Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher terrorized opposing offenses from the middle of the field. Randy Moss and Terrell Owens did the same to defenses on the outside.
The two hard-hitting linebackers and two big-play receivers highlighted an eight-person class voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. Safety Brian Dawkins also received at least 80 percent support from the 47 Hall of Fame voters Youth Billy Price Jersey , along with contributor Bobby Beathard and senior nominees Jerry Kramer and Robert Brazile.
But the biggest stars of the class are the two linebackers that made it on their first tries, and the pair of lightning-rod receiver who sometimes caused as many problems for their own teams as for the opposition. Moss also made it on his first try, while Owens needed to wait for his third year on the ballot to get enough support.
”I’ve been going a long time. And now I can finally rest,” Lewis said. ”I want to go fishing with a cigar now and just sit back. I don’t want to work out every day now.”
Moss and Owens each played for five teams in their careers as they often wore out their welcome with their inability to get along with teammates and coaches at times.
But at their best, there were few players ever able to strike fear in defenses as much as Moss and Owens, who were both all-decade selections for the 2000s.
”The door knocked and I started getting excited,” Moss said of Hall of Fame President David Baker alerting him he has been elected. ”All the emotions caught the best of me because it’s been a long journey and it ends in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Tears of joy.”
Moss burst on the scene as a rookie in Minnesota in 1998 when he caught a league-leading 17 TD catches and helped lead the Vikings to the NFC title game. His combination of speed and athleticism made him the game’s most dangerous big-play threat and led to the phrase ”You got Mossed” for embarrassed defensive backs.
He led the NFL in TD catches five times, including his record 23 for New England in 2007, and earned four All-Pro selections. He finished his career with 982 catches for 15,292 yards and ranks second all-time with 156 TD receptions.
Owens, who didn’t attend the announcement, entered the league as a third-round pick by San Francisco in 1996 but developed into a star known for some memorable playoff appearances, including his winning 25-yard TD catch to beat Green Bay in 1999; his 177 yards in a comeback win against the Giants in 2003; and his nine catches for 122 yards in the 2004 Super Bowl against New England just seven weeks after breaking his leg.
Owens ranks second to Jerry Rice with 15 Womens Henrik Zetterberg Jersey ,934 yards receiving and is third on the all-time touchdowns receiving list with 153.
Lewis is widely considered one of the greatest middle linebackers, winning two AP Defensive Player of the Year awards and earning eight All-Pro selections. He anchored a dominant defense for the 2000 Baltimore Ravens in a season that ended with him winning Super Bowl MVP, then retired as a champion after Baltimore closed his last season with a title win over San Francisco in February 2013.
”Growing up as a child, I know what that looked like, Mike Singletary, Dick Butkus,” Lewis said. ”Who dreams of being in that category, sitting with those guys?”
Lewis joined tackle Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens voted into the Hall of Fame as both of the team’s first-round picks in its initial season of 1996 received the high honor.
Lewis’ career was also marked by legal problems off the field. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction of justice after initially being charged with murder in connection with two killings following a Super Bowl party in Atlanta in January 2000. Lewis was also fined $250,000 by the NFL.
Urlacher wasn’t far behind Lewis with his play on the field and is the latest in a line of great Chicago middle linebackers to make the Hall, joining Butkus, Singletary and Bill George. He was the Defensive Player of the Year of 2005 and joined Lewis on the 2000s all-decade team.
Dawkins spent most of his 16-year career in Philadelphia, earning five first-team All-Pro selections for his versatility that included 37 career interceptions and 26 career sacks. He became the first player in NFL history with a sack, interception Gabriel Landeskog Jersey Kids , fumble recovery and touchdown catch in the same game against Houston in 2002.
Kramer got passed over 10 times previously as a finalist before finally getting enough votes as a senior to become the 14th member of the Vince Lombardi Packers to make the Hall. Kramer helped anchor the Green Bay line for 11 seasons, winning six NFL titles and making the block that cleared the way for Bart Starr’s TD sneak in the ”Ice Bowl” for the 1967 NFL championship.
Brazile was a finalist for the first time after a 10-year career for the Houston Oilers that included five straight All-Pro selections.
Beathard, also not on hand Saturday, helped build four Super Bowl champions in Miami and Washington and made seven trips to the title game during more than three decades as a personnel executive with a sharp eye for talent.
Five offensive linemen were among the 15 finalists, with tackle Joe Jacoby getting eliminated in voting that reduced the candidates to 10, and tackle Tony Boselli, guards Alan Faneca and Steve Hutchinson, and center Kevin Mawae getting cut in the next round of voting.
Cornerback Ty Law also made it to the final 10 in his second time on the ballot. Defensive backs John Lynch and Everson Walls, receiver Isaac Bruce and running back Edgerrin James were the other candidates eliminated in the first cuts.
”I’m glad I didn’t have to Another attempt at a no-hitter, a reliever alternating between the mound and first base, and postgame pushing and shoving.
The Tampa Bay Rays pulled off an odd one for their fifth straight victory.
Nathan Eovaldi took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before an unusual combination of relievers in the ninth completed a three-hitter as the Rays beat Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals 1-0 Tuesday.
Eovaldi (2-3) lost his no-hit bid when Bryce Harper hit an opposite-field double off the left-field wall with two outs in the sixth. The right-hander, who struck out nine, walked two and hit a batter over six innings Jakob Silfverberg Jersey , was making his sixth start since returning from a second Tommy John surgery in August 2016.
However, it was the ninth inning that stole the spotlight.
After Diego Castillo went two innings, lefty Jose Alvarado began the ninth by walking Harper before moving to first base when Chaz Roe relieved him. Roe struck out Anthony Rendon before Alvarado returned to the mound and gave up singles to lefties Juan Soto and Daniel Murphy that loaded the bases.
”We wanted to get our best matchups possible,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. ”The gamble, I guess, was hoping that nobody hit a ground ball to first.”
Sergio Romo replaced Alvarado and got his sixth save by getting Trea Turner to fly out and Michael A. Taylor to strike out.
”I was a little jealous that it wasn’t me going out and playing a position,” Romo said.
Alvarado declined to talk to reporters after the game.
There was a brief scrum near the mound after Taylor struck out when Romo exchanged words with the Washington outfielder, who had stolen second in the sixth inning of the Nationals’ 11-2 over Tampa Bay on June 6.
”I don’t disrespect anybody on that team other than the person that I felt disrespected me and my team,” Romo said.
Said Taylor: ”I understand the situation. Obviously they think different but I’m not worried about that. The talking and things like that, I’m not big on drama.”
Nationals manager Dave Martinez said Romo’s unhappiness was misdirected.
”If he gets mad, he should get mad at me, but don’t show up one of our players,” Martinez said.
Tampa Bay’s Blake Snell took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of the Rays’ 11-0 rout of the Nationals on Monday night. Washington finished that game with two hits.
Scherzer (10-4) gave up one run Authentic Saquon Barkley Jersey , four hits, three walks and struck out four in seven innings for the Nationals, who have lost nine of 12. The three-time Cy Young Award winner has lost three straight decisions for the first time since August 2015.
The Rays took both games of the series with Washington on the heels of a three-game sweep last weekend over the New York Yankees, who have the best record in the majors.
Tampa Bay is 7-5 during a stretch of 16 games against the Yankees, Nationals and Houston Astros.
Tampa Bay went up 1-0 in the first when Kevin Kiermaier singled, advanced to third on Matt Duffy’s base hit during a 10-pitch at-bat and scored on Jake Bauers‘ grounder.
Nationals: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (strained right hamstring) had a 30-pitch bullpen session, which could the final step before rejoining the rotation.
Rays: RHP Chris Archer (left abdominal strain) remains on schedule for a three-inning simulated game Thursday and could be back around the All-Star break.
Rays OF Mallex Smith was doing a live TV interview wearing a buffalo hat – honoring teammate Wilson Ramos, the leading vote-getter for AL All-Star starting catcher – when Tampa Bay OF Carlos Gomez got Smith in the face with a shaving cream pie.
MORE HIGH JINKS
As Harper walked to the plate in the first inning, Frank Sinatra’s ”New York, New York” played over the Tropicana Field sound system for the potential free agent after this season. In the sixth, the musical selection was Sinatra’s ”Chicago.”
Nationals: Washington has not announced its rotation for a four-game series at Philadelphia that begins Thursday night.
Rays: RHP Ryne Stanek (1-1) wil start the first of a four-game set Thursday night with Houston.