In part 4 of Call from Canton we will look at both senior members of this years Hall Of Fame class. I will have to ask you to bare with me as I have no prior knowledge of either man. I will have to heavily depend on the Internet and Wikipedia but I think it is necessary to make sure all inductees are covered in this series.
First up we have former Washington Redskin Chris ( Hangman) Hanburger. Born August 13 1941 Hanburger was a All American linebacker for the Redskins from 1965-1978. Drafted from North Carolina in round 18 pick number 245 Hanburger proves that the latest of draft picks can still have a huge impact on a team. Out of High School Hanburger joined the Army. After his service he excepted a scholarship to North Carolina where he played from 1962 to 1964. He played center and linebacker in college. He was named All ACC at center as a junior and senior. In 1963 he helped lead UNC to a Gator Bowl victory.
Hanburger is considered on of the best outside linebackers of his day. Given the name "Hangman" because of his violent clotheslines ( keep in mind it was legal at that time). From 1973 to 1977 he was the signal caller for his defense for coach George Allen. With linebacker Jack Pardee playing the opposite side of Hanburger they created one of the greatest linebacker tandems of the time. In 1972-73 the Redskins won the NFL playoffs against the Dallas Cowboys when Washington limited them to 3 points. With Hanburger getting a sack on Hall of Fame QB Roger Staubach. Redskins would go on to lose the Superbowl to the Miami Dolphins however. In 1977 Hanburger had appendicitis surgery causing him to miss a game ending a 135 played games streak. 1978 Hanburger would play the entire season and announce his retirement. He walked away playing 187 games with 19 interceptions and 5 touchdowns.
He was at that time the smartest player in the league. We did everything we could to try to eliminate him from the play. We knew if we didn't neutralize him, then we had less of a chance of winning- John Hanna
Welcome to Canton Hangman and congratulations on stellar career.
NFL Hall of Fame class of 2011 will also induct Les Richter of the LA Rams Born October 26 1930. Les attended College at California and served 2 years in the Army. He was drafted in 1952 with the 2nd overall pick in the NFL draft by the Dallas Texans. The Texans then traded him to the LA rams for 11 players. The second largest trade ever for a single player in NFL history. Richter played linebacker, guard and kicker for the LA rams. He played in 8 pro bowls as a linebacker in his time with the Rams. During his 9 years with the LA Rams Richter intercepted 16 passes and scored 193 points,12 fumble recoverys,1 Touchdown, 106 extra points and 29 field goals. Les was inducted into the College football Hall of Fame in 1982. He retired from the Rams in1962 never playing for another team.
After retiring from football, Richter had been involved with auto racing in a variety of positions. He had been vice-president of special projects for International Speedway Corporation, chairman of the board for the International Race of Champions, and senior vice president of operations for NASCAR. Richter passed away at the age of 79 on June 12, 2010 in Riverside California. At the time of his death Richter was working for the Auto Club Speedway. Les Richter was known as "Coach" in the NASCAR circle. Richter was largely responsible for NASCAR gaining a foothold in the far west of the U.S and served as a adviser to the France family. Les Richters roots in American sports reach beyond football and he really does deserve this honor. If you would like to learn a little more on Les in the Racing industry here is a good article on SPEED about Richter getting into the NFL Hall of Fame.
- 8× Pro Bowl selection (consecutive seasons: 1954-1961)
- 2× First-team All-Pro selection (1955, 1956)
- 3× Second-team All-Pro selection (1957, 1958, 1959)
Congrats to the Richter family and to Les himself who sadly passed before knowing he had been inducted after all these years.
Call from Canton part 5 will take a look at the exciting Shannon Sharpe. Former tight end of the Broncos and Ravens and brother of the legendary Sterling Sharpe. Shannon changed the NFL and the position of TE it should be good. As this series wraps up I would like to say how much I enjoy doing these post. I thank you guys for all the positive comments and rec's.