On a night that pretty much recognized greatness of NFL history before announcing the new season about to begin, with Cris Carter, Larry Allen, Jonathan Ogden and Warren Sapp highlighting the 2013 class that also included head coach and Super Bowl champion Bill Parcells, along with two senior selections in Curley Culp and Dave Robinson.
As for the ones who brought the most emotion out of the 11,500 in attendance, including more than 120 hall members (a record attendance), Carter, the former Vikings’ wide receiver, and Parcells, a two-time Super Bowl champion, managed to get the strongest reaction.
Cris Carter – It took the wide receiver six tires to get into the hall of fame, following a 16-year career with the Minnesota Vikings, being named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 1st All-90’s team. He was a 8-time Pro Bowl selection and twice a first team All-Pro, ranked 4th all-time in receptions, 9th all time in receiving yards and 4th all-time in receiving touchdowns. He had 8 consecutive seasons of at least 1000 yards between 1993-2000.
Larry Allen – Entering the hall on his first year of eligibility speaks volumes of the excellence Larry Allen is remembered for, playing 14 seasons in the NFL, all but two of them for the Dallas Cowboys. He won a Super Bowl with the team in 1995, and was regarded as the NFL’s strongest man at one point, bench-pressing 700 pounds. Maybe the greatest guard in NFL history, Allen made 11 Pro Bowl teams and a six-time first team All-Pro.
Jonathan Ogden – Another offensive lineman who began his career as a guard but quickly established himself as one of the best left tackles in the history of the game, Ogden also made it in on his first try. He spent his entire career (1996-2007) with the Baltimore Ravens, making 11 Pro Bowl games and 4 first team All-Pro selections, winning Super Bowl XXXV with the Ravens.
Warren Sapp – One of the more outspoken NFL players of recent years, Sapp didn’t need very long to make into the hall, retiring in 2007. Maybe the best pass-rushing defensive tackle in history, Sapp is only the the second Tampa Bay Buccaneer enshrined, 18 years after Lee Roy Selmon. He recorded 96.5 sacks in 198 games, playing for the Bucs from 1995 to 2003, winning a Super Bowl with them, and then finishing his career in Oakland, playing four seasons for the Raiders. He made the Pro Bowl 7 times and the All-Pro teams six times, named to the 90’s and 2000’s all-decade team.
Culp played in the NFL from 1968 to 1981 for the Chiefs, Oilers and Lions, beginning his career in the AFL. He was a five-time Pro Bowl selection and once named a first team All-Pro. He helped the Chiefs win the NFL championship in 1969, and waited for over 30 years to be enshrined in the hall. Robinson is the 12th inductee from the vintage Packers coached by Vince Lombardi making it into the hall of fame. He was a three-time NFL champion, including the first two Super Bowls, and played in the league from 1963 to 1974, his last couple of seasons with the Redskins.