2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction Recap — Seven Enshrined in Canton
Cris Carter and Bill Parcells were among seven new members were enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. During induction ceremonies held at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio, the six players and one coach who comprised the class of 2013 accepted the honor by delivering speeches filled with vivid memories that ranged from the humorous to the poignant.
When the ceremonies had concluded, Carter, Parcells, Jonathan Ogden, Dave Robinson, Larry Allen, Curley Culp and Warren Sapp took their place among the best in the history of the game.
Here are some highlights from Saturday’s ceremonies:
Most often lauded for his 130 touchdown receptions, wide receiver Cris Carter caught 1,101 passes for 13,899 yards during an NFL career that spanned from 1987 to 2002 with the Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins .
“I love football. I love this game. This game gave meidentity, it gave me a sense of purpose,” Carter said. “And for an African-American man, it’s a great opportunity in America, to be able to play football.”
An 11-time Pro Bowl guard for the Dallas Cowboys from 1994 to 2005, Larry Allen was among the NFL’s strongest men. He helped clear the way for teammate — and fellow Hall of Famer — Emmitt Smith to set the NFL’s all-time rushing yardage mark.
“I got in that weight room and became the strongest man in the NFL. And I did it naturally,” Allen said. “Once I benched 700 pounds, they tested me twice a week for the rest of my career.”
The first draft pick in the history of the Baltimore Ravens, Jonathan Ogden was an intimidating offensive tackle who made 11 Pro Bowl appearances from 1996 to 2007.
“I am so very proud to have been the Baltimore Ravens’ first-ever draft choice, and I am so humbled to be the Baltimore Ravens’ first-ever Hall of Fame inductee,” Ogden said.
A stout defensive tackle who recorded 96.5 quarterback sacks from 1995 to 2007 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders, Warren Sapp was selected to seven Pro Bowls.
“I want to thank coach (Dennis Erickson) for getting on a plane and flying up from Miami to Orlando, Fla., and getting on (U.S. Route 441) going North,” Sapp said about his college coach.
An imposing defensive tackle who played for the Kansas City Chiefs, Houston Oilers and Detroit Lions, Curley Culp made six Pro Bowl appearances from 1968 to 1981.
“You know, this is an occasion that’s long been in my dreams and now lives in reality,” Culp said. “I cannot express how glorious a feeling this is for me and my family who have long hoped with me that this day would come.”
A three-time Pro Bowl linebacker, Dave Robinson played from 1963 to 1974 with the Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins. His skilled tackling was an integral part of coach Vince Lombardi’s best Packers defenses.
“I have friends, family, and fans and everybody else that live just about 25 miles from here,” Robinson said. “But it took me 38 years to get here, and I tell you, I enjoyed every step of the way.”
Named Coach of the Year in 1986 and 1994, Bill Parcells won Super Bowls with the New York Giants in the 1986 and 1990 seasons. He also coached the New England Patriots, New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys into the playoffs, becoming the only coach in NFL history to guide four teams into the postseason.
“We’ve got happiness, we’ve got humor, practical jokes, hilarity, success, achievement. Then we’ve got that momentary time of exhilaration where you hoist that championship trophy over your head, and I don’t know what happens, but some mystical blood kinship is formed, and although it’s a fleeting moment, that kinship lasts for the rest of your life. …,” Parcells said.