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Q&A with Shannon Sharpe

Posted Apr 1, 2011

Shannon Sharpe talked with DenverBroncos.com about his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Shannon Sharpe will enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the Class of 2011. The Broncos Ring of Famer talked with DenverBroncos.com about the honor, which turned into the cover story in the Spring edition of Broncos Magazine, wihch is available online starting today.

Sharpe had plenty to say, so below you will find much more from the Q&A with the tight end that didn't make it into the magazine.

On whether it has sunk in:
"To be honest with you, I don't really think about it - I really don't. I have gotten that question asked of me a lot, but nothing has really changed in my life. You hear people whisper, 'That's Shannon Sharpe, he just got elected to the Hall of Fame.' You hear that, where before you just heard, 'That's Shannon Sharpe, he won a Super Bowl with the Broncos.' Now, they tie it in with the Hall of Fame. But, you don't really think about it. I've talked to some people that have gone through the process - once you get ready to deliver that speech and you look out and you see all those people, then it will dawn on you the enormity of what is going on."

On the feeling of being in the Hall of Fame:
"You know, it is still sort of surreal. I notice that every time I'm watching the NFL network and they have Hall of Fame up there and they start rolling the names - I always wait to see if my name is still there. I'll watch it from start to finish and I'll see Richard Dent and I'll see Marshall Faulk and I'll see Chris Hanburger and I'll see Les Richter and I'll see Ed Sabol and I'll see Deion Sanders and I'll see Shannon Sharpe, Broncos/Ravens, Tight End and then I can turn off the TV. Honestly, it almost feels like a dream. Because, I couldn't believe - even when my agent told me, saying congratulations Hall of Famer - I was like, 'OK Marvin, don't play. Hey, this is not the time to be playing, are you serious?' He was like, 'Yep, it is over with.'  And, maybe that is why nothing has changed in my life, because it just seems so surreal. You see your name and you see Hall of Fame and then you see your name scroll across there. It's like, wow."

On who his presenter will be at the enshrinement ceremony:
"My brother (Sterling Sharpe) is going to be my presenter. They do a video montage now, so it's not like your presenter is going to go up there and talk before the crowd. They'll introduce him, then they'll roll the clip, then my brother and I will stand up, we'll take the cover off the bust and then you'll have 8-10 minutes to give your speech."

On giving Sterling his Super Bowl ring:
"Well, I always wanted to be like my brother, and my sister used to say, 'Shannon, stop trying to be like him and be your own man and be your own person.' But, I just felt that everything that he did, whatever he stood for - that is what I wanted to do. I wanted to stand for that, I wanted to be as good as he was in football and in basketball and in track. And, the way he carried himself and the way that people respected him - I wanted that. He has always been there for me. He has always told me, 'This is what we need to do.' It has never been what you need to do, it is always, 'This is what we need to do.' It has always been about he and I. It has always been, 'What can we do to become a better player? What can we do to become a better person?' He laid the groundwork. His career was shortened by injury and I was playing for the both of us. We continued on the journey that we had set when we were small kids in Glennville, Ga. Now, instead of both of us carrying this journey, I was on this road by myself. So, I had to continue on this path and to make sure at the end of the day that it was going to be a finished product that we could be pleased with. He never got a chance to go to the Super Bowl, I did. I just said that it was the right thing to do. And, if I hadn't won the Super Bowl and this moment would have happened, I probably would have given him the Hall of Fame ring. I'd keep the jacket, because he couldn't fit in the jacket, not on his best day (laughs). But he could fit into the ring."

On what his grandmother said about his induction:
"Well, she doesn't understand what the Hall of Fame means. She knows a lot of football, she knows when you score a touchdown and things of that nature, but she doesn't understand the gravity or the importance of this. It was about 6:30 and she had just finished up eating and my sister was going to watch it at the nursing home with her. But, once my sister helped her finish eating, she told my sister to leave, she wanted to go to sleep. My sister said, 'Well, Granny, Shannon is getting ready to come on and maybe he'll get the Hall of Fame.' And she said, 'Well, I'll see it tomorrow.' So, my sister left and watched it and I talked to her and my sister went back over there that Sunday morning and she told her congratulations and that really meant a lot to me. When I went home a couple weeks ago and she was telling me how everybody was coming in there and telling her how well I spoke of her and what a great job she had done in raising me, that meant a lot to her and it meant even more to me."

On whether he hopes there will be more Broncos inducted into the Hall of Fame soon:
"Yes, I really do. I'm thinking 'T.D.' (Terrell Davis), Rod Smith, Champ Bailey - I don't know if Randy Gradishar is still on the senior's committee - I'd like to see those guys get in. I just think the thing that really helped us - for them, obviously Floyd (Little) played before, but John (Elway) was going to get in on his own, he didn't really need the Super Bowls. I think the Super Bowl helped guys like 'Zim' (Gary Zimmerman), myself, and I think it's going to really help T.D., he'll get in, say the next couple of years. But, I think that when you start looking at his body of work and what he was able to do and how instrumental he was in those back-to-back Super Bowl wins. And, at then to me, when he got hurt, he was the best player in football, there was no question about that. He was coming off a 2,000-yard season, an MVP season, seven-straight 100-yard rushing games in the playoffs. No other player could say that. So, I think his time will come. If you look at Rod, an undrafted player had more catches, more yards, more touchdowns than any other undrafted player, back-to-back Super Bowl wins, big plays, big moments, big games. I think he definitely has to get some consideration. And then, if you look at Champ, he re-signed with the Broncos - I think he'll probably go to another one or two Pro Bowls, so you're looking at a guy who is going to have 11 or 12 Pro Bowls at the corner position, which is the most in NFL history. He was a dominant corner in the 90s and he's still playing at a very high level. I think in the next five or 10 years, I can see another one or two Broncos getting into the Hall, which will be great."

For more from Sharpe on his induction, check out the cover story of the latest Broncos Magazine.