Deion Sanders, six others inducted into Hall of Fame

Print
Email
|

by BARRY WILNER

Associated Press

Posted on August 6, 2011 at 7:47 PM

Updated Saturday, Aug 6 at 9:57 PM

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — Dynamic Deion Sanders has become the seventh and final member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2011.

The spectacular playmaker who won consecutive Super Bowls as a cornerback and kick returner with different teams, finished off the inductions Saturday night sporting gold shoes to go with his gold jacket.

Dubbed "Prime Time" and "Neon Deion," Sanders was the 1994 defensive player of the year with San Francisco, then switched to the Cowboys and helped Dallas win the 1995 title. He made the 1990s all-decade team as a cornerback and a punt returner -- all the while dabbling in major league baseball for eight years, once making the World Series.

Sanders also played some wide receiver, making him a true NFL triple threat.

Chicago Bears sackmaster Richard Dent and NFL Films founder Ed Sabol were the first of seven men to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

They were followed by Chris Hanburger, Shannon Sharpe, Marshall Faulk and  the late Les Richter before Deion Sanders was honored.

Dent was a dynamic pass rusher on one of the NFL's greatest defenses, the 1985 NFL champions. Dent was the MVP of that Super Bowl and finished with 137½ career sacks, third all-time when he left the sport.

He epitomized the Monsters of the Midway: fast, fierce and intimidating.

"Richard was like a guided missile," Joe Gilliam, Dent's college coach, said during his introduction.

"You must dream and you must be dedicated to something in your life," added Dent, who asked everyone in the audience to rise in applause for Gilliam, then thanked dozens of people, including many from the '85 Bears who also were in the stadium. He saved his highest praise for the late Walter Payton.

"When you have dreams, it is very tough to say you can do everything by yourself," Dent said. "It's all about other people."

Sabol made a life out of telling other people's stories.

An aspiring filmmaker, Sabol approached Commissioner Pete Rozelle offering to double the rights fee for filming the 1962 NFL championship game between the Packers and Giants. Rozelle accepted the $3,000 and a wildly successful marriage was formed.

Seated in a wheelchair, the 94-year-old Sabol said he "dreamt the impossible dream, and I'm living it right at this minute."

"This honor tonight really goes to NFL Films, I just happen to be accepting all the accolades," Sabol added.

Sabol's son, Steve, who replaced him as president of the company, introduced his father, about whom he said, "My sisters used to say my dad was two stooges short of a good routine. He loved to entertain."

Print
Email
|