NEW ORLEANS – Bill Parcells was a winner everywhere he coached. Time and time again, he took over struggling franchises and showed them what it takes to be a success, including a pair of Super Bowl titles with the New York Giants.
Parcells pulled off another victory Saturday – election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Getting in on his fourth try, Parcells led an induction class that also included mouthy defensive lineman Warren Sapp, prolific receiver Cris Carter and a pair of stalwarts from the trenches – offensive linemen Jonathan Ogden and Larry Allen.
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 today’s Super Bowl.
Almost as noteworthy were the finalists who didn’t get in, including running back Jerome Bettis and owners Art Modell and Edward DeBartolo Jr.
Parcells had to wait awhile, earning a bust in Canton on his fourth try. He 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.
No one was more emotional than Carter, who took six years to get in despite putting up some of the best receiving numbers in NFL history. He broke down in tears but quickly pointed out it’s not because I’m sad.
This is the happiest day of my life, he said. It’s unreal you’re going to end your career in Canton. I said to myself, I’m going to get in the hall this year.’ I believed I would get in the hall this year. It’s the most amazing thing that ever happened to me.
In addition to Bettis, four other players failed to get in on the final vote: Charles Haley, Andre Reed, Michael Strahan and Aeneas Williams. Earlier in the day, the selection committee eliminated DeBartolo and Modell, as well as former players Tim Brown, Kevin Greene and Will Shields.
Sapp got in on his first year of eligibility after playing 13 seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders.
Carter played 16 seasons, becoming only the second player in NFL history to reach 1,000 receptions in a career. Allen played 203 games over 14 seasons, spending the bulk of his career with the Cowboys.
Ogden spent a dozen seasons with the 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.
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 on the great Green Bay Packers teams of the 1960s, starting at outside linebacker.