The curators of the Hall of Fame have welcomed seven new members.
Announced moments ago in Dallas, they are: Richard Dent, Marshall Faulk, Chris Hanburger, Les Richter, Ed Sabol, Deion Sanders, and Shannon Sharpe.
Sabol’s candidacy was the subject of much debate before, and likely during, the selection meeting. In the end, enough of the voters agreed that the man who created NFL Films -- and whose work enticed many of us to fall in love with the NFL -- deserves a spot among the game’s immortals.
Dent was a key cog in the ’85 Bears defense. He was named MVP of Super Bowl XX. Twenty-five years later, he’ll enter Canton.
Faulk was a high-end tailback for the Colts from 1994 through 1998 before a trade to the Rams allowed him to push his career to ultra-elite levels via his critical role in the Greatest Show on Turf.
Hanburger played from 1965 through 1978 with the Redskins. He was a four-time All Pro. Hanburger was one of two finalists nominated by the Seniors Committee.
Richter was drafted by the New York Yanks in 1952, but first played in the NFL in 1954 for the Rams, due to his military obligations. He was a linebacker, center, and kicker. Ricther died in June 2010 at the age of 79.
Deion Sanders played for five different teams -- the Falcons, 49ers, Cowboys, Redskins, and Ravens. His incredible coverage and kick-return skills overcame his reputation for avoiding physical contact like Rain Man.
Sharpe becomes the eighth tight end to enter the Hall of Fame, winning three Super Bowls.
These seven men will enter the Hall of Fame in August 2011. Hopefully, a game will be played the next night at Fawcett Stadium in Canton.