Life After Sports: The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2014
On Saturday, August 2, the Pro Football Hall of Fame will induct the Class of 2014, a group of men who have succeeded beyond football. Some have remained part of the game, while others have moved on. But their drive and determination led them beyond the gridiron and to a seat on the dais at 2121 George Halas Drive NW this weekend.
Derrick Brooks never missed a game during his 14 years as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The six-time All-Pro and member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000’s was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2002. In late July, he was named the new NFL/NFLPA Appeals Officer, serving with former head coach Ted Cottrell. The pair will hear player appeals for on-field disciplinary measures, as specified under the current CBA. This is his second Hall of Fame induction this year, as Brooks was inducted into the Capital One Academic All-American Hall of Fame. He continues to run his charitable organization, Derrick Brooks Charities.
Ray Guy makes history as the first punter elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 14 seasons with the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders, he earned six consecutive All-Pro nods and was named to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary and its All-Century Team. Only three of his 1,049 punts were blocked and he averaged 40+ yards per punt 13 of his 14 seasons. A collegiate All-American, the NCAA honored Guy by naming the top collegiate punter award after him. Today, he hosts the Ray Guy Kicking Academy and travels the country speaking.
Claude Humphrey spent his career with the Atlanta Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles, earning five first-team All-Pro and six Pro Bowl nods. He tallied 122 career sacks (which wasn’t an officially kept statistic at the time) but the 94.5 sacks he tallied with the Falcons is still the team record. Team MVP in 1976, he and his 1977 teammates still hold the mark for the fewest points allowed in a single season. He is a member of the Falcons Ring of Honor and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
Walter Jones started as a rookie and played 12 seasons with the Seattle Seahawks, where he was also named to the All-Decade Team of the 2000’s and All-Pro six times. He was elected to nine Pro Bowls, the most of any Seahawk, eight consecutively. The offensive lineman was only ever called for holding nine times in 5,703 pass attempts.
Andre Reed ‘s 16-season career saw him tally 951 passes for 13,198 yards and 87 touchdowns. At the time of his retirement, his 13 seasons of 50+ or more passes ranked him second all-time to Jerry Rice. Elected to seven consecutive Pro Bowls, he spent 15 seasons with the Buffalo Bills and finished his career with Washington. The Andre Reed Foundation, founded in 2010, aims to help underprivileged children reach their full potential and become responsible contributors to their communities.
In six of his 15 seasons, Michael Strahan tallied double-digit tackles and holds the single-season record for 22.5 in 2001. The five-time Pro Bowler ended his NY Giants career with 141.5 sacks and has spent this post-athletic career as an NFL analyst for FOX Sports, as co-host of “Kelly and Michael” and as a contributor to “Good Morning America.” And recently, this…
Aeneas Williams intercepted 55 passes for 807 yards and nine touchdowns over a 14-season career with the Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals and St. Louis Rams. He was named All-Pro four times and was elected to the Pro Bowl eight. Williams became a pastor and is heavily involved with his church, as well as public speaking.