2011 NFL Hall of Fame Inductees (For August 2012 Enshrinement)
I prefer awards and recognition where writers and members of an association (in this case, Hall of Fame inductees from previous years) have the vote, over hack writers and extremely biased fans. It makes for objectivity (for the most part — because the writers are notorious for trying to “make an example” out of guys whose personalities rubbed their milquetoast ideals the wrong way) and I rarely argue with the vote.
Here are the seven (7) inductees for the 2012 Class in Canton, Ohio:
1. Richard Dent (1983-1997, Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts, Philadelphia Eagles).
Sometimes I wondered if the dude was going to play forever. He was one of those guys who seemed to have played 25 years in the NFL. Was as fearsome as any DE not named Reggie White during his career and deserves this mention.
Wasn’t QUITE a first-ballot guy, IMO, but he should have been in about five years ago. I hated Dent early in my life because the Bears (SPECIFICALLY DENT AND DUERSON) were thorns in our side in 1985 and 1986 (although we beat them in the NFC playoffs in ’86), but he was legit.
2. Marshall Faulk (1994-2005, Indianapolis Colts, St. Louis Rams).
Without a doubt the epitome of “Yards From Scrimmage” when it comes to NFL. 12,000+ rush yards, 767 receptions with a 9.0 YPC average and 36 TDs. Those numbers are as good as many WRs who played 10 years in the NFL.
3. Chris Hanburger (1965-1978, Washington Redskins).
All I know about the guy is what little I saw of him on NFL Films, to be honest. But Skins fans should be happy to have another inductee many years after their careers ended (See: Arthur Monk). The Clothesline Tackle was outlawed the year Hanburger retired, as he was known for the move along with Richard Lane.
4. Ed Sabol (1962-1966, NFL Films).
THANK GOD FOR THIS MAN. He began NFL Films in the early 1960s and without his film work, I would not have much raw footage and those classically-narrated (by NFL Films LEGEND John Facenda) highlights of NFL football in the late 1960s and the 1970s/early 1980s before my earliest memories late in 1984 (the year Facenda passed away).
I used to watch NFL Films after school when I was in elementary and junior high school, as I ate, drank, slept, watched and played anything that had to do with football. GOD BLESS ED SABOL.
5. Les Richter (1954-1962, Los Angeles Rams).
Don’t know anything about him other than he was unheard of as a kicker at 6’3″ 240. He was LAWRENCE TAYLOR’S SIZE, kicking off and making 45-yard Field Goals? DEAR GOD.
6. Shannon Sharpe (1990-2003, Denver Broncos, Baltimore Ravens).
815 catches as a TIGHT END? Do I need to elaborate further?
Plus the man was and still is a quote machine, with his ridiculous lisp and equally-ridiculous suits, but he is hilarious and he always backed it up with his play. And his comedic diss of loudmouth Ray Buchanan back in January 1999 had me in tears back then and still does to this day:
“”I’ve never called anybody ugly. Do I think people are ugly? Yeah, I think he’s ugly, but I’ve never said that…Is he my friend? No. Did I ever view him as a friend? No. Do I view him as an acquaintance? No. Do I like him? No. If I see him in a snowstorm, his truck is broke down, mine is going perfectly, would I pick him up? No.”
HEARING IT IS FUNNIER, TRUST ME (pause on Ray Buchanan who was fruity-looking as it was) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POeSnbXiH78
7. Deion Sanders (1989-2005, Atlanta Falcons, San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Baltimore Ravens).
The MAN. The MYTH. The LEGEND. The best ever. PERIOD. FROMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM???
JUST DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND WATCH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CQv4XVLz0k (I hate that type of music, but it seemingly fits the highlights though). Even if you saw all these live back then as I did, re-watch ’em!