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Shannon Sharpe
Tight end
Jersey #(s)
81, 84, 82
Born June 26, 1968 (1968-06-26) (age 41)
Chicago, Illinois
Career information
Year(s) 19902003
NFL Draft 1990 / Round: 7 / Pick: 192
College Savannah State
Professional teams
Career stats
Receptions 815
Receiving yards 10,060
Touchdowns 62
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

Shannon Sharpe (born June 26, 1968 in Chicago, Illinois) is a former American Football tight end who played for the Denver Broncos and Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League. Sharpe is known for his creative commentary and trash talking. He was the NFL's all-time yardage leader among tight ends until Tony Gonzalez surpassed his record on October 5, 2008. Sharpe will always hold the distinction of being the first tight end ever to amass over 10,000 receiving yards.


Early life

Shannon, the younger brother of former NFL wide receiver Sterling Sharpe, grew up poor in Glennville, Georgia. He once joked, "We were so poor, a robber once broke into our house and we ended up robbing the robber." [1]

Sharpe graduated with a degree in criminal justice from Savannah State College (since 1996 Savannah State University). He commented: "I was a terrible student. I didn't graduate magna cum laude, I graduated 'Thank you, Lawdy!'" At Savannah State he played football and basketball and competed in triple jump.

Sharpe was a three-time All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference selection from 1987 to 1989 and the SIAC Player of the Year in 1987.[2] He was also selected as a Kodak Division II All-American in 1989.[2] He led the Tigers' football team to their best records in the program's history: 7-3 in 1988 and 8-1 in 1989.[2]

NFL career

Sharpe was selected in the 7th round of the 1990 NFL Draft, 192nd overall, by the Broncos.[3] He had a mediocre rookie season as a wide receiver, until Broncos head coach Dan Reeves convinced him to convert to tight end. He remained with Denver until 1999 [4], winning two championship rings in Super Bowl XXXII and Super Bowl XXXIII in the process. After the 1997 season [5] championship, his first, he appeared on General Mills' Wheaties boxes with four other Broncos.[6] After a two-year stint with the Baltimore Ravens, where he won another championship ring in Super Bowl XXXV, he returned to the Broncos. He played there until 2003 [7]. Then he retired to become an NFL broadcaster for CBS.[8]

Career statistics

Ozzie Newsome, Hall-of-Fame tight end, Ravens' general manager, and the man responsible for signing Sharpe before the 2000 season had this to say about him, "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 All-Pro 4 times, played in 8 Pro Bowls(1992-1998, 2001) and amassed over 1,000 receiving yards in 3 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 Raiders, he caught a short pass on 3rd down and 18 from his own 4-yard line and took it 96 yards for a touchdown, assisting his team to a 16-3 win. He finished his 14 year career with 815 receptions for 10,060 yards and 62 touchdowns in 203 games.

Career receiving statistics

Year Team Games Rec Yards Y/R TDs
1990 Denver Broncos 16 7 99 14.1 1
1991 Denver Broncos 16 22 322 14.6 1
1992 Denver Broncos 16 53 640 12.1 2
1993 Denver Broncos 16 81 995 12.3 9
1994 Denver Broncos 15 87 1010 11.6 4
1995 Denver Broncos 13 63 756 12 4
1996 Denver Broncos 15 80 1062 13.3 10
1997 Denver Broncos 16 72 1107 15.4 3
1998 Denver Broncos 16 64 768 12.0 10
1999 Denver Broncos 5 23 224 9.7 0
2000 Baltimore Ravens 16 67 810 12.1 5
2001 Baltimore Ravens 16 73 811 11.1 2
2002 Denver Broncos 12 61 686 11.2 3
2003 Denver Broncos 15 62 770 12.4 8
Total - 203 815 10060 12.3 62

Post-playing career

Sharpe is 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.[9] In the 2004 NFL regular season [10], 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 pronunciation of words (Sharpe has a very noticeable lisp and drawl).

Sharpe also appeared on SIRIUS NFL Radio's Opening Drive on Friday mornings, but is no longer affiliated with the channel. He also writes a column on[11]

Sharpe now resides in Glennville in his free time and works out with Southside Steve at Jean's Body Tech. On the National Football League Players' Association Players Inc. Web site [12], while he played in Denver, he cited his hobbies as fishing, basketball, weight lifting, and spending time with his Rottweilers. He also played in the 2005 World Series of Poker.

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, Rod Woodson, Bob Hayes, and Randall McDaniel. On October 23, 2009, the NCAA Division II Football Hall of Fame announced that Sharpe would be the only inductee to the Hall in December 2009. In addition, Savannah State University also retired Sharpe's No. 2 jersey. [13]

Memorable quotes

  • People Sharpe has commented on:
    • The New England Patriots: "Mr. President, call in the National Guard! Send as many men as you can spare! Because we are killing the Patriots! They need emergency help!" (during a 34 - 8 rout vs. the Patriots on November 17, 1996) [14]
    • WR Plaxico Burress: "Plexiglas"
    • WR Chad Ochocinco: "ocho no-show" instead of "ocho cinco"
    • RB Corey Dillon, "the biggest robbery since the Louisiana Purchase" (Subway Postgame Show, 2005-01-16, AFC divisional game IND 3 - NE 20)
    • QB Jake Plummer: "They're about to take out the 'SN' in Snake and put an 'F' in front of it." (from Movin' the Chains) [15]
    • QB Kyle Boller: "You do have your teammates behind you: your fullback and your halfback, and that’s only because they have to be." [16]
    • QB Kyle Boller: "I've got a better chance of winning the Kentucky Derby on the back of a donkey than they have of winning the Super Bowl with Kyle Boller."
    • Head Coach Tom Coughlin: "I would rather die in an abandoned building alone, and my family not know what happened, than play for Coughlin."
    • LB London Fletcher-Baker: "; he's logged in."
    • Jacksonville Jaguars' strategy in a divisional playoff game against the New England Patriots: "Nothing cheap, nothing deep." (January 12, 2008)
    • CB Ray Buchanan, who wore a dog collar to Media Day and has guaranteed an Atlanta victory in Super Bowl XXXIII: "Had anybody heard of Ray Buchanan before he got to Atlanta?"
    • After Buchanan's assertion that Sharpe looked like a horse: "I've never called anybody ugly. Do I think people are ugly? Yeah, I think he's ugly, but I've never said that...Is he my friend? No. Did I ever view him as a friend? No. Do I view him as an acquaintance? No. Do I like him? No. If I see him in a snowstorm, his truck is broke down, mine is going perfectly, would I pick him up? No."
    • QB Steve DeBerg: "DeBerg is old enough to be my father, and he's still in the league. How old is DeBerg, 105?"
    • TE O.J. Santiago: "Santiago? Who, Benito?"
    • FS Eugene Robinson: "He can't out-talk me or cover me. He went to Colgate, but I'm smarter than he is. I might bump into him. I know he's not going to be covering me one-on-one. We know that's not going to happen, don't we?"
    • About the four people he'd invite to a dinner party: "Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Michael Jordan and Halle Berry. I'd talk to Gates, Buffett and Jordan first, and then me and Halle would go get another table in the back that's candlelit. And I'd let them discuss whatever they want to discuss."
  • "I won't talk about someone's mother. I won't talk about their girlfriend or their wife, but if you have a deformity, I would talk about that."
  • About growing up in Georgia and hating the Atlanta Falcons: "I've pretty much been in Atlanta my whole life, and I never liked the Falcons. What was there to like about them? They lost all the time. If you had a pair of cleats on and you were in Fulton County, they'd put you in the ballgame, they were so bad. For $20, you could sit in the luxury box with the owner."
  • About the Indianapolis Colts Defense winning the Super Bowl: "I have a better chance of hitting a home run grand slam in Yankee's Stadium with a toothpick."
  • On Chicago Bears QB Rex Grossman's first-half performance in Super Bowl XLI: "Rex Grossman is exactly who I thought he was...inconsistent!" This was a spoof of then-Arizona Cardinals coach Denny Green, who had famously growled, "The Bears are who we thought they were!" following Arizona's infamous Monday Night Football loss to the Bears earlier that season.
  • On New England Patriots strategy after a Deltha O'Neal punt-return touchdown on Monday Night Football on November 3, 2003: "They can't run the ball! All they're gonna do is play-action, they can't run the ball."


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