Faulk makes Hall of Fame
www.STLtoday.com Saturday, February 5, 2011
DALLAS - Deion Sanders always was Prime Time. Now he's All Time.
Sanders and Marshall Faulk led a class of seven voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. Joining them were Shannon Sharpe, Richard Dent, Ed Sabol, Les Richter and Chris Hanburger.
As talkative as he was talented, known as much for his celebration dances as his interceptions and kick returns, Sanders was an outstanding cornerback and sometime wide receiver with five teams. He's a two-time Super Bowl winner and was the Defensive Player of the Year in 1994.
Sanders reacted to his election with typical Neon Deion bravado. He said he's grateful, but then made sure to explain, "what you feel about me has nothing to do with how I feel about me."
Then he broke into the open field.
"Next to the Bible, my favorite book was 'The Little Engine That Could.' I read that story so many times, I know it by heart," he said. "And a couple trains passed that engine until he started saying to himself: 'I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.' And that's what I modeled my career after. I mean, it sounds arrogant, it sounds brash, it sounds cocky. But it was real."
Sanders also played major league baseball. But football clearly was his calling.
"He was an electrifying performer who put fans on the edge of their seats every time he manned his cornerback position or dropped back to receive a kickoff or field a punt," Falcons owner Arthur Blank said. "Deion is, without question, one of the greatest players in the history of the NFL."
Sanders got in a comical dig at Faulk and Sharpe.
"Man, this is real," he said, "and I got to see Marshall Faulk and Shannon Sharpe cry."
Faulk won a Super Bowl with the 1999 Rams, was the 1994 Offensive Rookie of the Year, 2000 NFL MVP and a three-time Offensive Player of the Year (1999-2001). Faulk is the 10th leading career rusher with 12,279 yards, and for a half-dozen seasons was the most versatile back in football, as much a threat as a receiver as a runner.
"I wanted the ball in my hands so I could so something with it," Faulk said, recalling how he briefly played quarterback in high school and didn't find it exciting enough.
Faulk got teary-eyed when asked how his mother reacted to his election.
Top RBs Martin, Bettis, Faulk among HOF finalists
CANTON, Ohio (AP) -- Running backs Curtis Martin, Jerome Bettis and Marshall Faulk and cornerback Deion Sanders are among 15 finalists announced Sunday for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's class of 2011.
Martin, Bettis and Faulk are among the NFL's top 10 leading rushers, and are eligible for the first time. Sanders and offensive tackle Willie Roaf also are eligible for the first time.
The other finalists are receivers Tim Brown, Andre Reed and Cris Carter; center Dermontti Dawson; defensive ends Richard Dent, Charles Haley and Chris Doleman; defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy; and tight end Shannon Sharpe, along with NFL filmmaker Ed Sabol.
The 15 finalists, plus senior nominees Chris Hanburger and Les Richter will be considered for induction Feb. 5, the day before the Super Bowl. The enshrinement is in August.
Faulk is 10th in rushing with 12,279 yards for the Colts and Rams and won the 2000 Super Bowl with St. Louis. A prime receiver out of the backfield, Faulk was the 2000 NFL MVP.. Click Here for more info.
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