Sanders, Faulk enshrined in Canton

Former Dallas Cowboy Deion Sanders posses with his bust during his induction into the NFL Pro...

Former Dallas Cowboy Deion Sanders posses with his bust during his induction into the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. (REUTERS/Aaron Josefcyzk)

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, Last Updated: 11:43 PM ET

Deion Sanders and Marshall Faulk were among the seven members inducted into the newest class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Despite the absence of a Hall of Fame Game this year due to the extended lockout, there was plenty of star power in Canton, namely Sanders and Faulk, the only members of the 2011 class to be elected in their first year of eligibility.

Joining the duo in this year's class were Shannon Sharpe, Richard Dent, NFL Films founder Ed Sabol, Chris Hanburger and Les Richter -- the latter two getting elected as senior nominees.

Considered one of the best cover cornerbacks in NFL history and feared as a punt returner, Sanders was an eight-time Pro Bowl pick and a two-time Super Bowl champion, winning one with both the 49ers and Cowboys.

Sanders, the only man to play in a Super Bowl and a World Series, was an eight-time Pro Bowl pick, a nine-time All-Pro and a member of the NFL's All- Decade Team of the 1990s as both a cornerback and punt returner. He finished with 53 career interceptions, returning nine for touchdowns.

"This game taught me how to be a man, taught me how to get knocked down and get back up again," said the bombastic Sanders before citing his mother and her personal struggles as his inspiration. "This game means so much to me. It taught me how to live and play with pain."

Sanders ended his acceptance speech by placing a do-rag on his bust sculpture.

Faulk, equally dangerous as a runner and a pass catcher in his 12 seasons with the Colts and Rams, earned the league's MVP award in 2000 with the Rams. He was the first player in NFL history with four straight seasons of 2,000 yards from scrimmage and won a Super Bowl with St. Louis after the 1999 season.

"This is pretty special, this right here ... I'm glad to be a part of it," Faulk beamed. "I want to thank God. And I want to thank God because this is football heaven."

Sharpe played 14 years with Denver and Baltimore from 1990-2003, winning two Super Bowl titles with the Broncos and another with the Ravens. At the time of his retirement, the eight-time Pro Bowl choice held tight end records with 815 receptions, 10,060 yards and 62 touchdowns.

In an animated speech, the always loquacious Sharpe thanked his family and most notably his brother, Sterling, once a standout wide receiver for the Packers.

"I am the only player who has been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and am the second-best player in my family," said Sharpe with his emotional brother by his side.

Dent, Chicago's all-time sacks leader, played 15 years with the Bears, 49ers, Colts and Eagles. He appeared in four Pro Bowls and was the Super Bowl XX MVP in Chicago's 46-10 rout of New England.

"When you have dreams, it is very tough to say you can do everything by yourself," said a thankful Dent. "It's all about other people."

Sabol sold overcoats in Philadelphia before successfully bidding $3,000 to film the 1962 NFL Championship Game at Yankee Stadium. Two years later, he convinced the league that it needed its own production company, leading to NFL Films.

Introduced in a video by his son Steve, also a founder of the production company, the elder Sabol was short with his speech following a 10-minute highlight reel, adding "I dreamt the impossible dream. I'm living it."

Hanburger was a linebacker for 14 years with the Redskins from 1965-78 and was a nine-time Pro Bowl choice, helping the Redskins to their first Super Bowl appearance after the 1972 season. He earned the nickname "The Hangman" for tackling players high.

"I don't know who's involved in the [selection] process at all, but I want to thank those folks. This is one of the greatest moments of my life, and I mean that from my heart," said a humble Hanburger.

Richter, a linebacker with the Los Angeles Rams from 1954-62, earned Pro Bowl nods in each of his first eight seasons. He died in June 2010, and his son, John, and daughter, Anne, were present to unveil their father's bust. 


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