FOX Sports Exclusive
Real Talk: Whitlock with Shannon Sharpe
The star of last weekend’s Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony, tight end Shannon Sharpe, joined me on my “Real Talk” podcast at FOXSportsradio.com.
Sharpe, a three-time Super Bowl champion, elaborated on his emotional induction speech that focused on his relationship with his brother (Sterling Sharpe) and his grandmother and their humble upbringing in rural Georgia. Sharpe said his impoverished background and devoted grandparents contributed to his legendary work ethic.
“They say, ‘If you were born in this cycle, you will repeat this cycle,’ Sharpe told me. “No, no, no, no. It was not going to happen. I was not going to allow that to happen.”
Shannon and Sterling Sharpe both went on to have successful NFL careers. During the podcast, Sharpe touched on a number of topics, including the upcoming NFL season, the similarities and differences between he and Sterling, the night he provoked fellow Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas into an infamous “Monday Night Football” meltdown and who Sharpe believes is the NFL’s greatest player.
Shannon also campaigned for Sterling, a former Packers receiver, to be considered for the Hall of Fame.
“You take Jerry Rice’s stats from the first seven years and put them up against Sterling Sharpe’s,” Shannon said. “When you go home tonight, you look at his stats. You put Jerry, you put Steve Largent, you put Cris Carter, you put Tim Brown, you put Andre Reed, you put anybody you want that’s on the ballot right now, or any wide receiver that’s in the Hall of Fame and their first seven years (against Sterling’s).”
Sharpe also chastised Randy Moss.
“The only thing that I’m so upset with Randy Moss about is that he was much more supremely talented than Jerry,” Sharpe said. “And we should be able to sit down right now and debate who is the best — Randy Moss or Jerry Rice? And we don’t get to have that discussion. That’s the only thing I’m upset with Randy Moss about, because he squandered 50 percent of his talent.”
Sharpe had an interesting, bold take on his former coach Mike Shanahan’s fallout with quarterback Donovan McNabb.
“Donovan didn’t play well,” Sharpe said. “Any time a black quarterback gets benched, you can’t automatically assume that it’s race. Please stop that. Why can’t it be the guy’s fault? I see better than I hear. All those naysayers, all those doubters talking about Mike Shanahan never won anything without John (Elway), well, John didn’t win a Super Bowl without Mike Shanahan. And for (Philadelphia coach) Andy Reid to say, ‘Our two best quarterbacks are on the bench. I’m so convinced that Donovan McNabb cannot play anymore that I will trade him within the very division that I play in to let the whole world see.’ Who does that?”
New FOXSports.com columnist Jennifer Floyd Engel also joined “Real Talk.” Floyd Engel, a former columnist at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, discussed Deion Sanders’ Hall of Fame speech and her column philosophy.
FOXSports.com vice president and executive editor Rick Jaffe wrapped up the podcast discussing all of his new writing hires, including Floyd Engel, Greg Couch, A.J. Perez, Reid Forgrave, Billy Witz and Bill Reiter.