Notes and Quotes about the Class of 2005

07/27/2005

Notes

Benny Friedman is the seventeenth New York Giants alumnus to join pro football’s elite as a member of the Hall of Fame. Red Badgro, Roosevelt Brown, Frank Gifford, Mel Hein, Sam Huff, Tuffy Leemans, Tim Mara, Wellington Mara, Steve Owen, Andy Robustelli, Ken Strong, Fran Tarkenton, Lawrence Taylor, Y.A. Tittle, Emlen Tunnell, and Arnie Weinmeister, preceded him. Friedman also played for three now-defunct teams, the Cleveland Bulldogs, Detroit Wolverines, and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

<a data-popupid=Dan Marino" hspace="3" src="/cms/images/spacer.gif" width="150" align="left" vspace="3" border="1" /> Dan Marino is the ninth longtime member of the Miami Dolphins to be elected to the Hall of Fame. He joins previously elected Hall of Fame members Nick Buoniconti, Larry Csonka, Bob Griese, Jim Langer, Larry Little, Don Shula, Dwight Stephenson, and Paul Warfield.

Fritz Pollard is the first longtime Akron Pros player to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Pollard also played for the Milwaukee Badgers, Gilberton Cadamounts (independent pro team), Hammond Pros, and the Providence Steam Roller.

Steve Young is the eleventh longtime member of the San Francisco 49ers to be elected to the Hall of Fame. He joins Jimmy Johnson, Ronnie Lott, Hugh McElhenny, Joe Montana, Leo Nomellini, Joe Perry, Bob St. Clair, Y.A. Tittle, Bill Walsh, and Dave Wilcox. Young also spent two seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and two seasons in the now-defunct USFL.

Benny Friedman becomes the eighth pre-modern era quarterback elected to the Hall of Fame. The seven who preceded him include Sammy Baugh, Earl “Dutch” Clark, Jimmy Conzelman (also a coach), John “Paddy” Driscoll, Arnie Herber, Sid Luckman, and Clarence “Ace” Parker. Pre-modern era is defined as the majority of an enshrinee’s career occurred prior to 1946.

Dan Marino and Steve Young join 19 modern-era quarterbacks in the Hall of Fame, including George Blanda (also a kicker), Terry Bradshaw, Len Dawson, John Elway, Dan Fouts, Otto Graham, Bob Griese, Sonny Jurgensen, Jim Kelly, Bobby Layne, Joe Montana, Joe Namath, Bart Starr, Roger Staubach, Fran Tarkenton, Y.A. Tittle, Johnny Unitas, Norm Van Brocklin, and Bob Waterfield.

Fritz Pollard is the 16th pre-modern era running back elected to the Hall of Fame. He joins Cliff Battles, Tony Canadeo, Bill Dudley,  Harold “Red” Grange, Joe Guyon, Clarke Hinkle, Earl "Curly" Lambeau (also a coach), Alphonse "Tuffy" Leemans, George McAfee, John “Blood” McNally, Bronko Nagurski, Ernie Nevers, Ken Strong, Jim Thorpe, and Steve Van Buren. Pre-modern era is defined as the majority of an enshrinee’s career occurred prior to 1946.

Quotes

Benny Friedman

"Benny Friedmanthe old Michigan All-America, was the first pro quarterback to recognize the potentialities of the forward pass..."he demonstrated that the pass could be mixed with running plays consistently and effectively." - George Halas, Hall of Fame coach

Dan Marino

"Dan brought an excitement to the quarterback position, even during practice, and especially during the last two minutes of games, when he brought us back to win more times than I can count. Whether it was the clock play against the Jets or any of his other great comeback wins, I always had the feeling that with Dan at quarterback, we were never out of the game, no matter what the score." - Don Shula, Hall of Fame coach


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Fritz Pollard

"Even in Akron, at his home-team stadium, they had to bring him on the field just before the game started so he wouldn’t get hurt, and then have a bodyguard there to protect him. He showed a sense of bravery that’s hard for people today to relate to." - John Carroll, author of Fritz Pollard: Pioneer in Racial Advancement


Steve Young

"Steve was one of the most competitive players that I have played against, dating all the way back to the USFL. We always knew that when our teams met, it was going to be a shootout. He is a class guy from start to finish." - Hall of Fame Quarterback Jim Kelly

More Notes...

Benny Friedman was the only player who led the NFL in rushing touchdowns and scoring touchdowns in the same season. He accomplished the feat as a member of the Detroit Wolverines during the 1928 NFL season.

Steve Young is the first left-handed quarterback to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Dan Marino , at 6'4", is the tallest quarterback in the Hall of Fame.

Fritz Pollard was the first African American head coach in National Football League history.

All four members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2005 are also enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame. Friedman was inducted in 1951, Pollard in 1954, Young in 2001, and Marino in 2002.

<a data-popupid=Steve Young" hspace="3" src="/cms/images/spacer.gif" width="150" align="right" vspace="3" border="1" />Steve Young
 played his college football at BYU. The University is named after Steve's great-great-great grandfather, Brigham Young.

Dan Marino threw a record 420 career touchdowns in his 17-year career. His TD throws were to 51 different players. His favorite targets included Mark Clayton (79), Mark Duper (55), O.J. McDuffie (25), Nat Moore (24), and Jim Jensen (19).

On New Year's Day in 1916, Fritz Pollard became the first African American to play in what would become the famous Rose Bowl.

Dan Marino tossed the most of his career record touchdown passes during the second quarter (155) of games. He had 99 TD passes come in the fourth quarter, 97 in the third, 68 in the first quarter. Marino also had one touchdown pass in overtime, a 20-yard strike to Mark Duper against the Los Angeles Rams on Dec. 14, 1986.

Steve Young’s longest TD pass of his career came on 97-yarder to wide receiver John Taylor against the Atlanta Falcons on November 3, 1991. It was the longest pass play in 49ers history.

Dan Marino was the first, and only, player ever to pass for 5,000 yards in a season. He threw for 5,084 yards in 1984. Fellow Hall of Famer Joe Namath was the first QB to reach the 4,000-yard plateau.

After his NFL career ended, Fritz Pollard was an ambitious entrepreneur. At one time or another, he owned coal companies in Chicago, published a weekly newspaper, produced feature movies and even worked part-time as a tax consultant. He also coached football on the semi-pro, college, and high school levels.

Steve Young completed the first two-point conversion in 49ers’ history when he hooked up with tight end Brent Jones against the Philadelphia Eagles on October 2, 1994.

<a data-popupid=Benny Friedman" src="/cms/images/spacer.gif" width="250" border="1" />

Benny Friedman

Benny Friedman's first four seasons were legendary. In fact, his touchdown pass total during that span measure up incredibly well compared to the 21 modern-era QBs in the Hall.

Here is a look at Friedman vs. the HOF QBs of the modern era during the first four seasons of their careers.

 

 

 

QB
Career
TD Passes in First
Four Seasons
Dan Marino
1983-1999
142
Otto Graham
1946-1955
86
Johnny Unitas
1956-1973
84
Jim Kelly
1986-1996
81
Joe Namath
1965-1977
78
Fran Tarkenton
1961-1978
77
John Elway
1983-1998
66
Bob Griese
1967-1980
58
Bobby Layne
1948-1962
54
BENNY FRIEDMAN
1927-1934
53
Bob Waterfield
1945-1952
53
Joe Montana
1979-1994
52
Norm Van Brocklin
1949-1960
51
Y. A. Tittle
1948-1964
47
Terry Bradshaw
1970-1983
41
Dan Fouts
1973-1987
30
Steve Young
1985-1999
24
Bart Starr
1956-1971
19
Roger Staubach
1969-1979
18
Sonny Jurgensen
1957-1974
11
George Blanda (Also PK)
1949-58, 1960-75
8
Len Dawson
1957-1975
1

 

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