Pro Football Hall of Fame Inducts Live Guys
What a difference a weekend can make!
Last weekend it was Cooperstown, New York, and this weekend, it's Canton, Ohio, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and its 50th induction ceremony.
This was truly a special class of men, led by former Vikings WR Cris Carter and former New York Giants head coach Bill Parcells. Hard to believe Parcells was not in the HOF already, but he is now. The Big Tuna's best line was he wanted his bust placed right next to Lawrence Taylor so he could “keep an eye on that sucker!”
Baltimore Ravens OT Jonathan Ogden, Cowboys Guard Larry Allen, Buccaneers/Raiders DT Warren Sapp, Packers LB Dave Robinson, and Chiefs/Oilers NT Curley Culp were also enshrined into Canton. Sapp’s bronze statue actually was adorned with corn rows. How appropriate! Ogden was the first player from the inducted, and he'll definitely be followed in the near future by Ray Lewis, who attended the ceremony.
Cris Carter gave a very emotional speech, which was to be expected, as it took him six tries to be chosen as a HOFer. He was born and raised in Ohio and attended The Ohio State University, where he was an All-American WR during his junior year, so he had more than one opportunity to glimpse that klitschy building with the half-football sticking out of it and wonder if he'd ever get his own plaque in there.
Carter finished second to Jerry Rice in all the major receiving categories when he retired in 2002. So why the hell did it take six tries for him to be elected? Oh, right, it must be that Pro Football HOF voters are the morality police and held drug and alcohol use against him. Well, if that were the case, there would be about 20 people enshrined in Canton!
Although this appeared to be a very large HOF class, it could’ve been even bigger with players like Tim Brown, Andre Reed, Jerome Bettis, Michael Strahan, Charles Haley, Will Shields, and Aenas Williams. They were selected as finalists but did not get inducted. No matter, Brown and Bettis should be locks for next year, as 2014 is shaping up nicely with star power like former Colts WR Marvin Harrison, Buccaneers LB Derrick Brooks, and Seahawks OT Walter Jones all first-time eligible players.
The ceremony itself was captivating, and it's clear baseball can learn a few things from football, like inducting living players who can come to the stage and talk, smile, laugh, cry and acknowledge the fans and teammates who made them legendary!
Then again, there's still a brace of baseball living legends who have some 'splainig to do.