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Chris Hanburger takes a step toward the Hall of Fame

The Pro Football Hall of Fame's senior committee approved former Redskins linebacker Chris Hanburger for induction Wednesday, sending his nomination on for a vote by the full body in February.

Hanburger, an 18th-round draft choice from North Carolina, played his entire career for the Redskins from 1965 until 1978. He was named to 9 Pro Bowl teams and chosen the NFC defensive player of the year in 1972 when the Redskins went to the franchise's first Super Bowl. He had 19 career interceptions and played in 135 consecutive games from 1967 to 1977

Hanburger, now 69, was approved at a meeting in Canton, Ohio along with Les Richter, a linebacker and kicer for the Los Angeles Rams, from a field of 16 senior finalists.

When offensive lineman Russ Grimm was inducted earlier this month, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder mentioned Hanburger as another Redskin who deserved the same honor.

By Leonard Shapiro  |  August 25, 2010; 1:59 PM ET
 
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Comments

Look at Lenny S. making his FIRST appearance in some time!

Posted by: WaitingGuilty | August 25, 2010 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Good for Chris!

He certainly deserves it.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | August 25, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

What is it about coffee that makes you dump out, and dump out that's mighty powerful?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 25, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Hanburger was Gibbs era? Don't think so.

But he's a lock for the HOF. How many 9 Pro Bowl appearance guys aren't in the HOF? Its a really really really short list.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | August 25, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Hanburger was an Allen-, not Gibbs, era Redskin.

Posted by: Brian53 | August 25, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Hanburger was a great Redskin. I would like to see him make it.

As for Haynesworth, I guess he doesn't get his way simply because he throws a temper tantrum in the media, huh? Kudos to Shanahan for not allowing himself to be bullied. Haynesworth is going to learn. Hopefully, he'll straighten up and fly right.

Posted by: RedSkinHead | August 25, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Lenny, you should know better. Hanburger was not a "Gibbs-era Redskin." "The Hangman," known as such for his neck high "clothes-line" tackles (legal at the time) retired at the end of the 1978 season, three years before St. Joe came onto the scene.

Posted by: rufus_t_firefly | August 25, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Hanburger was not a Gibbs-era Redskin. Hate to be rude, but that's a pretty embarrassing mistake.

Posted by: redskins459 | August 25, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

He certainly wasn't a Gibbs era player, but deserves to be in the HOF.

Posted by: Rusty6392 | August 25, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Other Skins who are oldtimers worthy of HOF

Jerry Smith (held TD record for TE for 30 years

Larry Brown (if Floyd Little gets in, so does Brown)

Dave Butz and Len Hauss deserve to be in the discussion, not sure if they'd get voted in.

Some other Skins, notably Lachey, Jacoby and Gary Clark, are still eligible under the traditional rules. Not that they've gotten anything close to the attention they deserve.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | August 25, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Andre Carter...

I don't see how we cover RB's out of the backfield with our OLB's... Those 1 on 1's on blitz packages (if they have that responsibility) are going to kill us.

You can't tell me we can't get a good 3-4 OLB for a darn good DE, when salary cap implications don't apply.

Posted by: tony325 | August 25, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Wasn’t there some Hanburger pimp who used to post up here all the time trying to get us to sign his online petition to get Hanburger into the HOF? He should be happy today……

Posted by: dlhaze1 | August 25, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

(repost)

kenbeatrizz

"Is CR22 any more of a bust than Dirty 30?"


The NFL is awash with quality safeties (FS/SS) because so many great high school corners and wide receivers get converted to the position in college.

So, if you take a guy with the #5 pick to play safety, he must be lights out.

And in Landry's case, it seems they've never been turned on.

You can blame former defensive coordinator G Blache or Jackson, the safety coach, but Landry has really disappointed given his draft pedigree.

A top 5 safety should be able to cover and play effectively in space.

Landry can't.

He won't intercept a lot of passes: something a top 5 guy should do on the regular.

However, he should have a Polamalu-lite season with the new scheme utilizing his skills at playing close to the line.

He should make the occasional great play moving upfield on a run/pass blitz.

This season should redeem him in the eyes of skins' fans.

Especially, if, for him, the lights finally do come on.

Posted by: MistaMoe | August 25, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

follow the leader

beep beep

Posted by: beep-beep | August 25, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Here is the list of notable HOF's that made 9 Pro Bowls (This includes AFL All-star games...some players did not actually play in these games though) I think the BURG would fit right in. ENJOI!!! GO SKINS!

Bobby Bell 9 1965-1973
Jim Brown 9 1958-1966
Roosevelt Brown 9 1956-1961, 1963, 1965-1966
Willie Brown 9 1965-1966, 1968-1974
Harry Carson 9 1979*, 1980, 1982-1988
John Elway 9 1987, 1988, 1990*, 1992*, 1994, 1995, 1997*, 1998*, 1999
Forrest Gregg 9 1960-1965, 1967-1969
Lou Groza 9 1951-1956, 1958-1960
John Hannah 9 1977, 1979-1983, 1984*, 1985-1986
Franco Harris 9 1973-1976, 1977*, 1978-1981
Mike Haynes 9 1977*, 1978-1981, 1983, 1985-1987
Jack Lambert 9 1976-1984
Yale Lary 9 1954, 1957-1963, 1965
Dan Marino 9 1984*, 1985, 1986*, 1987*, 1988*, 1992*, 1993, 1995*, 1996*
Warren Moon 9 1989-1996, 1998
Mike Munchak 9 1985-1986, 1988-1993, 1994*
Alan Page 9 1969-1976, 1977*
Walter Payton 9 1977-1981, 1984-1987
Ernie Stautner 9 1953-1954, 1956-1962
Fran Tarkenton 9 1965-1966, 1968-1971, 1975*, 1976*, 1977*
Derrick Thomas 9 1990-1998
Norm Van Brocklin 9 1951-1956, 1959, 1960*, 1961
Mike Webster 9 1979-1986, 1988
Randy White 9 1978, 1979*, 1980-1986

Posted by: BurgwithaU | August 25, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

It's about time. He should have been in years ago. He played for others, including Lombardi, but he was primarily a George Allen era player.

Posted by: Gambrills4 | August 25, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

I shouldn't say notable, but all of the HOFers with 9 pro bowls.

Side note: Ken Houston went to 12, holy shi*

Posted by: BurgwithaU | August 25, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Hanburger was an obvious choice for the HOF based on his pro bowl berths, DPOY honors and term of service in the NFL.

A case can certainly be made for Gary Clark, Joe Jacoby and even Len Hauss.

But they are not slam dunks like it is for #55.

By the way, when are they going to take Clint Oldenburg's #68 sweater and make him switch to another number?

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | August 25, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I think it is important to point out that Leonard Shapiro did not say Hanbuger was Gibbs-era. Shapiro pointed out that Dan Snyder said Hanburger was Gibbs-era....

Posted by: Wemiss21 | August 25, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

This is wonderful news. Chris Hanburger was my very first Redskins hero. I remember playing football in the backyard with my father when I was 4 years old pretending I was Hanburger. My very first games at RFK were at the tail end of Hanburger's career. He used to work at the Ford dealership in Upper Marlboro, MD in the mid-'90s - I remember sitting there waiting for my car one day and hearing his name over the intercom, so I asked an employee, "is that really....?" Sadly, I didn't meet him that day, though.

I've wondered for years why he wasn't in the HOF while all of these less deserving cowgirls rolled in year after year. Good job HOF. Unfortunately, I think he's going to be the last one for a long time, expect for, maybe, Jacoby, but it doesn't seem like the HOF voters like him very much for some reason. Perhaps Clinton Portis if he eaks out 4,000 or so more yards. Other than those two, I can't think of anyone else that the HOF would realistically consider.

Posted by: skinsfan713 | August 25, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

He was an 18th round draft choice who played several years with Sam Huff. Before George Allen, he was often the only player on the defensive side of the ball worth watching. Opposing players always tried to keep track of him because his necktie tackles were so devastating.

He was retained and played well for both Lombardi and Allen. Under Allen, he became the defensive signal caller.

“He was at that time the smartest player in the league. We did everything we could to try to eliminate him from the play. We knew if we didn't neutralize him, then we had less of a chance of winning.”

John Hannah

Posted by: rb-freedom-for-all | August 25, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

What is it about coffee that makes you dump out, and dump out that's mighty powerful?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 25, 2010 2:19 PM
---------------------------------------
its the cream in the coffee that causes the dumplings

Posted by: jcnjcnj | August 25, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

What is it about coffee that makes you dump out, and dump out that's mighty powerful?

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | August 25, 2010 2:19 PM
---------------------------------------
its the cream in the coffee that causes the dumplings

Posted by: jcnjcnj | August 25, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Turn those dumplings into slivers by drinking a lot of cranberry juice.

Posted by: getitritegov | August 25, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Now that's a blast from the past...Hope he gets in. My Pops must be smiling down...

Posted by: kahlua87 | August 25, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

D-E-L-I-G-H-T-E-D-!

It's been a long time coming. Well done CH, a genuinely feared player in a tough guy's sport.

Posted by: stevebeagrie | August 25, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

The other notable thing about Chris Hanburger was that he was not the biggest LB to play the game. He probably played at about 210-215, but he had some strong arms. He would bring everyone down with arm tackles, mostly near the head. A real head hunter, but not a cheap shot artist. I think he was nicknamed "Grumpy". He's never had many media people pushing him for the HOF. Probably because of his grumpy persona. I'm not sure that Hanburger was the defensive signal caller for George Allen. Early on, I know it was Jack Pardee.

Posted by: Jurgensen9 | August 25, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

With 9 pro bowls Chris Hanburger should certainly be in the Hall of Fame. He has deserved to be for decades.

Posted by: jeremybozz | August 25, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

You would think the teams of the 60s would have been great based on all of the HOF talent... Jurgensen, Huff, Mitchell, Taylor, Krause, and Hanburger. It shows you how poorly managed they were up until Lombardi and then Allen.

Posted by: Jurgensen9 | August 25, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I am so happy to here this. I have been campaigning for years for Hanburger's induction. For this to have taken so long proves the HOF voting needs some work. A nine time Pro Bowler and 1972 defensive player of the year should not have to wait. Hanburger signaled his future HOF status on his first play in the NFL when he dove over a standing blocker on kick off coverage to make the tackle. Hanburger was a fullback at NC. You rarely see players make it in the NFL now at a position they never played in college. I think Hanburger's prickly personality might have contributed to his wait, but it shouldn't have. Now let's put Jerry Smith in the HOF. We all know why he is not in and that's a disgrace. His numbers compare or better tight ends already in the HOF.

Posted by: JAMNEW | August 25, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

This is hopefully the last time I will have to write this:

Of ALL Hall-of-Fame eligible players (not just Redskins) who are not already in the Hall-of-Fame, the player most qualified for induction is Chris Hanburger. Nine-time Pro Bowler. Six-time All Pro. 1972 NFC Defensive Player of the Year with the Redskins first Super Bowl team. Handpicked by George Allen to call defensive signals for one of the best defenses in the NFL during the 1970's. People often mention the Pro Bowl number (9), but forget that he was once voted NFC Defensive Player of the year (an honor bestowed on very few players) and was entrusted by the great defensive mastermind George Allen to call plays for his defense for 5 years. As of today, there is no Hall-of-Fame eligible player with 15 or more combined Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections who is not already enshrined in Canton… except Chris Hanburger!

The biggest impediments to his induction appear to be his past relationship with the media (certain reporters have told people that he was "very media unfriendly" during his playing days) and the fact that younger fans don't know about him and older fans have to be reminded of him before their eyes light up and they remember how good he was. Another impediment was the timing of his career. Hanburger's best years were between 1966 and 1976. He was a dominant player during the last half of the 1960's and the first half of the 1970's, but did not dominate either decade from beginning to end. As a result, he was not named to the all-decade team for the 1960's or 1970's, but he had an 11 year run between those two decades that was as good as almost any linebacker in NFL history.

Thank you to Len Shapiro, Bruce Allen, Daniel Snyder and anyone else who may have played a role in finally bringing this 25 year old injustice to an end. Hope to see all of you in Canton next August!

Posted by: bigmac128 | August 25, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Way, way overdue. Next up, Larry Brown. The Pro Football HOF is the most political of all the major HOFs. If you didn't play for the Cowboys, Giants, 60s Packers, or 80s 49ers or weren't the media's darling, you were and are often overlooked. About damned time.

Posted by: truke | August 25, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Sorry guys, but I can't resist...

DEXTER MANLEY!!!! If LT got in with all his BS they should consider one of the most dominant defensive players of the 80s to join him... On the field is where it counts.

Posted by: Maauc | August 25, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Oops, forgot to include the 70s Steelers. Keep waiting for them to induct Roy Gerela...

Posted by: truke | August 25, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

If Dexter had played for the Giants or Cowboys he'd have been in on the first ballot.

Posted by: truke | August 25, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

He was an 18th round draft choice who played several years with Sam Huff. Before George Allen, he was often the only player on the defensive side of the ball worth watching. Opposing players always tried to keep track of him because his necktie tackles were so devastating.

He was retained and played well for both Lombardi and Allen. Under Allen, he became the defensive signal caller.

“He was at that time the smartest player in the league. We did everything we could to try to eliminate him from the play. We knew if we didn't neutralize him, then we had less of a chance of winning.”

John Hannah

-------------------------------------------

Smart guy, plus he was only something like 215lbs. Which meant that he was NOT the classic big hitting linebacker. As a matter of fact, I watched him his entire career and never really saw him come up and stick anyone. He was a finesse player. That hangman hook is what got him famous in the mid to late 60's but that was outlawed by the 70s. He was always where the ball was.

Posted by: Overtime58 | August 25, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Len.

Posted by: jvburke | August 25, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, Len.

Posted by: jvburke | August 25, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

Unbelievable that he had to be a senior committee nominee - he and (mandatory adjective) little Pat Fisher WERE our defense (admittedly horrible) in the Otto Graham years. Great player, great guy.

Posted by: fr3dmars | August 25, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

A lot of folks here note his clothesline tackles, but he should really be noted for being arguably the first modern OLB. Sure he could tackle, but he could cover and he could blitz, especially out of the 4-3 front, and he gave coaches a lot of options.

In an era evolving away from three yards and a cloud of dust, and embracing the downfield passing attack, he was the prototype for every 4-3 WLB that was to follow.

Posted by: jahtez | August 25, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

What about Coy Bacon? 3 Pro Bowls during his career (1 in DC) and an estimated 130 Sacks, before the Sack was an official stat. 21.5 in 1976 with the Bengals. 15 in 1979 with the Skins and 11 in 1980.

Only 3 seasons with Skins, but oh how memorable they were. Loved hearing Herzog scream "And the Bacon fries the Quarterback again!"

Posted by: BrianLooney | August 25, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

He played on some awful defenses for the first 7 or so years of his career and still managed to make 9 Pro Bowls. Probably one of the 10 greatest linebackers in the history of the game. How can you argue against his HoF credentials?

Posted by: randysbailin | August 26, 2010 12:42 AM | Report abuse

Long overdue. Congratulations Chris! Good luck.

Posted by: staxnet | August 26, 2010 1:09 AM | Report abuse

I think it is important to point out that Leonard Shapiro did not say Hanbuger was Gibbs-era. Shapiro pointed out that Dan Snyder said Hanburger was Gibbs-era....

Posted by: Wemiss21 | August 25, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse


Dan Snyder: The gift that keeps on giving. Moron!

Posted by: stwasm | August 26, 2010 7:11 AM | Report abuse

My late Uncle Sidney played on the same Hampton High School team with Chris Hanburger back in the 50s. For years, Sidney could not understand why Hanburger was not considered for the Hall. Sidney, a tremendous Redskins fan, was always very anguished about the apparent exclusion of his old teammate. Hopefully, somehow, Sidney finds out the good news.

Posted by: dklein3 | August 26, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

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