Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue arrived at the Pro Football Hall of Fame on his fifth attempt.
Tagliabue and the former general manager of the New York Giants, George Young, did so as collaborators. Former Dallas Cowboys security Cliff Harris and former Cleveland Browns catcher Mac Speedie completed the centennial class announced Wednesday.
Tagliabue replaced Pete Rozelle as commissioner of the league in 1989 and turned 17, during which there was peace of work, expansion to 32 teams and widespread improvements in the stadiums. NFL television revenues under Tagliabue also skyrocketed.
Young, who also worked for Tagliabue in the league office, turned around a dying Giants franchise, which won two Super Bowls under his direction.
Harris was one of the toughest defensive runners in the NFL, a six-time professional bowler who was an important part of Dallas defenses in the 1970s.
Speedie was part of the unstoppable Cleveland Browns offense in the AAFC and then in the NFL. He averaged 16.1 yards in 349 receptions and scored 32 touchdowns during his seven-season career.
Earlier on Wednesday, several others joined previously announced Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson as part of the special class celebrating the 100th season of the NFL:
– Pittsburgh former Donnie Shell is the tenth man of the 70s Steelers dynasty to be elected, and the fifth of the Steel Curtain defense that dominated the NFL.
– Deep Bobby Dillon played for the Green Bay Packers from 1952-59. Despite a child accident in which he lost an eye, Dillon made nine interceptions in a season three times and seven selections twice.
– Alex Karras was an immovable defensive tackle for the Lions. Unofficially he had 97 1-2 catches during an era in which statistics were not tracked.
– Duke Slater, one of the first black players in the NFL, played between 1922 and 1931, mainly for the Chicago Cardinals. He made four NFL squads in tackles during an era in which players went in two directions.
– Ed Sprinkle was called "the best runner of passes" that George Halas has seen and was also once called "the baddest man in football". He made four Pro Bowls and the All-Decade team of the 1940s.
– Steve Sabol was the creative force in NFL Films, which won more than 100 Emmy awards under his direction. His father, Ed Sabol, was consecrated in 2011.
– With 6 feet 8 inches, 225 pounds, the open receiver Harold Carmichael was something very new for professional football. He used his height, long arms and strong hands to dominate the smaller defenders since 1971-84.
– Winston Hill was the powerful blocker of the New York Jets that surprised Baltimore in the third Super Bowl. Joe Namath has called Hill "one of the main reasons we won that game."
– Jim Covert spent eight seasons with the Chicago Bears and was the best offensive lineman of the 1985 Super Bowl champions.