Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Hall of fame welcomes Parcells, Carter, Sapp

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NEW ORLEANS -- Coach Bill Parcells, Warren Sapp, Cris Carter, Jonathan Ogden and Larry Allen were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.

The class of 2013 also included a pair of senior selections, Curley Culp and Dave Robinson. The announcement was made in New Orleans, site of Sunday's Super Bowl.

Five players failed to get in on the final vote: Jerome Bettis, Charles Haley, Andre Reed, Michael Strahan and Aeneas Williams.

Earlier Saturday, the selection committee eliminated Tim Brown, Kevin Greene, Will Shields and former owners Edward DeBartolo Jr. and Art Modell.

Parcells reversed the fortunes of four teams -- New York Giants, New England Patriots, New York Jets and Dallas Cowboys -- during 19 years as a head coach. He finished with a record of 172-130-1, leading the Giants to a pair of Super Bowl titles.

Parcells thought he might get in the previous year in tandem with one of his former players, Curtis Martin.

"It was a little less stressful than last year," Parcells said. "I was kind of hoping we could do it together, but as fate would have it, it didn't work out."

Giants president and CEO John Mara said Parcells' selection for the hall was "long overdue."

"He's one of the best coaches in NFL history," Mara said. "He turned our franchise around. We went through a long period in the 1960s and '70s when we were a laughingstock. When Bill took over in 1983, he survived a very difficult first year, but then turned us into a perennial playoff contender and won two Super Bowls for us. He coached three other teams and everywhere he went, he had great success."

Sapp got in on his first year of eligibility after playing 13 seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders. He amassed 96 1/2 career sacks despite playing on the interior of the defensive line, including double-digit sack totals in four seasons. He was the 1999 NFL Defensive Player of the Year after helping Tampa Bay claim its first division title in 18 years.

Carter played 16 seasons, becoming only the second player in NFL history to reach 1,000 receptions in a career. He caught at least 70 passes in 10 seasons, and totalled 130 touchdown receptions from 13 passers.

Allen played 203 games over 14 seasons, spending the bulk of his career with the Cowboys. He played every position on the offensive line except centre and was a first-team All-Pro seven straight seasons.

Ogden spent a dozen seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, a lineman who led the way for Jamal Lewis to become just the fifth running back in NFL history to rush for 2,000 yards in a season. Ogden was a six-time All-Pro and was voted to 11 Pro Bowls.

Like Sapp, Allen and Ogden were first-year selections.

Ogden shared the moment with his family. He called his mother "first thing," and also told his 7-year-old son.

"He's real proud of his dad," Ogden said.

Culp was a defensive stalwart for the Kansas City Chiefs in the 1960s and '70s, and also played for the Houston Oilers and Detroit Lions.

Robinson played linebacker on the great Green Bay Packers teams of the 1960s.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 3, 2013 B5

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