The 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony was tonight. (Wow. That’s a mouthful to say isn’t it?). The speeches were highlighted by lots of laughing and crying and the older players reminding the crowd they had waited decades for this, so they will go over their 10 minute time allotment (as they should). This year’s class is a diverse group with seven legends being inducted into the HOF in Canton, OH. Some you may know, some you may not, so here is a player-by-player break down:
Derrick Brooks — LB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers —
In 14 seasons of playing for Tampa Bay, Brooks made it to the Pro Bowl 11 times, showing he was truly a fan favorite. In fact, he was so involved with his community, he won the 2000 Walter Payton Man of the Year award. He was drafted alongside Warren Sapp, 2013 inductee, and together the two helped form the foundation for one of the scariest defenses of recent history. He was a Super Bowl champion, 2002 Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year and he never missed a game in his entire career.
Ray Guy — Punter, Oakland Raiders —
Yes, Punter. The first in the HOF, actually. Everyone laughed when the Raiders drafted him in the first round of the NFL draft, however over 14-years he proved his excellence and went down as one greatest punters in NFL history. They say patience is a virtue, and that is true in this case. Guy spent two-decades waiting to be inducted and finally it paid off after being considered seven times.
Claude Humphrey — DE, Atlanta Falcons/Philadelphia Eagles —
Although the general NFL fan base might not know him that well, any true Falcons fan knows everything about this player from the late 60s and 70s. Humphrey stunned the world after returning from a knee injury sustained in 1975 after a one year retirement, in an era in which that would have been career ending. With 13 NFL seasons spent with mostly the Falcons, he had 122 career sacks (unofficially since they didn’t have sacks as a stat back then), was first-team All-Pro twice and made six Pro-Bowl appearances.
Walter Jones — OT, Seattle Seahawks—
In his 12-year career with the Seattle Seahawks, he was named a Pro-Bowler nine times, named first-team All-Pro four times, and he was named to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2000’s. He only gave up 23 sacks in 180 games, fewer than two a year.
Andre Reed — WR, Buffalo Bills —
In 16 NFL seasons with over 950 catches, four Super Bowl and seven Pro Bowl appearances, Reed has missed the mark for the HOF for each of the past seven years. In the playoffs alone, Reed caught 85 passes for 1,229 years and he ranks fifth all-time in postseason receiving yards. Reed will join quarterback Jim Kelly (who is currently fighting cancer and made me cry when he was introduced at the enshrinement) and running back Thurman Thomas. This completes the “K-Gun” offensive players in the HOF.
Michael Strahan — DE, New York Giants —
Known best for his hosting position on Live with Kelly and Michael (kidding), Strahan ended his career just a short 6 years ago, with a Super Bowl win with the Giants (it seems like just yesterday) in which they beat the undefeated Patriots. Over 15 seasons, all with the Giants, he racked up 141.5 sacks, placing him fifth of all time. His 22.5 in 2001 alone is the NFL record for a single season. He made the Pro Bowl seven-times and was the 2001 Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year.
Aeneas Williams — CB/S, Arizona Cardinals/St. Louis Rams —
Over seasons divided between the Cardinals and Rams, Williams was named to eight Pro Bowls, three All-Pro first teams and was named a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 1990s. His name might not come up often when talking about the best cornerbacks of the NFL (after a career that began by playing with a not so great team in the desert), Williams was known more for the impression he left with his fellow players.
“He was smart, instinctive, and you always had to be aware of where he was. If I had success against Aeneas during the week in practice, it gave me confidence on Sunday. But, more important, he was a great man and for what he was able to bring to our locker room in terms of leadership, humbleness, work ethic. He challenged guys on an everyday basis to get better on the football field, but not only on the football field. He challenged them to get better as a young man and get better at life. -Torry Holt
Welcome to the Hall of Fame and thank you for your dedication to the sport!
Now (finally) on to today’s news and views:
Damien Harris put UK in his top 5
The #1 running back and the 24th best player in the class of 2015 (according to 247sports) trimmed his list down to five schools and Kentucky made the cut (I know I make typos every now and then, but that is not one of them). The other choices include Alabama, Florida, Ohio State and Texas A&M.
Doral Moore receives an offer from UK
The seven-foot, four-star player from Georgia had Kentucky listed in his top five back in mid-July along with Illinois, Florida, Ohio State and Wake Forest. However, apparently he didn’t even have an offer yet. As Matt said on the show a few days ago, it is hard to know who has and who has not actually received an offer since the coaches cannot talk about it. The 247sports’ Crystal Ball says there is a 50% chance we will get him. Here are some highlights to hold you over for now:
Montaque Gill-Caesar picks Missouri
Whatever. I am not bitter or anything. The four-star recruit is reclassifying to the class of 2014 and will be going to play for the Tigers who recently added his Huntington Prep coach, Rob Fulford, as a staff member. Matt just talked about hiring coaches/parents on the show last week, but what do you think? Is it a low blow to hire someone a player is close to as a way to recruit the player?
SBNation says Cousins > Plumlee
At least someone gets it. The writer said there are no good reasons to take Mason Plumlee over Cousins. It is nice to hear someone outside of BBN say it. This is what they had to say about that:
“While Plumlee brings some unique traits to the table, including more lateral athleticism and a special bond with the head coach, any logical analysis of the situation says this would be a bad decision. Cousins is simply a better basketball player than Plumlee, without being redundant to other pieces on the roster.”
Paul George says he is finnnnnne
Thanks everybody for the love and support.. I'll be ok and be back better than ever!!! Love y'all!! #YoungTrece
— Paul George (@Paul_George24) August 2, 2014
After a serious injury last night, George underwent a l emergency surgery for a compound fracture of both his tibia and fibula. They are estimating he will be back in 6 to 8 months, but as someone who has had this same type of injury (not in the same way) I can tell you it will not be an easy one to come back from. Prayers for George’s healthy return.
The twins are in town. No, not those ones.
Four-Star twins, Andrew and David Dowell were on campus today. Andrew is the 25th best Running Back and David is the 15th best Safety. It looks like the two are a packaged deal as they both withdrew their commitments from Northwestern last week. SEC foe Vanderbilt is leading the hunt, according to 247sports. However, this is nothing a weekend on UK’s campus cannot fix. #WhyNot?
The basketball players dress like they are normal people
Amazing isn’t it? It is like they are normal people like you or me!