Redskins' Chris Hanburger elected into Hall of Fame along with Deion Sanders, Marshall Faulk

Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 6, 2011; 1:05 AM

DALLAS - Chris Hanburger, the dependable linebacker who helped the Washington Redskins reach their first Super Bowl as a key member of former coach George Allen's "Over the Hill Gang," was elected Saturday to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, more than three decades after his retirement as a player.

Hanburger was elected as part of a seven-member Hall of Fame class that is to be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, in August.

Also selected were Richard Dent, Marshall Faulk, Les Richter, Ed Sabol, Deion Sanders and Shannon Sharpe.

"It's wonderful," Hanburger said in a conference call. "I am just overwhelmed. It's just a tremendous honor to have been nominated, much less get in. . . . It's just a select group that make it."

The choices were made by the 44 media members who serve as Hall of Fame electors during a 71/2-hour meeting in downtown Dallas on the eve of Super Bowl XLV.

Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and General Manager Bruce Allen were on hand for the evening announcement.

"I think it's great," Snyder said. "It's fantastic. It's great for him and his family and the Redskins. I grew up watching him."

Allen, the son of George Allen, said his late father would have been delighted with Hanburger's selection.

"He'd be so happy for Chris because it respects the game for a dedicated player who didn't play the game for the limelight," Allen said. "He's a humble man. He cared about doing his job right and he cared about other people doing their jobs right. . . . It's exciting."

Hanburger, 69, was a nominee of the seniors committee, along with Richter, a linebacker for the Los Angeles Rams in the 1950s and early '60s who died last year at age 79. Hanburger and Richter automatically went to a yes-or-no round of voting by the selectors, and had to be named on at least 80 percent of the ballots.

Hanburger was an 18th-round draft pick by the Redskins in 1965 and played his entire 14-year NFL career for the team between the '65 and '78 seasons. He was selected to nine Pro Bowls and started for the Redskins at linebacker when they lost to the Miami Dolphins, 14-7, in Super Bowl VII at the conclusion of the 1972 season.

He was a four-time all-pro choice. Hanburger, who now lives in Darlington, S.C., said in recent days he'd long ago abandoned any hopes of reaching the Hall of Fame until being told last year he'd been nominated by the seniors committee, which considers the candidacy of players from at least 25 years ago.

CONTINUED     1        >

© 2011 The Washington Post Company