-Pro four straight times (1999-2002) … Second-team All-NFL in 1997, 1998 … All-NFC five times … Selected to seven Pro Bowls … Named to NFL’s All-Decade Teams of the 1990s, 2000s … Born December 19, 1972 in Orlando, Florida.
Must congratulate the inductees but would be derelict in my responsibilities as NFL fan if I didn’t state how a Haley, Brown, Greene, Model and DeBartolo aren’t in the class. As I heard the great Coach Landry state in part, “Stats are like a two-piece bikini reveals some remarkable areas but what it covers up is vital”. Also stated in that group of sports talk shop, “if an era of NFL play can’t be spoken with mentioning the contributions of a respective inductee then that merits consideration for being in the hall”. I must agree!!!!