NFL Hall of Fame Class of 2016 Inductees Announced
The day before Super Bowl 50 kicks off was all about reminiscing and remembering some of the greatest careers the NFL has ever seen. Saturday introduced the football community to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Class of 2016. Some of the decisions were no-brainers, while others took a while to come to a conclusion. Overall, the meeting was a success that will enshrine eight of the league’s greatest football players in history.
The headline of the night, which was announced the easiest decision of the night, belonged to a quarterback that was most-known for his days as a Green Bay Packer. Although his first season was with the Atlanta Falcons, Brett Favre spent the next 16 years with Green Bay. Those 16 seasons were easily his best seasons in the NFL, as he was statistically above everyone else at his position. There was only one game that Brett Favre didn’t start in Green Bay, which was in his first season. He currently holds the NFL record for career completions and career attempts, and is also second on the list for career passing yards and passing touchdowns. He was selected as league MVP in three consecutive years, from 1995-1997.
After the news was announced, Brett Favre remained humble to the game just like he always has:
“I’m extremely thankful that I’m part of the group, but I don’t necessarily feel like part of the group, and I mean that with the utmost respect,” stated Brett Favre.
There were a couple other big names in the 2016 class, one of them being wide receiver Marvin Harrison. Another player who was loyal to his team, Harrison was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 1996. An immediate starter, Harrison stuck with his team his whole career. He retired after 13 seasons, playing every season for the Colts.
Harrison saw his golden days begin in 1999, when he recorded his first 100+ catch season. He finished that season with 115 receptions, 1,663 yards and 12 touchdowns. He responded to that season well, breaking the 100-catch mark for the next 3 seasons. That span ended in 2002, which was Harrison’s best year in the NFL. He recorded 143 catches for 1,722 yards and 11 touchdowns. Other notable statistics were:
- Recorded over 1,100 yards for 8 straight seasons, from 1999-2006.
- Recorded more than 10 touchdowns in 8 straight seasons, from 1999-2006.
- Career totals – 1,102 receptions, 14,580 yards and 128 touchdowns.
A familiar face to Harrison, his former head coach Tony Dungy will also be enshrined into the 2016 Hall of Fame Class. Although he was most known for his days with Peyton Manning, currently the quarterback for the Denver Broncos, Dungy is also credited for his role with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A team that was previously having a lot of difficulties in the league, Dungy helped bring the Bucs back on their feet. He quickly turned their defense into one of the NFL’s stingiest defenses of his era.
Tony Dungy was later awarded with a Super Bowl win as the head coach of the Peyton Manning-led Colts.
Two of the big and bad guys that will be enshrined this year are Orlando Pace and Kevin Greene. Pace didn’t have as long of a career as Favre did, but come to think of it, who did? What matters is that Pace made due with the time he was given. Drafted first overall by the St. Louis Rams, now the Los Angeles Rams, Pace helped his team finish in the top 10 of total offense for a total of seven times. When the Rams needed an offensive line, Pace gave them a brick wall. In his 12 seasons with the team, he was awarded seven trips to the Pro Bowl and five All-Pro awards.
On the other hand, Greene was a defensive nightmare. One of the stingiest linebackers in NFL history, Greene finished his career with a total of 160 sacks. That number is good for third on the all-time sack leader list. The only two players above him on that list are Reggie White (198) and Bruce Smith (200).
As for the seniors committee, there were two nominees that will see enshrinement in August. Dick Stanfel and Ken Stabler, the two nominees who retired more than 25 years ago, may have had to wait a long time for this moment, but it is well deserved.
The eighth, and final nominee for the 2016 HOF Class is Edward DeBartolo Jr., the former owner of the San Francisco Giants. DeBartolo was nominated as a contributor.
Some names that failed to make the cut this year were: Terrell Owens, Terrell Davis, John Lynch, Joe Jacoby, Kurt Warner, Don Coryell, Edgerrin James and Morten Andersen.
The new HOF class will be officially enshrined on August 6th, 2016 in Canton, Ohio.