Sterling Sharpe

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Sterling Sharpe
No. 84
Wide Receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1965-04-06) April 6, 1965 (age 49)
Place of birth: Chicago, Illinois
Career information
High school: Glennville (GA)
College: South Carolina (1983–1987)
NFL Draft: 1988 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7
Debuted in 1988 for the Green Bay Packers
Last played in 1994 for the Green Bay Packers
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions 595
Receiving Yards 8,134
Touchdowns 65
Stats at NFL.com

Sterling Sharpe (born April 6, 1965 in Chicago, Illinois) is a former American football wide receiver and an analyst for the NFL Network. He attended the University of South Carolina, and played from 1988 to 1994 with the Green Bay Packers.

Early life[edit]

Growing up, Sharpe lived in Glennville, Georgia, with his grandmother and siblings, including his brother, Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe. He attended Glennville High School, playing running back, quarterback and linebacker and was a member of the basketball and track teams. As a wide receiver at the University of South Carolina, Sharpe set school records with 169 career receptions and 2,497 receiving yards and a since-broken record of 17 career touchdowns. He also set the school record for single-season receiving touchdowns with 11, which was broken in 2005 by Sidney Rice. Sharpe's #2 jersey was retired by South Carolina at the end of the 1987 regular season, making him only the second Gamecock to be granted this honor while still playing. His college coach and mentor, William "Tank" Black, left the Gamecocks to become a player manager and represented Sharpe throughout his professional career. Sterling Sharpe was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2014.

Sterling Sharpe
Sterling Sharpe
WR
Retired Number 2 1983-87

NFL career[edit]

Sharpe was the first round seventh overall draft pick by the Packers in 1988 and had an immediate impact on the team. In his rookie season he started all sixteen games and caught 55 passes. His sophomore season he led the league with 90 receptions, the first Packer to do so since Don Hutson in 1945, and broke Hutson's records for receptions and receiving yards in a season.

A few years later, in 1992, Sharpe and the new quarterback, Brett Favre, teamed up to become one of the top passing tandems in the league. In the final game of that season he and Favre hooked up for Sharpe's 107th reception of the season which broke the NFL's single-season receptions record, set by Art Monk in 1984. That season, Sharpe became one of only seven players in NFL history to win the "Triple Crown" at the receiver position: leading the league in receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, and receptions. Don Hutson (1936, 1941–44), Elroy Hirsch (1951), Pete Pihos (1953), Raymond Berry (1959), Jerry Rice (1990) and Steve Smith (2005) are the only other players to accomplish this feat. In the 1993 season Sharpe subsequently broke his own record, with 112 receptions; this also made him the first player to have consecutive seasons catching more than 100 passes. In 1994, his 18 touchdown receptions were the second most in league history at the time, behind Jerry Rice's 22 in 1987.

As he played in the NFC Central division, Sharpe had a reputation of constantly getting owned by Minnesota Vikings defensive backs. Being rendered a non-factor in all of their meetings.

Sterling Sharpe's tenure at wide receiver was cut short by a neck injury suffered during the 1994 season, ending a career in which he was named an All-Pro five times (1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, and 1994). Since he was unable to continue playing, and was not on the Packers team that won the Super Bowl in 1996, his brother Shannon gave him the first of the three Super Bowl rings he has won [1], citing him as a major influence in his life by saying:

Sharpe is currently an NFL analyst. After several years with ESPN, he moved to the NFL Network in time for the 2004 season, while continuing to do occasional work for ESPN as a commentator. Starting in the 2006 season, he joined NBC's new NFL programming, serving as an analyst, along with Bob Costas, Cris Collinsworth, Peter King and Jerome Bettis. In 2007, he left his role at NBC and was replaced by Tiki Barber. He continues to work on the NFL Network where during NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football schedule, Sharpe, alongside analysts Kurt Warner, Jim Mora, Brian Billick, Jay Glazer and host Fran Charles, can be seen on Thursday Night Kickoff from Los Angeles. Sharpe can also be seen with Joe Theismann, Brian Baldinger, Mike Mayock and Brian Billick on NFL Network's "Playbook".

His younger brother, Shannon Sharpe, was one of the NFL's top tight ends from the 1990s to the early 2000s (decade). Shannon retired in 2003 and once again followed in his brother's footsteps, becoming a sportscaster for the NFL pregame show on CBS, The NFL Today. Shannon Sharpe was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011. During Shannon Sharpe's induction speech, he brought up his reverence of his brother again, saying:

  • Sharp, most would argue, should undoubtably be in the NFL Hall of fame, with his career ending injury, he averaged 100 catches per healthy season, he was one of the first WR's to catch that many passes in such regularity... Whether there is a person who favored him as a fan or not, you still have to admit if he doesn't have a career ending injury, with Brett Favre also saying "we got drafted together, I couldn't imagine having him for 10 more seasons", which couldn't be more true, that was the modern day Randy Moss, if not better. Some people say we will never know, but when you see someone start 5 1/2 seasons with 595 rec & 65 TD's, I think we know cause we had seen it. Jerry Rice had 22,000 yards, 1500 rec. 197 TD's in 21 yrs, and Sharp was on pace for 2000+ rec. 260 TD's. 32,000 yards, even given deflation, it shows he would have stayed playing with Brett, as the QB played at a high level for the next 15-17 yrs. These are not confirmed stats just a good argument to show why he deserves more credit then he currently has. Even if he didn't get injured, doesn't mean he would have had a career as good as project but its nice to see what could have been possible, say if he did play as long as JR80.


NFL records[edit]

  • Consecutive games with at least 4 receptions: 34
  • Games with at least 4 TD receptions: 2 - tied with Jerry Rice and Bob Shaw
  • Games with 3 TD catches: 4

Personal[edit]

Sharpe starred in the 1995 Super Nintendo game Sterling Sharpe: End 2 End, produced by Jaleco. He also appeared in the video game NFL Street 2 as a member of the "NFL Legends team," which depicted famous footballers of the 1970s and 1980s. Sterling is the brother of former Broncos and Ravens tight end Shannon Sharpe. Sterling now hosts his own show on NFL network. His co-hosts are Brian Billick former Super Bowl winning coach and Shaun O'hara former NFL Pro bowl an Super Bowl winning center for the New York Giants. The show is called Playbook Primetime.

References[edit]

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