A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the baseball hall of fame and now it is time to write about the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The enshrinement takes place in Canton, OH and the NFL preseason usually kicks off during that weekend as well with the annual Hall of Fame Game. This year the game featured the Bears and the Ravens, which is fitting considering the players being enshrined. This year the Hall inducted Brian Dawkins, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher, Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, and Jerry Kramer. All of these people are very deserving and I wanted to take a look at their respective careers. Also, does it surprise you that controversy surrounded T.O.?
Ray Lewis is probably the most accomplished member of this class. He played for 17 seasons and was able to make 12 Pro Bowls. We was a member of an all decade team. He was able to win the Super Bowl twice while being the MVP of one of those games. All 17 of his seasons were played for the Ravens and clearly he is at the top of the list of all time great Ravens.
Brian Urlacher played 13 seasons for the Chicago Bears and was an athletic marvel. He was very unique because of his combination of speed and size. He played in 8 pro bowls and was also a member of an all decade team. He was a defensive rookie of the year and also a defensive player of the year. Urlacher is joining all time great Chicago Bears like Dick Butkus and Mike Singletary. Did you notice he has hair now?
Brian Dawkins played for 16 seasons and made 9 pro bowls. He played the majority of his career in Philly and finished the last three years in Denver. He was a great player that was associated with plenty of winning teams.
The next two players are wide receivers and they have been known to be controversial throughout their career. That really did not change during the enshrinement process. Randy Moss was a game changing special talent. He scored over 150 touchdowns and had more than 15,000 receiving yards. Both are awesome accomplishments. He is taking heat for his tie at the enshrinement ceremony. Terrell Owens is another WR that made the Hall this year. Just like Moss, Owens was able to compile massive numbers during his career. He has also been a controversial figure throughout this career with many different antics. He may have saved the most controversial act as his last by bucking the tradition of giving the enshrinement speech in Canton. Owens gave his speech from his College, bypassing Canton altogether.
The last three members include two veterans committee choices in Jerry Kramer and Robert Brazile. Both players were very deserving and probably should not have had to wait this long. The other selection was Bobby Beathard. He is considered one of the best talent evaluators of all-time. His teams have won 4 Super Bowls over the years.
I am fortunate enough to have watched most of these players make their mark in the league, especially the 5 younger inductees. They are all special players in their own right and certainly deserved to be in the Hall of Fame. Some may not admit it, but it has to be very gratifying to be among this group. Their hard work paid off and they reached the pinnacle of their profession!