Shannon Sharpe
refer to caption
Shannon Sharpe at the NFL Honors in 2016
No. 81, 84, 82
Position:Tight end
Personal information
Born: (1968-06-26) June 26, 1968 (age 54)
Chicago, Illinois
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:228 lb (103 kg)
Career information
High school:Glennville (Glennville, Georgia)
College:Savannah State
NFL Draft:1990 / Round: 7 / Pick: 192
Career history
Career highlights and awards
NFL record
  • Most receiving yards in a game by a tight end (214)
Career NFL statistics
Receptions:815
Receiving yards:10,060
Touchdowns:62
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Shannon Sharpe (born June 26, 1968) is an American sports analyst and former American football tight end for the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League (NFL). He has co-hosted Skip and Shannon: Undisputed on Fox Sports 1 with Skip Bayless since 2016. He is also a former analyst for CBS Sports on its NFL telecasts. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest tight ends of all time.[1][2][3]

Sharpe was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on August 6, 2011. He played 12 seasons for the Broncos (1990–1999, 2002–2003) and two with the Ravens (2000–2001), winning three Super Bowls and finishing his career as the NFL's all-time leader in receptions (815), receiving yards (10,060) and receiving touchdowns (62) by a tight end,[4] until Tony Gonzalez and Jason Witten surpassed all three of those records. He was the first tight end to amass over 10,000 receiving yards. He was named to the first team of the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team.[4]

Early life and education

Sharpe, the younger brother of former NFL star wide receiver Sterling Sharpe, grew up in Glennville, Georgia, where he was an all-state player in three sports at Glennville High School.[5] He once joked, "We were so poor, a robber once broke into our house and we ended up robbing the robber."[6] He commented, "I was a terrible student. I didn't graduate magna cum laude, I graduated 'Thank you, Lawdy!'"[7] At Savannah State, he played football and basketball, and also competed in track and field. In track, he competed in jumping and throwing events.

Sharpe was a three-time All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference selection from 1987 to 1989 and the SIAC Player of the Year in 1987. He was also selected as a Kodak Division II All-American in 1989. He led the Tigers' football team to their best records in the program's history: 7–3 in 1988 and 8–1 in 1989. As a senior, Sharpe caught 61 passes for 1,312 yards and 18 touchdowns, including three games with more than 200 yards. Sharpe finished his college career with 192 receptions for 3,744 yards and 40 touchdowns.[8] He was inducted into the Division II Football Hall of Fame in 2009, Savannah State's athletic Hall of Fame in 2010,[9] and the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2013.[10]

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Vertical jump Broad jump
6 ft 1+14 in
(1.86 m)
221 lb
(100 kg)
33 in
(0.84 m)
10 in
(0.25 m)
4.67 s 1.61 s 2.81 s 4.55 s 34 in
(0.86 m)
10 ft 2 in
(3.10 m)
All values from NFL Combine[11][12]

Despite his stellar college career, Sharpe was not considered a highly rated prospect in the 1990 NFL Draft. In addition to playing Division II college football, Sharpe's size (6'2", 230 pounds) was considered too large for a receiver and too small for a tight end. He was eventually selected in the 7th round with the 192nd pick by the Denver Broncos. After two mediocre seasons as a receiver in which he caught just 29 passes, Denver converted him to a tight end. This quickly paid off, as Sharpe caught 53 passes in his third season.[8] He remained with Denver until 1999,[13] winning two championship rings at Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII in the process. After the 1997 season[14] championship – his first – he appeared on General Mills' Wheaties boxes with four other Broncos. After a two-year stint with the Baltimore Ravens, where he won another championship ring at Super Bowl XXXV, he returned to the Broncos. He played there until 2003.[15] From there, he retired to become an NFL analyst for CBS.

Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens' general manager, said of Sharpe during his career: "I think he's a threat when he's on the field. He has to be double-teamed. He's a great route-runner. He's proven that he can make the big plays. That's what separates him. He's a threat." Sharpe was selected to the All-Pro Team four times, played in eight Pro Bowls (1992–1998, 2001) and amassed over 1,000 receiving yards in three different seasons. In a 1993 playoff game against the Los Angeles Raiders, Sharpe tied a postseason record with 13 receptions for 156 yards and a touchdown. In the Ravens' 2000 AFC title game against the Oakland Raiders, he caught a short pass on third down and 18 from his own four-yard line and took it 96 yards for a touchdown, the only touchdown the Ravens scored, en route to a 16–3 Ravens' win. As of 2022, this remains the Ravens' longest offensive play in team history. Sharpe also caught a 50+ yard pass in each of their other two playoff games. He finished his 14-year career with 815 receptions for 10,060 yards and 62 touchdowns in 203 games.

NFL career statistics

Regular season

Year Team Games Receiving
GP Rec Yds Avg Lng TD
1990 DEN 16 7 99 14.1 33 1
1991 DEN 16 22 322 14.6 37 1
1992 DEN 16 53 639 12.1 55 2
1993 DEN 16 81 995 12.3 63 9
1994 DEN 15 87 1,010 11.6 44 4
1995 DEN 13 63 756 12.0 49 4
1996 DEN 15 80 1,062 13.3 51 10
1997 DEN 16 72 1,107 15.4 68 3
1998 DEN 16 64 768 12.0 38 10
1999 DEN 5 23 224 9.7 24 0
2000 BAL 16 67 811 12.1 59 5
2001 BAL 16 73 811 11.1 37 2
2002 DEN 12 61 686 11.2 82 3
2003 DEN 15 62 770 12.4 28 8
Total 203 815 10,060 12.3 82 62

Postseason

Year Team Games Receiving
GP Rec Yds Avg Lng TD
1991 DEN 2 6 60 10.0 15 0
1993 DEN 1 13 156 12.0 23 1
1996 DEN 1 2 31 15.5 18 1
1997 DEN 4 12 149 12.4 23 0
1998 DEN 3 9 78 8.7 14 0
2000 BAL 4 6 230 38.3 96 2
2001 BAL 2 9 79 8.8 27 0
2003 DEN 1 5 31 6.2 9 0
Total 18 62 814 13.1 96 4

Post-playing career

Sharpe was a commentator for the CBS Sports pregame show The NFL Today, including the Sprint Halftime Report and the Subway Postgame Show, replacing Deion Sanders and co-hosting with James Brown (formerly with Fox NFL Sunday), former NFL quarterbacks Dan Marino and Boomer Esiason, as well as former coach Bill Cowher.[16] In the 2004 NFL regular season,[17] Sharpe defeated Marino and Esiason in the pick 'em game of The NFL Today with a 53–21 record. His critics say that his broadcasting skills are hurt by his poor grammar and enunciation of words (Sharpe has a very noticeable lisp and drawl). A satirical article on The Onion joked "CBS Producers Ask Shannon Sharpe To Use at Least 3 Real Words Per Sentence."[18] On February 18, 2014, it was announced that Sharpe, along with Dan Marino, were being relieved of their duties as on-air commentators on The NFL Today and were being replaced by Tony Gonzalez and Bart Scott.[19]

In 2013, Sharpe became a columnist and spokesperson for FitnessRX For Men magazine and appeared on their September 2013 cover.[citation needed]

Sharpe currently hosts Sirius NFL Radio's Opening Drive morning program, alongside Bob Papa.[citation needed]

Sharpe was among the 17 finalists being considered for enshrinement at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009. However, he was passed over in his first year in a class that included Bruce Smith, Ralph Wilson, Derrick Thomas and Rod Woodson. On October 23, 2009, the NCAA Division II Football Hall of Fame announced that Sharpe would be inducted in December of that year. In addition, Savannah State University also retired Sharpe's No. 2 jersey.[20]

On November 28, 2010, Sharpe was nominated as a semi-finalist for induction into the 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame, along with Art Modell and 24 others, among them Jerome Bettis, Roger Craig, Marshall Faulk, and Deion Sanders. Subsequently, on February 6, 2011, Shannon Sharpe was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Sharpe was escorted to the Hall of Fame ceremony by Canton native Haley Smith, continuing the tradition of pageant winners escorting the inductees.[citation needed]

After his retirement, Sharpe has been a social media staple, going viral for his antics and sports commentary. He is also notably a huge supporter of NBA player LeBron James, referring to him as the greatest basketball player in NBA history.[21] He also appeared on the American Dad! episode "The Scarlett Getter", portraying himself.

Sharpe joined Skip Bayless in FS1's sports debate show Skip and Shannon: Undisputed which premiered on September 6, 2016.[22] In addition to his defense of LeBron James, Sharpe is also known for his criticism of Tom Brady and the Dallas Cowboys on the show.

Sharpe also has a podcast called Club Shay Shay.[23] The episode of Club Shay Shay featuring Bubba Wallace was selected by the Apple Podcasts editorial team on their "Apple Podcasts Best of 2021" list.[24]

References

  1. ^ Scott, J.P. (June 21, 2022). "25 Greatest Tight Ends in NFL History". Athlon Sports. Archived from the original on August 9, 2022. Retrieved August 9, 2022.
  2. ^ Fragoza, James (October 24, 2021). "13 greatest tight ends of all time from Tony Gonzalez to Jackie Smith". Pro Football Network. Archived from the original on August 9, 2022. Retrieved August 9, 2022.
  3. ^ Brandt, Gil. "Gil Brandt's 14 greatest NFL tight ends of all time". NFL.com. Archived from the original on August 9, 2022. Retrieved August 9, 2022.
  4. ^ a b "Hall of Famers » SHANNON SHARPE". profootballhof.com. Retrieved September 13, 2014.
  5. ^ "Shannon Just As Sharpe as Big Brother". The Atlanta Constitution. September 29, 1988. Retrieved December 4, 2021.
  6. ^ Saunders, Patrick (February 6, 2011). "The life and times of Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe". The Denver Post. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
  7. ^ "Sharpe Retrospective". Sports Illustrated. May 17, 2004. Archived from the original on November 4, 2012. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
  8. ^ a b "College Days: Shannon Sharpe". Pro Football Hall of Fame. November 6, 2013.
  9. ^ "Hall of Fame: Shannon Sharpe". Savannah State University Athletics.
  10. ^ "All Inductees". BlackCollegeFootballHOF.org. Retrieved February 25, 2021.
  11. ^ "Shannon Sharpe - TE - Savannah State (GA) - NFL Combine Results". nflcombineresults.com.
  12. ^ "Shannon Sharpe RAS". ras.football. December 17, 2019. Retrieved September 1, 2021.
  13. ^ "NFL History by Decade". nfl.com.
  14. ^ "NFL History by Decade". nfl.com.
  15. ^ "NFL History by Decade". nfl.com.
  16. ^ NFL Today - CBSSports.com Archived June 16, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "NFL History by Decade". www.nfl.com.
  18. ^ "CBS Producers Ask Shannon Sharpe To Use At Least 3 Real Words Per Sentence". The Onion. January 19, 2010.
  19. ^ Nate Davis (February 18, 2014). "CBS hires Tony Gonzalez, parts with two Hall-of-Fame analysts". usatoday.com. Retrieved February 18, 2014.
  20. ^ Denver, The (October 23, 2009). "Former Bronco Sharpe going into D-II hall". The Denver Post. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
  21. ^ "Bleacher Report". Archived from the original on February 8, 2011.
  22. ^ Pugmire, Lance (August 29, 2016). "Skip Bayless rising early, promises 'deeper' debate for new Fox Sports 1 show". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  23. ^ "Club Shay Shay Reaches Major Milestone". Fox Sports. November 30, 2020. Retrieved December 3, 2021.
  24. ^ "Apple Podcasts presents the Best of 2021" (Press release). Apple. November 30, 2021. Retrieved December 3, 2021.