The 2011 National Football League Hall of Fame Class is extremely star-studded, and for people my age, the first one that is relevant to us, having grown up watching the likes of Deion Sanders, Shannon Sharpe, and Marshall Faulk. What makes this group of inductees even more special, is that two of them played for the Baltimore Ravens. Putting the class of 2011 close the Baltimore fans’ hearts.
Known by many simple as Primetime, Deion Sanders is one of the National Football League’s most flamboyant, and notorious superstars. His pizazz, style, cockiness, and overall swag is what fans and players alike will remember him for. Yet Prime is one of the few players in not only NFL history, but sports history in general, to talk the talk and walk the walk to back it up. With two Super Bowls, 8 Pro Bowl appearances, 53 career interceptions, 22 of which were returned for touchdowns. It was this anticipated explosiveness that made Sanders such a threat. He became offense on defense, because opposing teams knew that there was a pretty good chance he was taking it for six if he picked one off. Primetime is also one of the most versatile athletes of all time, playing 12 seasons in Major League Baseball spending time with the Yankees, Braves, Reds, and Giants. Deion Sanders is truly a legend, in more ways than one, and without any shadow of a doubt the greatest shutdown corner to ever lace em’ up.
Still a prominent figure in the football community today, Shannon Sharpe is without a doubt one of the best, if not the best Tight End to ever play the game. With 3 Super Bowl rings and 8 Pro Bowl selections respectively, Sharpe became a legendary figure while playing for the Denver Bronco’s with John Elway. This is where he won his first two rings, the third with the Baltimore Ravens. The former Bronco finished his career with over 10,000 yards receiving and 62 touchdowns.
He was one of the main events at St. Louis’ Greatest Show on Turn along with Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce, and Tory Holt. Marshall Faulk, one of the few running backs in NFL history to every draw comparisons to the great Barry Sanders, is one of the crown jewels of the HOF Class of 2011 set to be inducted this evening at 7 pm. Though only 5’10” and a shade over 200 pounds, Faulk commanded the full attention of the defensive unit due to his shear ability to bust a play wide open at any given time. He won the Offensive Player of the Year Award three times in a row (1999, 2000, 2001), and is also a Super Bowl champion in 2000 with the Rams.
Be sure to tune into the 2011 Induction Ceremony, beginning at 7 pm on ESPN