Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Former UNC, Redskins player Chris Hanburger up for Hall of Fame

Former UNC and Washington Redskins star Chris Hanburger, now 69 years old, has been approved for induction in the the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio by the Hall's senior committee. It will come up for a full vote in February.

Hanburger was one of Carolina's first great linebackers. He starred for the Heels from 1962-64 and led them to an ACC championship and a Gator Bowl win during the 1963 season. He also played center on offense. He was named to the All-ACC team both his junior and senior seasons.

Hanburger, who majored in history, now spends much of his time reading books about American history and says he doesn't keep up with pro football much because it just doesn't interest him.

Hanburger played with the Redskins his entire pro career from 1965-78 and was named to nine Pro Bowl teams including in 1972 when he was also chosen as the NFC defensive player of the year. In the off season, he worked at Ford car dealerships and eventually owned one himself.

Hanburger, the defensive captain, was known for his hard hits and playing through pain. He played in 135 consecutive games for the Redskins. He mastered the art of the clothesline tackle, which is no longer legal in the NFL. He sidelined many a runningback and receiver by sticking that immovable arm around their neck. Before it incurred a penalty, it was fun to watch.

No. 55 was honored in 2002 as one of the 70 greatest Washington Redskins players of all time.

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