NEW ORLEANS (CBS SF) — Former Oakland Raiders defensive lineman Warren Sapp and former San Francisco 49ers offensive linemen Larry Allen were among the class of 2013 inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The announcement was made Saturday in New Orleans, site of Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Sapp said his stomach was churning all day, but now he doesn’t have to fret anymore.
“My feet haven’t touched the ground in about 30 minutes,” Sapp said said soon after the announcement. “This is unbelievable.”
Also noteworthy for the Bay Area was the finalist who didn’t get in, longtime ex-49ers owner Edward DeBartolo Jr.
Sapp got in on his first year of eligibility after playing 13 seasons with the Raiders and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He amassed 96 1/2 career sacks despite playing on the interior of the defensive line, including double-digit sack totals in four seasons. He was the 1999 NFL Defensive Player of the Year after helping Tampa Bay claim its first division title in 18 years.
“This is the ultimate examination of the individual,” Sapp explained, “but there’s nothing I could have done without my teammates. Without my boys, I wouldn’t be sitting here.”
Allen played 203 games over 14 seasons, spending the bulk of his career with the Dallas Cowboys but playing his final two seasons as a 49er. He played every position on the offensive line except center and was a first-team All-Pro seven straight seasons.
Like Sapp, Allen was a first-year selection.
“I just didn’t want to screw it up,” Allen said, referring to his early seasons in Dallas after the Cowboys already had won the Super Bowl. “I didn’t want to be the one to mess it up.”
His philosophy never changed over his long career: make the guy across from him “quit … tap out.”
“I don’t know if I scared people,” said former Baltimore Raven Jonathan Ogden who was also elected Saturday into the HOF, “but I saw defensive linemen who suddenly had cramps when they had to face Allen.”
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