The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, added six more busts to its collection this past weekend.
Troy Aikman, Harry Carson, John Madden, Warren Moon, Reggie White and Rayfield Wright were all formally enshrined Saturday, Aug. 5.
Aikman played his entire 11-year NFL career with the Dallas Cowboys after they drafted him with the first overall pick in 1989. During the next decade, Aikman led the team to three Super Bowl wins. He was named to six Pro Bowls and is the winningest quarterback of any decade with 90 of 94 career wins occurring in the 1990s.
Carson is another player who played his entire career with one team, the New York Giants. Carson spent 12 seasons as a linebacker and was selected to nine Pro Bowls including seven straight (1982-88). He had 14 career fumble recoveries. Later in his career, Carson was joined by Lawrence Taylor and Carl Banks to form what, arguably, could be the greatest linebacker trio in the history of the game.
Madden, former coach of the Oakland Raiders and current broadcaster and namesake of the Madden NFL video game dynasty, earned his way into the Hall on his coaching merits. He combed the sidelines as the head coach for the Raiders from 1969 to 1978 after spending the previous two seasons as their linebackers coach. During his reign, the Raiders never experienced a losing season. In 1976, Madden coached the team to a near-perfect 13-1 regular-season record, and went on to win Super Bowl XI 32-14 over the Minnesota Vikings.
Moon played for four NFL teams over the course of his pro career (Houston, Minnesota, Seattle and Kansas City). Prior to coming to the NFL, Moon had already become a professional football hero in Canada. He began his pro career in the CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos. He led them to an unprecedented five consecutive Gray Cup victories. In his 17-season NFL career, Moon passed for 49,325 yards and 291 touchdowns. He was named to nine Pro Bowls. Despite spending six seasons in the CFL, Moon ranked third all-time in passing yardage and fourth in touchdown passes thrown at the time of his retirement.
White was simply known as the Minister of Defense. Prior to joining the Philadelphia Eagles in 1985, he began his professional career in the USFL. He played eight seasons with the Eagles before becoming a Green Bay Packer in 1993. He is the Packers all-time sack leader with 68.5. He was elected to 13 straight Pro Bowls and, after six years in Green Bay, White announced his retirement. After one year away from the game, White returned to the Carolina Panthers in 2000 to finish his career. He died at the age of 43 in December of 2004.
At 6-foot, 6 inches and 255 pounds, Wright was the original Big Cat. He played 12 seasons for the Dallas Cowboys. The first three years, he was used as a tight end, defensive end and offensive tackle. He found a permanent position at right tackle in 1969 when coach Tom Landry substituted him for injured starter Ralph Neely. He went on to play in six Pro Bowls and five Super Bowls. He was named to the NFLs all-decade team of the 1970s.
Doug Halberstadt can be reached via e-mail at Dougster61@aol.com.
From the Aug. 9-15, 2006, issue