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  • HOF Players announced

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    The wait is over
    Steve King, Staff Writer
    02.03.2007
    Gene Hickerson's long wait -- a wait that has encompassed nearly three decades -- is finally over.

    It ended mid-Saturday afternoon when the former Browns offensive guard got the news that he had been elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after being on the eligibility list for 29 years.

    Better late than never. In fact, when a Browns aide at Hickerson's home in the Cleveland suburb of Cleveland was informed by clevelandbrowns.com that he had made it, the roar in the house was as loud and deafening as that from the 80,000 who used to watch him play at Cleveland Stadium.

    "I want to thank my many teammates throughout my NFL career that made playing in Cleveland so special," Hickerson said. "We had so many talented players who cared for each other and helped to create a true team concept, especially on that 1964 NFL championship team."


    Hickerson, who will turn 72 on Feb. 15, will be inducted into the Canton, Ohio shrine during the annual HOF weekend Aug. 4 and 5.


    He will be joined by:


    *Tight end Charlie Sanders (1968-77 with the Detroit Lions).


    *Wide receiver Michael Irvin (1988-99 with the Dallas Cowboys).

    *Running back Thurman Thomas (1988-99 with the Buffalo Bills and 2000 with the Miami Dolphins).

    *Cornerback Roger Wehrli (1969-82 with the St. Louis Cardinals).

    *Offensive lineman Bruce Matthews (1983-2001 with the Houston/Tennessee Oilers and Tennessee Titans), the younger brother of former Browns star linebacker Clay Matthews.

    All of them were also voted in Saturday by the HOF Selection Committee when it met in Miami prior to Sunday's Super Bowl XLI matchup between the Indianapolis Colts and Chicago Bears at Dolphin Stadium.

    Specific voting results were not announced, but by rule, inductees have to receive a minimum of 80 percent, or 32 votes, from the 40 electors. By rule, they had to select between three and six finalists, and they chose to go the limit by taking six.

    Hickerson, who first became eligible for the HOF in 1978, five years after he retired, had been to this stage of the selection process on three other occasions, in 1981, '82 and '83 as a modern-day finalist. In 1992, he fell under the jurisdiction of the Senior Committee, a sub-group of the Selection Committee representing older players, but never made it back again as a finalist until this year, when he was one of 17 remaining from a preliminary list of over 100.

    The Senior Committee can name two nominees every year, and Hickerson got the nod along with Sanders. They were joined by 15 modern-day finalists.

    The finalists who did not make it were defensive ends Fred Dean and Richard Dent, punter Ray Guy, offensive guards Bob Kuechenberg and Russ Grimm, wide receivers Art Monk and Andre Reed, NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, linebackers Derrick Thomas and Andre Tippett and offensive tackle Gary Zimmerman.

    Thus, Hickerson, who played for the Browns for 15 years, from 1958-60 and 1962-73, becomes the sixteenth former member of the club -- and the fifth offensive linemen -- to make it into the HOF. That puts the Browns into sole possession of fifth place among NFL teams for most players in the Hall. They had been tied with the Washington Redskins.

    Other ex-Browns linemen in the HOF are tackles Lou Groza and Mike McCormack, center Frank Gatski and guard Joe DeLamielleure. Groza also was a place kicker.

    The remaining Browns in the HOF are middle guard Bill Willis, wide receivers Paul Warfield and Dante Lavelli, tight end Ozzie Newsome, running backs Marion Motley, Jim Brown, Leroy Kelly and Bobby Mitchell, quarterback Otto Graham, defensive end Len Ford and head coach Paul Brown.

    Hickerson, who was born in Trenton, Tenn., was a seventh-round draft choice -- a future selection, as it was called then -- of the Browns in 1957, when he still had a year of eligibility remaining at Mississippi. He joined the club in 1958 and was used as a messenger guard through '62 for Paul Brown. He missed the 1961 season with a broken leg suffered in the preseason opener.

    When Brown was fired, his replacement, Blanton Collier, immediately made Hickerson a full-time starter in 1963 and he remained in that role for the next 11 seasons. He was a five-time All-NFL pick, was selected for six Pro Bowls and was named to the NFL's All-Decade team for the 1960s, helping the Browns to four NFL Championship Games in a six-year span, and seven playoff appearances overall.

    The Browns, who never suffered a losing season when Hickerson was with them, captured the NFL crown in 1964 with a 27-0 victory over the heavily-favored Baltimore Colts.

    Hickerson, who remained in the Greater Cleveland area following his retirement and now resides in the suburb of Avon, will be busy appearing in various HOF functions in the months leading up to his enshrinement.

    His first order of business will be to leave the snow and bitter cold of Northeast Ohio and fly to the sun and warmth of Honolulu, where he will be honored with the other inductees next Sunday night at the annual Pro Bowl. That, in itself, may have been worth this 29-year wait.
    Last edited by Charlie Brown; 02-03-2007, 03:43 PM.
    The Browns are gone; I'm not a fan of the Impostors

    The real Browns are in Baltimore, see?

  • #2
    Great to see that Hickerson made it to the HOF

    It's about darn time he got in.
    The Browns are gone; I'm not a fan of the Impostors

    The real Browns are in Baltimore, see?

    Comment


    • #3
      Rigggggggggggged.


      Why Would Michael Irvin Get In Before Art Monk????
      sigpic

      Comment


      • #4
        Congrats to Gene Hickerson and the rest of the class.

        Michael Irving deserves to get in. Why Art Monk isn't in can be debatable. I think he's overdue.

        Ray Guy is probably the best punter in NFL history, if not the Top-2. This is a crime.

        Comment


        • #5
          I don't think Irvin should get in. 750 catches? He was never the top WR in the league. Monk retired as the all time leader in receptions, and Irvin gets in? 70% of Art Monk's catches were for 1st downs over a 15 year career.. and Irvin gets in?

          The good thing is

          Micheal Irvin... 750 Catches....65 TDs.... 3 SBs.............HoF
          Rod SMith..... 886+ Catches...68 TDs....2 SBs.............

          I guess that only shows you that Rod Smith deserves to be in the HoF as well.

          Comment


          • #6
            oh.. and Ray Guy should be in the Hall as well.

            Comment


            • #7
              I agree about Irving deserving it. Just because he isn't....um that smart on the TV doesnt mean he wasn't one hell of a football player!
              ...capture it...remember it...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ravage!!!
                I don't think Irvin should get in. 750 catches? He was never the top WR in the league. Monk retired as the all time leader in receptions, and Irvin gets in? 70% of Art Monk's catches were for 1st downs over a 15 year career.. and Irvin gets in?

                The good thing is

                Micheal Irvin... 750 Catches....65 TDs.... 3 SBs.............HoF
                Rod SMith..... 886+ Catches...68 TDs....2 SBs.............

                I guess that only shows you that Rod Smith deserves to be in the HoF as well.
                Irving's playoff production is great, and elevated when the stage became more grand. He made the most of his post-season chances. I thought he deserved to get in before he retired. Numbers don't tell the entire story.

                His first three years were far from stellar. I believe he was injured in his second season. Also consider that the Cowboys as a team were pathetic during that time and were rebuilding. Then when the team got good, he showed his true skills.

                And as for the TDs and catches, he did play with Emmitt Smith. Rod Smith will get in eventually.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Im not givin Irvin no love because he never gives Denver no love,Im sorry he got in.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Nice to see Bruce Matthews and Thurman Thomas get in. Certainly deserve it.

                    "Peace is but a shadow of death, desperate to forget its painful past..."
                    -San Francisco 49ers: Five Time Super Bowl Champions-

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Gradishar and Zimm got SCREWED again, I wonder how they will Jam up Sharpe when it is his turn, the HOF is a JOKE
                      Last edited by Southstander; 02-03-2007, 11:23 PM.
                      Ask me about My Jesus and how to have a relationship with Him.

                      Red Sox Mafia RLF4 Life! Boston 617 Strong!
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by CB Bronco Fan
                        Rigggggggggggged.


                        Why Would Michael Irvin Get In Before Art Monk????
                        Art Monk played 16 years and barely has more receiving yards than Irvin. He's only been voted to the Pro Bowl three times. He never had double digit touchdown numbers. A better question might be "why isn't Andre Reed in"?

                        "Peace is but a shadow of death, desperate to forget its painful past..."
                        -San Francisco 49ers: Five Time Super Bowl Champions-

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          All four of the pass rusing finalists didn’t make it this time. Richard Dent, Fred Dean, Derrick Thomas and Andre Tippet apparently canceled each other out.

                          IMO, Tippett deserves to go and will eventually get enshrined. His numbers are too good for him to get snubbed again. Tippett was largely considered the second best LB of the 80’s behind Lawrence Taylor. Unlike LT, Andre played strong side where it’s harder to generate impressive stats but Andre still produced.

                          ·Over his career, Tippett recorded 100 sacks in 151 games, an average of 0.662 sacks per game. The mark currently ranks fourth in NFL history among linebackers.

                          · His 35 sacks between 1984 and ’85 remain the most recorded by a linebacker in consecutive seasons.

                          · Tippett ranked third among linebackers on the all-time sacks list at the time of his retirement following the 1993 season.

                          · Tippett was named the NFL’s linebacker of the year by the NFL Players Association for three straight seasons from 1985-87


                          Mein angenommenes Yankee ist Johnny Damon

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by BroncoSexyDaddy
                            Im not givin Irvin no love because he never gives Denver no love,Im sorry he got in.
                            Well, he had you guys going to the superbowl 41 this year at the start of the season....

                            And congratz to Geney!!
                            sigpic

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              No Derrick Thomas, again....

                              Hickerson, Wherli, and Sanders somehow got in over Thomas, i wish sports writers
                              werent the ones voting.
                              Club Leader: Robert Griffin III > Andrew Luck

                              ^^^Get used to it.^^^

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