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Deion Sanders was a generational NFL player entering the league with the confidence and bravado of a 10-year veteran Pro Bowler. He was arrogant, talked a lot and generally drew attention to himself.
But if he didn't back up every last bit of his talking.
Sure, a large portion of Primetime's legacy will be his personality but you have to understand just how good he was in his day. We talk about shutdown corners all the time in today's NFL and you can thank Primetime for the resurgence of that type of cornerback.
Sanders' was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this week and, according to some reports, thanked 109 people in his speech. Every owner, every coach, every assistant coach and every equipment man for each of his NFL teams were thanked.
Here's a video of Deion thanking the world:
Long-time Denver Broncos TE Shannon Sharpe was inducted into the 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio on Saturday night and he delivered one of the great all-time speeches we've ever seen. We knew Sharpe had a way with words -- we see that on shows pre-game football shows -- but to bottle it all up on the biggest night of his career and deliver in such a big way is impressive.
We've got some video of Sharpe's induction speech here:
The line that really caught me was towards the beginning:
To my big brother Sterling. I'm the only player of 267 men who have walked through this building to my left, that can honestly say this: I'm the only pro football player who's in the Hall of Fame, and I'm the second best player in my own family.
I guess I never realized this but he's absolutely right. Sterling Sharpe's numbers are tremendous through seven years including his final season where he lead the league with a whopping 18 touchdown receptions.
Shannon Sharpe may be right about being the second best player in his own family but that's still a hell of an NFL career.
Shannon Sharpe and Deion Sanders delivered poignant, emotional Hall of Fame speeches on Saturday night, opening up and sharing a personal side with the world.
After thanking a list of players, coaches and families that must have been over 100 individuals long (and included Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube), Deion Sanders finally began the inspirational portion of his Hall of Fame speech. At age seven, Sanders made a promise that he would make enough money one day to make sure that his mother didn't need to work another day in her life. When she heard this, she told him until that happened he needed to go out and mow lawns.
Sanders wanted to live a dream, but it one bigger than himself. If it's not, he said, then there's something wrong with the dram. It was to help his mother live a better life--that is what drove him to succeed. Every time he was told he couldn't do something, wasn't big enough or wouldn't succeed, he would just think of his mother and know that he could do it and overcome everything in his path. Like Shannon Sharpe doing everything for his grandmother, Sanders did it all for his mother.
Sanders felt the need to address the concerns over his tackling ability. As he told everyone, he responded that he tackled every single bill his mother handed to him over the years. Let there be no doubt, Sanders tackled the right problems.
Sanders brought full buses of his "Truth Family," children who are learning to live life as leaders. And he wants them to go out and help others to succeed just as he did.
His final act on the stage was to put his signature bandana on his bronze bust.
Marshall Faulk began his Hall of Fame speech by calling his fellow Hall of Famers "class acts." After thanking God, he turned to his agent, Rocky Arceneaux, his agent and Hall of Fame presenter. Faulk would not want to have anyone else on the stage with him since they have a rock-solid friendship. Faulk's praise of Rocky his parents brought tears to the agents eyes.
Faulk's election into the Hall of Fame is "the fulfillment of a life's dream." He didn't want to be just the best running back; he wanted to be the best football player out there. He hopes that one day there will be another athlete on that stage because he looked to Faulk's perseverance and determination to be the best.
Faulk harkened back to his days in the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, a place many don't leave. Faulk didn't want to wind up like that and his high school coach helped him make important life decisions, including his choice to attend San Diego State.
While speaking about his time in Indianapolis, Faulk singled out Gene Huey, his running backs coach there, for challenging him to become a better man. He moved on to his time in St. Louis and spoke about the "Greatest Show On Turf." He would give anything to be in the huddle again with his teammates and down by six points with one minute to go. He left his thanks for Kurt Warner until the end and let us all know that he looks forward to the day when Warner will be up on the same stage with a bust of his own.
He offered his most outstanding praise to his mother, who while tough, loved him. He thanked her for the work ethic he gained from here. In a humorous moment, Faulk thanked his wife for cooking for him.
Faulk covered just about everything in his speech, but closed it out by telling us all that he followed his commitment to football to reach this point.
From the outset of his NFL Hall of Fame Speech, Shannon Sharpe told everyone that he couldn't fit his entire speech into an 8-10 minute span. "No chance," he said. Proud and excited of his NFL career, this was the "culmination" of that career.
Sharpe wanted everyone to know why he succeeded from such an obscure background: determination, dedication, discipline. He never listened to those who said he couldn't make it, because he believed he could do it.
Sharpe had a litany of thank yous to hand out. The first person he thanked was his remedial reading and Spanish teacher and then followed that with his high school teacher. He went on to single out Hall of Fame Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway before segueing to his family. He apparently embarrassed his mother when he mentioned the white suits she bought for he and his brother Sterling.
Acknowledging his brother, Shannon said he was the only Hall of Famer who was the second-best football player in his family. Had a neck injury not ended Sterling's career, they could have been the first brothers elected into the Hall of Fame. "You are my hero, my father, my role model," Shannon said of Sterling.
Sharpe became emotional when he spoke about Mary Porter, his grandmother. His grandmother raised Shannon and his brothers and sisters. She laid a foundation in him to want to improve his life. "You need to walk 20 years of my life" to learn how much Sharpe wanted to leave his hometown.
It was a "five-alarm fire" inside of him to want to be the best and improve his lot in life. And he ignored people and hurt relationships along the way to reach this point in his life, but he wasn't here to apologize for it. He was able to give his family a life they never would have if not for his unrelenting drive to succeed.
He closed his speech with this: "I know my grandmother's proud. I know my family's proud."
Congratulations, Shannon Sharpe, you are an NFL immortal now!
Chris Hanburger joined the NFL Hall of Fame on Saturday, but he was already in the Father's Hall of Fame, as his son Chris said in his presentation before the elder's Hall of Fame speech. Hanburger joked about the time allotment given to each for their speeches and that he wanted to someone to buy his time. But moving past the icebreaker, Hanburger thanked the Hall of Fame voting committee, calling his entry into Canton one of the greatest achievements in his life.
"I don't consider myself a true Hall of Famer," Hanburger said. Hanburger wanted everyone to know that those serving in our armed forces and law enforcement agencies are the true ones. A round of applause followed. Hanburger spent two years in the military before playing college football.
His ultimate honor before joining the Hall of Fame was being voted into the first Pro Bowl. As he remarked, back then players got into that game based on the votes of his peers. And with that, the "Hangman" finished his speech, going down as the first Hall of Famer to mention Twitter, as the ESPN guys noted.
Ed Sabol was finally enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday in a moment that was long overdue. Sabol was introduced as the first member of the class of 2011, and set the bar so high that none of the other inductees -- including Deion Sanders or Shannon Sharpe, who each have a gift for gab -- will be able to top it. Beginning with the video of his son, Steve, presenting him and ending with a short, but poignant, speech Sabol stole the show, and rightfully so.
"Let me tell ya about my dad," Steve Sabol said. And with that, the video introducing Ed Sabol was off. It was a special moment, and contained the final NFL Films project Sabol worked on. As he always did in his film work, Sabol created a masterpiece, capturing some of the finest and most entertaining moments in NFL history, all wrapped into that familiar NFL Films package. It was wonderfully done, but what else would you expect from the master himself?
Give Sabol's presentation a watch. The introduction is 10 minutes long, but worth every single second of it.
As Sabol marveled at his Hall of Fame bust, he took the mic and told the crowd, "I dreamnt the impossible dream. I'm living it." He didn't need to speak long in Canton, only spending about three minutes reading his speech. Instead he let his last video do the talking.
Congratulations to Ed Sabol, the man who revolutionized the game of football in his own way. Sabol and his son combined to give us one of the better moments you'll see at a Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony, and a video that will live on long after the memory of Saturday's events fades.
Presented by his Tennessee State coach Joe Gilliam, Richard Dent stood at the pinnacle of the NFL: enshrinement in the Hall of Fame. Like Ed Sabol, Dent spoke of dreams. "I have a dream" Dent said, acknowledging that he grew up in Atlanta in the shadow of Martin Luther King, Jr. A son in a large family, Dent needed realized that he couldn't stay around in Atlanta for long.
His football coach, William Lester, helped him throughout his formative years and led him to Tennessee State just days after high school graduation. Without Lester, Dent said, he would not be where he is today. A large contingent of people with connections to Tennessee State came out to support Dent, but he turned that portion of his speech into a celebration of Joe Gilliam.
He thanked Ed "Too Tall Jones" and Claude Humphrey, both Tennessee State alums who went on to successful NFL careers and paved the way for Dent to make the jump to the league. He then went on to acknowledge a slew of players he practiced with and was coached by while with the Chicago Bears.
Midway through his speech, taking his sunglasses off, Dent praised his father for the life lessons he taught him. But he couldn't be on this stage without the help of his late mother, he said. As Dent said, "No one can do anything alone," looking at his children as he said that.
Having played with Walter Payton in the mid-1980s, Dent remarked that he admired the way Payton went about his business and tried to model himself on the running back. Closing out his speech, Dent congratulated his fellow Class of 2011 Hall of Famers.
Before Ed Sabol delivered his NFL Hall of Fame Induction Speech, we were all treated to his last NFL Films production, which he began to put together after he learned of his enshrinement back in February. For the founder of NFL Films, Sabol capped the essence of what he did so well for decades: relate and bring to life football to its legions of fans. The camaraderie, the struggle, the triumph--it was all there.
"I dreamed the impossible dream," Ed Sabol began his speech, son Steve behind him. "And I'm living it now." He was unlike many of the other Hall of Famers who thanked their coaches during their speeches. But he did have fans: "All of you out there are my fans." He thanked everyone, but realized that wasn't quite enough to acknowledge all that they did to help NFL Films become a success.
Sabol kept his speech short, but that was all he needed to do. His legacy at NFL Films speaks volumes unto itself.
Old commercials are always funny, especially old commercials involving Deion Sanders. On Saturday evening, Sanders will enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, a deserved honor for the man who may be the best cornerback of all-time. But Sanders was a versatile player and person, as evidenced by his amazing ability to pitch just about anything with a hard sell.
For example, did you know Sanders had his own hot dog cooker? It's true! Excuse the poor quality of this Youtube video, which looks like it was recorded at the beginning of the Internet.
H/T Darren Rovell
In better quality sales pitches, though I'm not sure what Sanders is selling here other than himself, here's a commercial featuring all your favorite Dallas Cowboys' personalities. The dramatic looks into the camera by Jerry Jones and Barry Switzer make this commercial outstanding, as well as the poorly edited cutaways of Sanders picking off a pass.
On a day that we celebrate Sanders' accomplishments on the field, lets not forget to applaud his work off it. If you'll excuse me, I need to track down that hot dog cooker immediately.
On Saturday evening, the seven members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's class of 2011 will be enshrined in Canton among some of the NFL greats. Marshall Faulk, Deion Sanders, Richard Dent, Shannon Sharpe, Ed Sabol, Chris Hanburger and Les Richter all earned the necessary votes for induction this year and will be honored on Saturday evening. As usual, each player will be presented, have their Hall of Fame bust unveiled and those who are able to will give speeches.
Here is the information for Saturday night's ceremony.
Start time: The Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set for 7 p.m. EDT, live from Canton, Ohio. The ceremony is scheduled to last three hours.
TV information: You can find a broadcast of Saturday night's ceremony on ESPN, beginning at 7 p.m. EDT. In addition to the ESPN broadcast, NFL Network is running wall-to-wall coverage of the Hall of Fame induction leading up to the 4 p.m. ceremony, which it will also broadcast.
Further reading: For more on the Hall of Fame ceremonies, check out this StoryStream. In it, you'll find player highlights, information on each of the Hall of Fame's newest members and coverage of the ceremony as it happens.
Stay with our Hall of Fame StoryStream for more on each of the newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame throughout the afternoon and evening.
Shannon Sharpe’s induction in the Pro Football Hall of Fame isn’t anything surprising as he retired as the best tight end the NFL had ever watched. In case there are some that don’t remember his stellar play, however, we’ve decided to track down what few highlights videos are available to remind everyone of his dominance in a Denver Broncos uniform.
Sharpe played 14 seasons in the NFL, 12 of which came with the Broncos and two in between with the Baltimore Ravens, but it seems there are probably plenty of people that remember the tight end more for his commentary on NFL gamedays rather than his near-perfect playing career.
At time of Sharpe’s retirement, his 815 career receptions and 10,060 yards and 62 TDs were all NFL career records for a tight end. Though all of those aren’t available online, the most spectacular have been embedded below for everyone’s enjoyment.
First, there’s a look at Sharpe as a draft steal considering he was a seventh round pick in the 1990 NFL Draft coming out of Savannah State. Considering the plays he was able to make, I’d say yeah, he probably outperformed a few of the 191 players selected in front of him.
The three-time Super Bowl champion wasn’t always a lock to make the Hall of Fame according to some of his fans, apparently, because someone decided to put together the excellent video below featuring everything that made Sharpe worthy of being inducted into Canton.
Since today is focusing on the good memories of Sharpe, let’s ignore his commentary career and instead look back on this fun commercial featuring him, Jason Sehorn and trash talking about diversified portfolios.
Congratulations on your induction into the Hall of Fame, Mr. Sharpe.
Marshall Faulk’s induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame was no surprise as the running back put together an impressive 12-year NFL career. Equally impressive are some of the highlight videos available online from one of the members of the St. Louis Rams’ famed Greatest Show on Turf.
Before getting to the pros, however, Faulk put together some pretty nice runs while playing his college career at San Diego State.
Faulk ran for 12,279 yards to score his even 100 rushing touchdowns and added an additional 6,875 receiving yards, but the NFL was still able to narrow his career down to just the top 10 plays.
Faulk was able to put together quite a few other highlights, however, with the longest string of video on Youtube culminating in this nearly-nine minute video of the runningback’s NFL exploits.
Just in case the highlights during his professional football career weren’t enough, it seems that Faulk is still working on making highlight videos — though now they are coming on the golf course.
Congrats on your entrance into the Hall of Fame, Mr. Faulk.
Deion Sanders put together quite a few highlights during his 14-year playing career. That should be obvious considering his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- and his nicknames of "Prime Time" and "Neon" -- but it seems there are always a few exciting things forgotten from a career that spanned two sports, three decades and five different NFL teams.
Luckily, there are plenty of highlights available to remember Sanders' career, starting all the way back to his time with the Florida State Seminoles in the 80s.
Following a career at Florida State that included his winning the Jim Thorpe award for the best defensive back in college football, Neon Deion took his talents to the Atlanta Falcons while also moonlighting as a baseball player for the New York Yankees and later the Atlanta Braves.
With the Falcons, Sanders primarily returned punts and kicks as a rookie, but his reputations as a shutdown cornerback came to light during the remainder of his five seasons in Atlanta.
Following his time with the Falcons, Sanders made a pit stop with the San Francisco 49ers for a season where he'd score three touchdowns on six interceptions and add 34 tackles to boot. Sanders spent only one season, but it was a good one as he was named the season's Defensive Player of the Year.
From the 49ers, Sanders took his talents to the Dallas Cowboys where he'd add wide receiver to his repertoire after Michael Irvin went down due to injury during the 1996 NFL season. Sanders was named to four Pro Bowls during his time in Dallas while showing his versatility where ever he was put on the field.
Sanders career wasn't exactly anything special after his time in Dallas as he spent a forgettable season with the Washington Redskins and then made a comeback with the Baltimore Ravens three seasons after retiring, but the memories of his career make him one of the most highlight video players of our generation.
And, you know what? As hard as some have tried, it's been proven impossible to forget about his (ill-advised) singing career.
Congratulations on being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Mr. Sanders.
Les Richter is one of two senior candidates being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend. The eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker played nine seasons for the Los Angeles Rams and passed away in 2010.
Six NFL greats will join the Pro Football Hall of Fame in an induction ceremony Saturday night.
Shannon Sharpe retired as the career leader among tight ends in receptions, yards and touchdowns. For that and more, Sharpe will enter the NFL Hall of Fame on Saturday.
One of the game's great linebackers goes into Canton.
Ed Sabol, NFL Films founder, enters the hallowed halls of Canton at 94-years-old.
The 'neon' two-sport star truly shined at football, which is why he's going into the hall.
Richard Dent enters the the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2011. He was a feared defensive end for the Chicago Bears, totaling 137-1/2 sacks in his career.
Marshall Faulk, a dynamic back who helped power the high-flying Rams offenses of the late 1990s and early 2000s, will be inducted into Canton on Saturday.
Deion Sanders enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend. As one of the most entertaining athletes of his generation heads to Canton, let's reflect on what made Prime Time so special.
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