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