Sterling Sharpe will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame this year.
And he should be an NFL Hall of Famer as well.
That may be surprising to many, but Sharpe only played seven seasons and he made great use of his time by being named a Pro Bowler five times and an All-Pro three times.
Sharpe’s career was cut short due to a neck injury in which the top two vertebrae were damaged, forcing the superstar to retire.
In 1992, Sharpe led the NFL in receptions with 108. That’s 24 more catches that Jerry Rice and 30 more grabs than Michael Irvin. Both guys are in Canton.
The next year was more of the same. Sharpe tallied 112 receptions, which was four more than Rice, 24 more than Irvin, 26 more than Cris Carter and 31 more than his brother Shannon. All of those guys are in the Hall of Fame.
The best indication of what Sharpe did for his team was scoring. For his career, he scored 27 percent of the Packers’ touchdowns. Think about that for a second. He scored nearly 400 points — and that counts his rookie year in which he only scored one touchdown.
Sharpe is tied for 48th all-time in touchdown receptions. Guess who he’s tied with? None other than Michael Irvin. The Cowboys receiver played five more seasons than Sharpe, not to mention with much better offensive weapons. That should be the clincher for Sharpe right there.
But, of course people have a problem with the fact that Sharpe had a truncated career. Which is true. But with the numbers that Sharpe produced while catching passes from starting quarterbacks Don Majkowski, Randy Wright, Anthony Dilweg, Mike Tomczak and Brett Favre, it’s amazing Sharpe was able to put up those numbers at all.
With Favre chucking fastballs in 1992, Sharpe became one of seven receivers all-time to lead the league in receptions, yards and touchdowns.
Sharpe was playing ahead of his time. Now all the rage is the oversized, yet agile tight end. Sharpe was the oversized wide receiver that had blazing speed as well. His route-running was spot-on but what made him great was not that he had the presence to come back to the ball. But he knew exactly when to do it.
A devastating neck injury cost Sharpe from the rest of his professional football career. That injury shouldn’t prevent him from being recognized as one of the greatest pass catchers ever and entering the Hall of Fame.
When you think about Sharpe, think about a frozen can of juice. He has packed so much into such a small space that he has made his career difficult to quantify for others.
But it shouldn’t be that difficult to digest that Sharpe was one of the all-time great receivers. Heck, his brother Shannon admitted it moments before gushing over his Hall of Fame bust.
Don’t think that the Hall of Fame would be diluted with Sharpe in it, just think how it would be so much more concentrated.——————
Cory Jennerjohn is from Wisconsin and has been in sports media for over 10 years. To contact Cory e-mail him at jeobs -at- yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter: Cory Jennerjohn
34 thoughts on “Cory’s Corner: Sterling Sharpe belongs in the Hall of Fame”
Does Sharpe deserve to be in the HOF? YES, absolutely he played like a beast. He hated the media and everything that went along with it. He won’t win any popularity contests because of the media not liking him. I have the secret as to how he could be inducted immediately. All Sterling has to do is tell the media he is gay and smooch another man on tv and he is in…
The media would make him immortal.
love it t
It’s a hard one for me. SS had the talent of a HOF except for possibly his rookie year when he dropped everything. Then, when he received criticism from the fans/media he responded by not talking to them. My kids did manage to get an autograph from him which was next to impossible as well. So he wasn’t a fan-friendly guy, he got off to a rocky start, he had a short career due to the injury and his teams did not win any titles. I will add another thing. Those years he caught all those passes were under Holmgren and more often than not he was wide open. How could that be? Because Holmgren was a genius at designing plays that let their most dangerous weapon get open. With all that said, if I was voting, I would still vote yes but I can see why many would not.
“…Sharpe was the oversized wide receiver that had blazing speed as well.”
Blazing speed is usually 4.4 or less. Sharpe was 4.55 or 4.6 as I recall. However, he was fast for his size, I will give you that. Him and his brother were tweener types, not quite WR and not quite TEs.
The best question is why didn’t GB draft Shannon Sharpe when he came out? They already had Sterling. They had a great need at TE. Shannon was regarded as a R3 talent yet he fell to R6 and GB kept passing on him. At the time, I couldn’t believe they showed no interest. Later, when Shannon emerged as a HOF TE, it showed me that Wolf wanted no part of a 2nd Sharpe. Remember, it was Lindy Infante who drafted SS, not Wolf. Just think of the Sharpe brothers together in the same offense with Brett Favre and Holmgren.
I always said that the best thing that happened to Brett Favre’s career was SS’s injury. It made him a more complete QB and forced to look at more than just one receiver. It could be that if Sharpe never got hurt, Favre would’ve been nothing more than…ulp…Matthew Stafford.
Favre was also a young QB learning the game. I know the common thought at that time was it forced Favre to look for someone OTHER than Sharpe, which was absolutely true. But had Sharpe not been injured the Packers would have won more than 1 SB during the Ron Wolf/Mike Holmgren era. One of the biggest knocks against Wolf was he didn’t surround Favre with enough WR talent. Favre would have learned to spread the ball around regardless, it just speeded up the process losing Sharpe.
Sharpe was that bid really. 6′ 210, about the size and speed of James Jones and Adams. He was very strong and a reasonably elusive runner and wss terrific after the catch. Not really a deep threat per se but could get open deep using his strength and physicality to get open and get contested passes.
He was a great player but not for long enough to warrant induction in Canton. Really only one player in the HOF w a short career(er) career… Gayle Sayers. The HOF is reserved for sustained excellence.
Me guy……remember the holdout before opening day? Packer offense improved when Favre was allowed to spread it around. Talented yes, team guy? No! Irvin same attitude, but more years, #’s and rings
It’s an interesting situation — a player who is obviously trending to be a HOF has their career cut short by a devastating injury. What do you do?
It’s definitely not a black and white situation and I think must be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
There are many other players who could make their case here too: Jerome Brown, DT Eagles (1987-1992), Ickey Woods RB Bengals, (1988-1991), Alan Ameche FB Colts (1955-1960), Greg Cook QB Bengals (1969-1973), Keith Millard DT Vikings (1985-1991), Billy Sims RB Lions (1980-1984), Gayle Sayers RB Bears (1965-1971), Sean Taylor S Redskins (2004-2007), Tony Boselli T Jaguars (1995-2001), Ki-Jana Carter RB Bengals (1995-1999), Terrell Davis RB Broncos (1995-2002) and Bo Jackson RB Raiders (1987-1990).
Gayle Sayers is in the HOF. He is about the only player w a shortened career to be inducted. Sharepe would have needed another 3-4 yrs of sustained excellence to be inducted.
Thanks for the heads up — my bad.
No prob. A lot of people don’t realize he’s in.
I knew Bart Starr and spoke with him periodically. I didn’t know Reggie White, but I did see him being backed up to his jeep by kids telling them he had to get home, but he stayed until he signed all of the estimated 40 autographs.
I also didn’t know Sharpe, but I was in the parking lot while he was walking towards the players entrance to Lambeau Field after practice and a little boy roughly 9 years old ran over to him for an autograph. I couldn’t hear the words which were spoken, but I saw Sharpe turn and walk into the building and the child run back to is father crying; not something nice to see from an athlete who depends on fans to pay his salary.
I also clearly remember when Sharpe told the Packers the week before the opening game of the season he would not play unless Wolfe reworked his contract and made him the highest paid player in the league. I do believe Wolfe regretted yielding in that instance.
It’s ironic that a player who rejected both the media and fans now makes a living working for the NFL network.
Sterling Sharpe is one of the few Green Bay Packer players I dislike and I personally hope he does not get elected to the Hall of Fame.
He did possess talent to consider selection, but the shorten career in light of the the great wide receivers he must compete against will likely leave him on the outside looking in.
When it comes to personality, he left a lot to be desired. I met him at the Schwartzenegger Classic and to be honest he was a complete dickhead. However I believe the HOF should be because of talent not personality. If he had personality he would already be in. He was very talented no one can deny that.
Had 2 brief encouters w him. First when Majik was holding out he caught a sideline oass right in front if me during training camp. He threw a 50 yd bullet back before jogging back to take his next turn. I yelled he should play QB while Majik held out. He pointed at me and said I was right.
Years later in Bristol Conn I was visiting my buddy at ESPN while Sharpe worked for them. My buddy introduced us. I recounted the story and he “allowed” me into his presence for about 10 min. If it weren’t fir the brief encounter at the practice he wouldn’t have given me, or any other Packers fan the time of day. No doubt about it… He was a world class jerk. Great player tho…
BTW the HOF is only about sustained excellence. His personality has nothing to do with him not being inducted. He simpy didn’t play long enough.
There is no doubt Sharpe was pretty much a world class jerk. Arrogant to an extreme. But he was a team player in his way. Very tough played hurt all the time too. Part of the reason he demanded the ball and got it so much was that he considered himself to be the only offensive playmaker on the team. And he mostly Was.
Great player and a great jerk.
I wouldn’t support this induction unless Kramer went in before.
“Me” guy who was much more interested in his stats than he was in winning. I lost all respect for him when a CB intercepted a pass in front of him & instead of running after him, he ran out-of-bounds and stopped playing.
I’ve been arguing this one for awhile, I don’t think younger Packer fans realize how dominant this guy was, he was a do it all player, he could beat people deep, he could take short passes and break long gains, and he was just a physical beast in the red zone. I don’t know how anyone can even make a reasonable argument to not put him in the HOF, the short career is a BS argument, just look at his stats. Maybe because he didn’t kiss the medias ass when he was playing…I don’t know but ask any GM is he would rather have Cris Carter or Sterling Sharpe in their primes? 32-0
Only player in the HOF w a short (er) career is Gayle Sayers. The HOF is reserved for sustained excellence. Plain and simple.
Gale Sayers is in the HOF. Gayle must be Gale’s twin sister. I don’t think she is in.
Irvin managed to catch 155 more passes and the same number of TD’s in 12 NFL seasons. 2 of those seasons he played 6 games or less. He also had weapons galore around him. Examples, one of the most accurate QB’s to ever play, a dominate O-Line, the NFL’s all time leading rusher in his “Prime Years”. Everybody in the stadium knew Sharpe was catching the ball and still couldn’t stop him. Sharpe did have sustained excellence, for 7 years. Those numbers in that amount of time is HOF worthy.
Apparently the HOF selection committee disagees with you. You left out a couple other facts too. Like 3 Lombardi Trophies…
And its not like Irvin wasn’t and isn’t a jerk either.
Just pointed out a few stats to back Sharpe. They’ve also thought Jerry Kramer wasn’t worthy which suggests they don’t get it right all the time.
You mean like Jerry Kramer? Oops, I guess it’s not ALWAYS reserved for excellence.
Stroh is right. If Sterling played for another 5 years or so and maintained his standard of play he would get into the HOF. He just didn’t last long enough. Also, unfortunate for him the Packers didn’t win an SB until Sharpe was done. He was a great receiver and playmaker but his career just wasn’t long enough. I’ve never heard or read that Sharpe was either receiving or deserving consideration for the HOF. Go Pack! Thanks, Since ’61
What case does Ki-Jana Carter have exactly? At no point was he ever trending towards a HOF career. To compare his career to Sharpes is totally asinine.
I seem to remember something about him being the fastest to 500 catches in NFL history. I couldn’t find it after a short look on the Net, but swore he had set that mark. 595 catches is nothing to sneeze at. In todays NFL, with the rules the way the are he’d eat CB’s for lunch.
Personally I could care less if he’s a jerk, he should be considered only for his work in the NFL as a WR. Everybody is hung up that he was a jerk. There’s “Jerks” on just about every Packers site I visit.
Michael Irvin played in the NFL 12 seasons. 2 of those seasons he played 6 games or less and caught 750 balls and the same number of TD’s. He also had one of the most accurate QB’s ever, greatest O-Lines, and a running game from hell, yet managed only 155 more catches. Everybody knew Sharpe was getting the ball and still couldn’t slow him down, bad toe and all. He deserves the HOF.
You left out 3 reasons Irvin is in the HOF, who by the way is a prety big jerk too.
Reason 1 Super Bowl XXVII.
Reason 2 Super Bowl XXVIII.
Reason 3 Super Bowl XXX
Like I mentioned before Stroh, Just trying to back Sharpe. But my reference to Jerry Kramer who was as nice of man to have ever played the game, suggests the HOF dosen’t always get it right. The HOF seems to have left off 5 BIG reasons Kramer should be in the HOF. He was part of 5 World Championship Teams.
Someone said his success was due to Holmgren’s system. I disagree. He was one of the best route runners in NFL history. If only he could have played a few more years.
I’m from Texas. I live in Arizona. I’m a cowboy and Cardinal fan. The packers really don’t mean much to me. And yes. Sterling Sharpe deserves to be in a the HOF. No question
Davis and Boselli have a case.
Sterling is a HOF to me, he was better than Shannon.
Comments are closed.