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Canton Opens Its Doors For Chris Hanburger

Posted by Brian Tinsman on August 6, 2011 – 11:34 pm

AP Image

As a player on the field, Chris Hanburger was smart, dominant, and ferocious.  As a man off the field, he was quiet, reserved, and soft-spoken.  In the lead-up to his induction to the Pro Football Hall Of Fame, many wondered what side of him would be on display.

But when he took the podium tonight in Canton, he did not disappoint, showing off another side entirely.  The man once referred to as “The Hangman” on the field, was actually really funny during his induction speech.

The best part is that he took the opportunity to roast the other six inductees into the H.O.F., all while making fun of his own reputation of being quiet.  

Hanburger shined in the spotlight, but still couldn’t quite accept all of the accolades being bestowed on him.

“I think they were just running out of folks to grab when I got drafted,” he said about being drafted in the 18th round of the draft.  “It was like throwing darts at a board and somebody hit my name.  And the Redskins got stuck with me.”

That drew a big round of applause an audible “Yeah!” from someone in the crowd.

It was a great moment for everyone to hear that other side of him, and even though he downplayed his successes, it was obvious that the induction meant the world to him.

“I wanna thank all of you folks for being here,” he said.  “I think it’s fantastic, it’s overwhelming for me. I don’t understand the process to get in here at all.  But I can tell you one thing, I thank those folks very much.”

“This is one of the greatest moments in my life, and I mean that from my heart.”

Hanburger finished up his speech with a very nice, very touching tribute to the military men and women, as well as those that serve domestically in the police force and fire departments.  It was really nice to hear a player that understand what’s important off the field and thank those that allow any of us to enjoy football.

Congratulations again, Chris.  It was a pleasure to have you in Washington, but we’re more than happy to share you with your rightful place in Canton.

I think the sculptor captured his “smile” perfectly.  And I’m really glad that they chose the comb-over look for his bronze bust:


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Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »


3 Responses to “Canton Opens Its Doors For Chris Hanburger”

  1. By hgnorris on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    Thrilled for Chris! Long overdue! But . . . how come I can’t find a Chris Hanburger jersey in the “Ring of Fame” part of the Pro Shop? REALLY? It should have been there even before the HoF induction.

  2. By Brian Tinsman on Aug 7, 2011 | Reply

    @hgnorris-

    I know many things, but this is not one of them. I will pass your concerns along though :-) hopefully we can get that solved

  3. By Dennis Orlandini on Aug 8, 2011 | Reply

    By Dennis Orlandini on Aug 8, 2011 | Reply

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Now after Chris Hanburger’s induction to the Hall Of Fame and another linebacker,Les Richter, a star of the Los angeles Rams in the 1950s,I’m hoping to see another star linebacker finally get his due in Canton via the Seniors Selection route.
    Like Hanburger, Maxie Baughan was a 9-time Pro Bowler.
    A major disadvantage Baughan has had however, compared to Richter and Hanburger was that rather being associated with one team all of his career, Baughan’s career was pretty much split right down the middle with six years as a Philadelphia Eagle (1960-65) and six years with the Los Angeles Rams (1966-1971). He had five Pro bowl selections as an Eagle and four as a Ram and he made the Pro bowl every year in the 1960s except 1962, when the Philly team had an overall letdown that reduced them from a contendeer to a last place team. He was even the only rookie to make the Pro Bowl in 1960 and he played an important role in that team winning the NFL title, the Pre-1966 equivilant of winning The Super Bowl. Certainly the Rams sudden improvement and their going 11-1-2 to win their division shortly after Baughan’s arrival in The City Of Angels was no accident or coincidence. Had he remained with the Eagles his whole career and been associated only with that franchise it would have improved his chances for selection to the HOF a great deal. As it is, half of his career was played with a team that no longer resides in Los Angeles and has a connection in name only to the current St. Louis Rams.
    Let’s not forget that Baughan was a Redskin also, coming out of retirement in 1974 to be a player-coach of the Redskins special teams, standing on the sidelines in uniform with clipboard in hand, barking out orders to Special Team charges and occasionally inserting himself into the onfield fray, a bit older and weathered than in his rookie days, but tougher than ever. – Dennis Orlandini

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