Champions aplenty in Pro Football Hall of Fame class

Former coach Bill Parcells (AP Photo/Matt Slocum) Show caption
Former coach Bill Parcells (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

CANTON, Ohio — Those Super Bowl rings will have a blinding shine at Saturday night’s Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions.

From a championship coach to linemen on both sides of the ball, the 2013 class features an enviable résumé of success.

There’s Bill Parcells, winner of two NFL titles as a coach and master of the franchise turnaround.

Jonathan Ogden, one of the top offensive tackles of his time and owner of a Super Bowl ring.

Larry Allen, to whom the same accolades can be applied, and a 1995 champion.

Warren Sapp, an outstanding defensive tackle with a personality as big as any stadium — and a 2002 champ.

Dave Robinson, a major cog in Green Bay’s championship machine under Vince Lombardi, winning the first two Super Bowls.

Curley Culp, one of the original pass-rushing demons at defensive tackle who got his ring with the 1969 Chiefs.

Wide receiver Cris Carter, merely No. 4 in career receptions and TD catches, is the only member of this year’s class who never won a title.

It’s quite a group for the Hall’s 50th anniversary celebration, which began Friday with a record 120 hall members expected to attend the ceremonies.

“I can’t think of a better group of people to go into the Hall of Fame with,” said Ogden, the Baltimore Ravens’ first-ever draft choice and the first team member elected to the hall. “When I was playing, I was just out there working. I couldn’t help the fact that I was the Ravens’ first pick. It just kind of happened and, in my mind, all I wanted to do was go out there and help the guys win. So I don’t look at it in that perspective. When I do step outside of myself and look at it, it’s like, ‘Wow, that guy, he had it pretty good.’ ”

Ogden, Allen and Sapp have the distinction of making the hall in their first year of eligibility. It’s all the more impressive considering all three were linemen.

Allen became the anchor of the Cowboys’ blocking unit for a dozen seasons, then finished his career with two years in San Francisco. He made six All-Pro teams and 11 Pro Bowls, playing guard and tackle.

Sapp, whose induction speech might be the most anticipated because he’s liable to say anything, was a cornerstone of Tampa Bay’s powerful defense that was the key to winning the Buccaneers’ only title after decades of futility.

“We took a place where they said careers came to die to a place that’s become a destination,” Sapp said, noting the Tampa 2 scheme is now played by defenses everywhere.

Parcells also was heavily involved in making popular — and successful — a specific alignment. The 3-4 defense came to life under him with the New York Giants, and he led them to the 1986 and 1990 championships.

Robinson and Culp were voted in as senior members. Considering their pedigrees, it’s stunning it took so long for them to make it; Robinson retired in 1974, Culp in 1981.

“That bust means an awful lot,” Robinson said. “That bust will last forever.”

Even though Carter can’t flash a sporty Super Bowl ring, he can show off the mitts that clutched so many balls, perhaps the best set of hands any receiver has had.

“Every minute that I stepped on that field from the time that I warmed up, I was trying to put on a show for those people,” said Carter, who played 12 of his 16 seasons with Minnesota. “So they would be proud. I come from some humble beginnings, and I just believed that when people pay their money, hard-earned money, that they deserve a certain level of performance.”