Parcells Makes Pro Football Hall Of Fame, Strahan Misses Out
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NEW ORLEANS (CBSNewYork/AP) — Coach Bill Parcells, Warren Sapp, Cris Carter, Jonathan Ogden and Larry Allen were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.
The class of 2013 also included a pair of senior selections, Curley Culp and Dave Robinson. The announcement was made in New Orleans, site of Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Many expected Michael Strahan to make the 2013 Hall of Fame class, but he was among five players who failed to get in on the final vote: Jerome Bettis, Charles Haley, Andre Reed, Michael Strahan and Aeneas Williams.
Earlier Saturday, the selection committee eliminated Tim Brown, Kevin Greene, Will Shields and former owners Edward DeBartolo Jr. and Art Modell.
Parcells reversed the fortunes of four teams — New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys — during 19 years as a head coach. He finished with a record of 172-130-1, leading the Giants to a pair of Super Bowl titles.
“It was a little less stressful than last year,” Parcells said. “I was kind of hoping we could do it together, but as fate would have it, it didn’t work out.”
Giants president and CEO John Mara said Parcells’ selection for the hall was “long overdue,” but his candidacy stirred plenty of debate — a one-hour discussion among the selection committee members, by far the longest amount of time dedicated to any finalist.
“He’s one of the best coaches in NFL history,” Mara said. “He turned our franchise around. We went through a long period in the 1960’s and 70’s when we were a laughingstock. When Bill took over in 1983, he survived a very difficult first year, but then turned us into a perennial playoff contender and won two Super Bowls for us. He coached three other teams and everywhere he went, he had great success.”
Parcells reversed the fortunes of four teams, also coaching the New England Patriots, New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys, during 19 years as a head coach. He finished with a record of 172-130-1, most notably leading the Giants to Super Bowl titles in 1987 and 1991. He led the Patriots to the Super Bowl after the 1996 season.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft saluted Parcells’ election.
“It is well deserved,” he said in a statement released by the team. “As a Patriots fan, I will always appreciate the credibility he brought to our franchise as a two-time Super Bowl champion. We had never had a head coach with those credentials. I am very happy for Bill and look forward to his enshrinement ceremonies.”
Jets owner Woody Johnson echoed Kraft.
“Bill Parcells infused new life into this franchise on many levels,” he said. “From acquiring players like Curtis Martin to bringing back a winning culture, we will always be grateful to Bill for his contributions to the New York Jets.”
Sapp got in on his first year of eligibility after playing 13 seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders. He amassed 96½ career sacks despite playing on the interior of the defensive line, including double-digit sack totals in four seasons. He was the 1999 NFL Defensive Player of the Year after helping Tampa Bay claim its first division title in 18 years.
Carter played 16 seasons, becoming only the second player in NFL history to reach 1,000 receptions in a career. He caught at least 70 passes in 10 seasons, and totaled 130 touchdown receptions from 13 passers.
Allen played 203 games over 14 seasons, spending the bulk of his career with the Cowboys. He played every position on the offensive line except center and was a first-team All-Pro seven straight seasons.
Ogden spent a dozen seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, a lineman who led the way for Jamal Lewis to become just the fifth running back in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. Ogden was a six-time All-Pro and was voted to 11 Pro Bowls.
Like Sapp, Allen and Ogden were first-year selections.
Ogden shared the moment with his family. He called his mother “first thing,” and also told his 7-year-old son.
“He’s real proud of his dad,” Ogden said.
He watched nervously as the announcement was made on the Class of 2013.
“It’s like going to the hospital with your wife to have a baby. You can’t do anything about it,” Ogden said. “You hear everybody say you’re a first ballot for sure, but you never really know. A lot of good well deserving guys didn’t get in on the first ballot.”
Culp was a defensive stalwart for the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1960s and ’70s, and also played for the Houston Oilers and Detroit Lions. He started at tackle in Kansas City’s Super Bowl win over Vikings in 1970 and was selected to six Pro Bowls.
Robinson played on the great Green Bay Packers teams of the 1960s, starting at outside linebacker in coach Vince Lombardi’s victories in the first two Super Bowls. He closed his 12-year career with the Washington Redskins.
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Super Bowl XLVII will be broadcast on CBS, with kickoff set for 6:30 p.m. on Sunday.