According to the Denver Post, one more of Denver's favorite sons made history today. Former Denver Bronco Shannon Sharpe was selected for enshrinement into the 2011 class in the NFL Hall of Fame, capping a stellar career for the game changing Tight End.
Shannon was born on June 26, 1968 in Chicago, Illinois. He was taken in the 7th round of the NFL Draft with the 192nd overall pick by the Broncos in 1990. He played his college ball at Savannah State.
He remained with Denver until 1999, winning two championship rings in Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII in the process.
After a two-year stint with the Baltimore Ravens, where he won a third ring in Super Bowl XXXV, he returned to the Broncos and played there until his retirement in 2003.
Sharpe was the first tight end ever to amass over 10,000 receiving yards, finishing a 14 year career with 815 receptions for 10,060 yards and 62 touchdowns in 204 games.
He remained the NFL's all-time yardage leader among tight ends for five years after he retired, until Tony Gonzalez surpassed his record in 2008.
He is also known for his creative trash talking, once caught by NFL Films, speaking into a sideline phone during Denver's 34-8 rout of New England on Nov. 17, 1996:
"Mr. President, call in the National Guard! We need as many men as you can spare! Because we are killing the Patriots! We'll call the dogs off! Send the National Guard please!"
His one-time boss and fellow Hall of Fame Tight End Ozzie Newsome described Sharpe thusly:
"He (Sharpe) has to be double-teamed. He's a great route-runner. He's proven that he can make the big plays. That's what separates him. He's a threat."
Among Shannon's other distinctions:
- He was selected All-Pro 4 times
- Played in eight Pro Bowls (1992–1998, 2001)
- Amassed over 1,000 receiving yards in three different seasons
- In a 1993 playoff game against the Los Angeles Raiders, Sharpe tied a postseason record with 13 receptions for 156 yards and a touchdown.
- In the Ravens 2000 AFC title game against the Raiders, he caught a short pass on 3rd down and 18 from his own four-yard line and took it 96 yards for a touchdown, assisting his team to a 16-3 win.
- Blocked for five different 1,000-yard rushers in Denver who combined for nine 1,000-yard seasons
Bobby Humphrey (1990)
Gaston Green (1991)
Terrell Davis (1995-98)
Olandis Gary (1999)
Clinton Portis (2002-03)
- He also helped lead Jamal Lewis to a 1,000-yard season for Baltimore in its Super Bowl-winning season.
- He had more than 60 catches in 10 of his last 11 seasons (the lone exception being 1999, when he only played in 5 games).
- One of four players to post 11 50-catch seasons, along with Jerry Rice (16), Andre Reed (13) and Cris Carter (11).
- Posted three 1,000-yard seasons (1994, 1996 and 1997).
- Holds the NFL's single-game yardage record for a TE, set Oct. 20, 2002, at Kansas City (214 yards on 12 receptions).
- Was 13-5 in playoff games, including 8-4 with the Broncos.
- All-time rank: ninth in receptions, 21st in yards and 45th in TDs.
- 3-time Super Bowl champion (XXXII, XXXIII, XXXV)
- Member of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team
Sharpe is the 7th Tight End selected for enshrinement joining Dave Casper, Mike Ditka, John Mackey, Ozzie Newsome, Jackie Smith and Kellen Winslow.