HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2014
6 p.m. Saturday, Canton, Ohio • TV: ESPN2
Michael Strahan is pleased to know he is scheduled to go last during the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. That means the former New York Giants star pass-rusher won’t be the first to break down in tears once the 2014 seven-member class is inducted Saturday.
“I am not going to be the first one to crack,” Strahan pronounced with a familiar gaptoothed grin Friday. “But it’ll be interesting. I just told the guys, ‘It’s OK. If you’re going to cry, this is the opportunity to cry where nobody can say anything to you.’ ”
If that’s the case, Andre Reed might not make it through Friday. The former Buffalo Bills receiver was having trouble keeping his emotions in check after meeting former teammate Jim Kelly, the Hall of Fame quarterback who is battling cancer.
“Three months ago, we didn’t know if [Kelly] was going to be in Canton,” Reed said. “Yeah, my heart kind of beat a bit faster when I saw him.”
A look at this year’s class:
Derrick Brooks, LB, Tampa Bay (1995-2008): Never missed a game in 14 seasons. 11-time Pro Bowl selection. NFL defensive player of the year in 2002. Had interception return for TD as the Buccaneers won Super Bowl XXXVII.
Ray Guy, P, Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders (1973-86): First punter elected to the Hall, first punter taken in the first round of the NFL draft (1973). Led NFL in punting three times. Had 619 career punts without a block. Six-time All-Pro, won three Super Bowls.
Claude Humphrey, DE, Atlanta (1968-78), Philadelphia (1979-81): Had 122 sacks, was first-team All-Pro five times and second team six times. Career best 15 sacks in 1976. Helped Eagles get to Super Bowl XV.
Walter Jones, OT, Seattle (1997-2008): First offensive lineman in Seahawks history elected to the Pro Bowl (1999), the first of nine Pro Bowl selections. Named All-Pro six times. Team-record 10 playoff starts, including Super Bowl XL.
Andre Reed, WR, Buffalo (1985-99), Washington (2000): His 951 career receptions was third in NFL history when he retired. Holds Bills records for catches (941) and receiving yards (13,095). Played in seven consecutive Pro Bowls and four consecutive Super Bowls.
Michael Strahan, DE, New York Giants (1993-2007): 141½ career sacks, set single-season NFL record with 22½ in 2001 and was unanimous Defensive Player of the Year. First-team All-Pro five times, seven-time Pro Bowl pick. Won Super Bowl XLII in his final NFL game.
Aeneas Williams, CB/S, Arizona (1991-2000), St. Louis (2001-04): An eight-time Pro Bowl selection at defensive back, seven at cornerback. Fifty-five career interceptions, returned nine for touchdowns. Had picks in four consecutive postseason games.