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    Cris Collinsworth

    Former Pro Bowl wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals and Emmy-winning analyst from Sunday Night Football and Inside the NFL.
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  • New Kids on the Block



    The Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee has formally announced the induction of seven new members into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. The 2013 class will include three inductees in their first year of eligibility; Warren Sapp, Jonathan Ogden, and Larry Allen. Joining the trio will be Cris Carter and Bill Parcells, as well as both of the Senior Committee nominations; Dave Robinson and Curley Culp. Unfortunately, there isn't room for everyone, and five other players failed to get in on the final vote today; Michael Strahan (In his first year of eligibility), Aeneas Williams, Charles Haley, Jerome Bettis, and Andre Reed. If you want to refamiliarize yourself with the legacies and achievements of all the members of this year's Hall of Fame class, feel free to do so below.

    Larry Allen - DAL/SF - 1994-2007: Allen spent a majority of his career as a cornerstone in the trenches of the Dallas Cowboys dynasty of the 1990's, playing with the star on his helmet from 1994-2005 before traveling to the bay to play for the 49ers for the final two years of his career. Over that time period he started 197 games along the offensive line, mostly at guard, but seeing time at both tackle positions as well. Allen helped open up holes for all-time leading rusher Emmitt Smith for nine seasons, including 1995 when Smith led the league with 1,773 yards. That year also happened to be the first of Allen's eleven Pro Bowl selections. The next year he would earn the first of six First Team All-Pro nods. Allen, like 2012 Hall of Fame inductee Willie Roaf, was a member of the NFL All-Decade Team for the 1990's and he 2000's. Allen won his only Super Bowl with the Cowboys in 1995, defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XXX.

    Cris Carter - PHI/MIN/MIA - 1987-2002: Carter was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles with a fourth-round selection in the 1987 Supplemental Draft, after being declared ineligible to play for Ohio State that year due to secretly signing with an agent. Ohio State only won six games the next season, but Carter went on to become one of the greatest wide receivers in the history of the NFL, which will finally be reflected after five years of being a finalist in his bust at Canton. Carter sits at fourth all-time in the NFL in receptions with 1,101, ninth all-time in receiving yards with 13,899 yards, and fourth all-time in touchdown receptions with 130. At the time of his retirement, he was behind only Jerry Rice in number of receptions and touchdowns. Most of this was done as a member of the Minnesota Vikings, who claimed Carter off of waivers after the Eagles cut him because of his continued drug and alcohol abuse. Carter turned his life around however, and won the NFL's Walter Payton Man of the Year Award in 1999. Carter was selected to eight consecutive Pro Bowls from 1993-2000, and made the All-Pro First Team in 1994 and 1999.

    Curley Culp - KC/HOU/DET - 1968-1981: Culp was one of the two players nominated by the Senior Committee, a nine member panel designed to acknowledge the contributions of players who finished their playing careers twenty-five years ago or more. Culp got his start in the AFL with the Kansas City Chiefs, quickly becoming a star member of their defense and being a key member of their victory in Super Bowl IV over the Minnesota Vikings. His play at nose tackle and his domination of Vikings' center Mick Tinglehoff earned him credit over the years of being one of the pioneers of the 3-4 defense. Culp was even selected by a panel of former NFL players and coaches to Pro Football Weekly's All-Time 3-4 Defense in 2008. Culp made two Pro Bowl trips during his time with the Chiefs, but it wasn't until he was traded to the Houston Oilers where he became a household name in Bum Phillips' 3-4 defense. Culp would go on to appear in four consecutive Pro Bowls from 1975-1978 during his time in Houston, and was a First-Team All-Pro selection in 1975 as well.

    Jonathan Ogden - BAL - 1996-2007: The first ever draft pick of the Baltimore Ravens franchise, Ogden was selected out of UCLA with the 4th overall pick in 1996 and started every game of his rookie season at left guard. The next year he took over the left tackle job, and the rest as they say, is history. From 1997-2007, Ogden was selected to the Pro Bowl every single year, winning eleven trips to Hawaii total. He was named to the All-Pro First Team four times as well, and won a Super Bowl in 2000 with the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XXXV.

    Bill Parcells - NYG/NE/NYJ/DAL - 1983-1990, 1993-1999, 2003-2006: The first head coach to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame since Marv Levy in 2001, Parcells got his first head coaching gig with the New York Giants in 1983, after having spent three years prior to that as their defensive coordinator. Parcells would lead the Giants to two Super Bowl victories, retiring after the second championship in 1990 citing health problems and serving as an analyst for NBC Sports for the next two years. Parcells returned to the sidelines to coach the New England Patriots in 1993, and continued his winning ways as he led the team to Super Bowl XXXI in 1996, where they lost to the Green Bay Packers. Parcells and the Patriots split ways after the following season however, due to mounting conflicts between the coach and owner Robert Kraft. Parcells then made his way to the New York Jets, where after some controversy he was hired as head coach, and was instrumental in orchestrating a drastic turnaround after the dismal results of Rich Kotite's tenure with the team. He took the Jets to the AFC Championship game in 1998, but retired again after 1999 with the vow to never coach again. Four years later, Parcells found himself back on the sidelines as head coach of the Dallas Cowboys following three straight 5-11 seasons for America's Team. He never experienced the same amount of success in Dallas however, finishing just two games over .500 in his four seasons at the helm with no postseason victories.

    Dave Robinson - GB/WAS - 1963-1974: The second of the two Senior Committee nominees to be inducted, Dave Robinson signed with the Green Bay Packers after also being drafted by the San Diego Chargers of the AFL and the Montreal Alouettes of the CFL. The Packers moved him from defensive end to linebacker, and after a rookie season spent as a backup, Robinson became a starter for Green Bay. He would continue to serve as such for the team until 1972, along the way being voted to the Pro Bowl in 1966, 1967, and 1969, as well as winning the first two Super Bowls under Vince Lombardi. After Lombardi's retirement, the Packers went into a decline, and Robinson would clash heavily with eventual successor to Lombardi, Dan Devine. The relationship between the two was not salvageable, and as a result, Robinson was traded to the Washington Redskins prior to the 1973 season. His play earned him recognition as a member of the NFL All-Decade team for the 1960s, and his accomplishments will now be immortalized forever in the Hall of Fame.

    Warren Sapp - TB/OAK - 1995-2007: Part of the Buccaneers' famous 1995 Draft that also brought them future HOF candidate Derrick Brooks, Sapp was selected with the twelfth overall pick out of The University of Miami (FL), and certainly kept alive the school's reputation as a dominant football factory. He recorded 96.5 career sacks out of the defensive tackle position, cementing his legacy as one of the most fearsome interior pass rushers of all-time, and even won the 1999 AP Defensive Player of the Year Award after notching 12.5 sacks in addition to four forced fumbles. He also was named First Team All-Pro for the first time that season, and would win that honor for the next three years as well. Sapp took his first trip to Honolulu for the Pro Bowl in 1997, and would make that same trip for six more years up until 2003, which also served as his last year in Tampa. In 2004 Sapp signed with the Oakland Raiders and brought his swagger and boisterous style to the Black Hole. However, he never performed at the same level in Oakland, recording more than five sacks only once in his four years there.

    Comments 11 Comments
    1. vancemeek's Avatar
      I had Strahan over Sapp, but really don't have an issue w/ the class.
    1. Docta's Avatar
      Parcells shouldn't have gotten in, but the NY media loves him so it was a lock. He would only have 1 ring if it wasn't for a missed FG, and set the Cowboys franchise back years. Only won 54% of his games with the Giants without LT.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      Really nice job, Evan. And I think this is a deserving class. I believe Strahan, Haley, and Williams will get in, but I'm not sure about Bettis and Reed.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Docta View Post
      Parcells shouldn't have gotten in, but the NY media loves him so it was a lock. He would only have 1 ring if it wasn't for a missed FG, and set the Cowboys franchise back years. Only won 54% of his games with the Giants without LT.
      Like you, I haven't entirely bought into the Parcells thing. Excellent coach, but no Bill Walsh when it came to playing GM.

      wrt to Bettis, count me as one who's not a believer. I don't care much about HoF stuff, but I was in St. Louis when he was on the Rams and that was not a good season for him, so my views are colored. His average isn't that great, either. But they let John Riggins in, so maybe Bettis has a chance.
    1. mkocs6's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
      Like you, I haven't entirely bought into the Parcells thing. Excellent coach, but no Bill Walsh when it came to playing GM.

      wrt to Bettis, count me as one who's not a believer. I don't care much about HoF stuff, but I was in St. Louis when he was on the Rams and that was not a good season for him, so my views are colored. His average isn't that great, either. But they let John Riggins in, so maybe Bettis has a chance.
      Bettis, if he gets in--maybe like Parcells?--he is getting because the image he projected as a player rather than because of what he was on the field. I mean, don't get me wrong, he was good, but his numbers just aren't Hall of Fame caliber. I guess it's worth asking how much he could potentially benefit from playing for a popular franchise, as Docta (I think rightly) supposes Parcells did. There is such a thing, though, as a player (or coach) who merits consideration but wasn't quite good enough. Here's a method from baseball that I think is helpful in answering these kinds of questions.

      I wonder how much the success of Parcells assistants also plays into this? I mean, Belichick, Coughlin, and Payton were all his assistants, and have won six of the last dozen or so Super Bowls.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by mkocs6 View Post
      Bettis, if he gets in--maybe like Parcells?--he is getting because the image he projected as a player rather than because of what he was on the field. I mean, don't get me wrong, he was good, but his numbers just aren't Hall of Fame caliber.
      I agree. I think that's why Riggo got in. No way his stats jump out at you. But he had the same romantic image as Bettis. Plus, that Super Bowl run against Miami.
    1. Trumpetbdw's Avatar
      Great class. I think both Sapp and Strahan should have gotten in, but if there was a pecking order, I agree 100% that Sapp was more deserving.

      Cris Carter FINALLY gets his deserved place, although it surprised me a bit. It seems that the reason Strahan didn't get in is because some of the voters felt that Charles Haley should get in first (which begs the question as to how they'll handle the vote next year). If that's the case, then I'm surprised that Andre Reed didn't get in ahead of Carter. To me, Carter is more deserving than Reed, but at about the same level as Strahan is more deserving than Haley. Seems a bit hypocritical that Haley may have hurt Strahan's bid, but Reed didn't similarly hold back Carter.

      But hey, at least he's deserving, and I'm glad he could get in. Carter is the 2nd best eligible WR not currently in the Hall, behind only Sterling Sharpe. Seriously, dude can't even make the semi-finalist ballot? That's a complete joke.

      I love Jerome Bettis. John Riggins is the logical comp. Bettis had more 1000 yard seasons, but Riggins had the 1 big TD year (24 in 1983), and the infamous run ("He's Gone! He's Gone! Touchdown Washington Redskins!!!").

      And that's where the big separation lies. Riggins had a string of 6 straight 100 yard playoff performances in 1982/83, dragging the Redskins to 2 straight Super Bowl appearances. In 9 games, Riggins averaged over 110 yards per playoff game in his career, and scored 12 TDs.

      In 14 playoff games, Bettis only had 3 100 yard games, averaging less than 3.4 YPC, and totaling more than 300 yards and 3 TDs less than Riggins accumulated in 5 fewer games.

      And therein lies the issue. Bettis was great at the start of his Steelers career, but eventually fell victim to frequent late-season injuries. Frequently, Bettis was worn down by the time the playoffs rolled around, and was too often more of a detriment to the Steelers' chances than anything.

      I say this not as a knock on Bettis, who I loved as a player, but only as a distinction that I don't feel he's quite a HOF-level player. Don't get me wrong, if he gets in, I'll be thrilled. It wouldn't be the worst selection the Hall ever made, and I'm sure he'll eventually get in. But if he doesn't, it's not like I'll be beating down the walls of Canton because he was robbed.

      Of course, I'm not one who thinks Riggins deserved enshrinement either.
    1. Pruitt's Avatar
      Maybe Andre Reed is destined to be outside for ever....


      But other than Robinson (who was "before my time" - a phrase I get to use with diminishing frequency) I couldn't quibble about the guys voted in.

      And an added bonus - Art Modell only entered one hallowed hall this year, and it isn;t the one in Canton.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Trumpetbdw View Post
      I love Jerome Bettis. John Riggins is the logical comp. Bettis had more 1000 yard seasons, but Riggins had the 1 big TD year (24 in 1983), and the infamous run ("He's Gone! He's Gone! Touchdown Washington Redskins!!!").
      Nice post.

      I'll never forget that moment. That's the most excited I've ever been watching sports. When he broke the tackle I jumped out of my chair and was yelling Go! Go! Go! Go! as though he could hear me. Glorious moment in Redskins history.
    1. wxwax's Avatar
      ps I'm glad Curly Culp got recognition.
    1. Rich Gapinski's Avatar
      First, fantastic job by you, Kaba.

      Secondly, I'm reading MMQB and King says that Ogden had 13 false starts and 13 holds called in his career. Career.

      That's a season for a Bears lineman. Well, two.