Seven new inductees were announced on Saturday for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2013. Among the seven new members of the Hall are Larry Allen, Cris Carter, Jonathan Ogden, Bill Parcells and Warren Sapp, with Curley Culp and Dave Robinson making the Hall as part of the senior class voting process.
Sapp, a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time first-team All-Pro, was chosen in his first time on the ballot. His selection produced effusive praise from former teammates and coaches, including this former Buccaneers head coach Jon Gruden:
I am thrilled for Warren Sapp, the engine of the 4-3 defense. He's the most dominating inside presence I've been around: tremendous athletic ability, tenacity, discipline and football intelligence every single snap. He was a natural - even a great tight end. It's a great day for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Parcells circuitous journey into the Hall was finally realized with his selection this year. After initially retiring following the 1999 season, the Big Tuna was a Hall finalist in 2001 and 2002 before returning to the sidelines. Parcells' last NFL job was with the Dolphins, and former understudy and current Miami general manger Jeff Ireland was highly complimentary when talking about Parcells:
I want to congratulate Bill on being selected to the NFLs highest honor ... the Hall of Fame. His contributions to the game and to people in the game are countless. Having worked with him, I saw first-hand the philosophy and culture he espoused that made him so successful, and like so many others before me, I continue to use many of those principles to build a winning team. I learned a great deal from him and it has been a true pleasure working alongside such an iconic and legendary man.
Among the notable players not getting the Hall call this year were wide receivers Tim Brown and Andre Reed, running back Jerome Bettis, and defensive linemen Michael Strahan and Charles Haley. The selection of Cris Carter particularly stings for Buffalo Bills fans, as they once again saw Reed passed over for another pass catcher.
Art Modell, the long-time owner of the Cleveland Browns who famously moved the team to Baltimore, again did not make the cut. Modell has now been a finalist or semi-finalist nine times, and the mere mention of his name as a Hall of Fame possibility sends Cleveland fans into a frenzy.
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