Former Redskins linebacker Chris Hanburger has been named a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame elections to be held on Feb. 5, the day before the Super Bowl. Hanburger is a senior finalist along with Les Richter and they join 15 other nominees including Deion Sanders, Tim Brown, Chris Carter, Jerome Bettis, and Marshall Faulk.
I have long been a proponent of getting Hanburger into the Hall of Fame and have spoken about it on this blog. He may be a little known player, but in 14 season of pro football he went the Pro Bowl nine times and was selected as a first team All-Pro on four occasions. No Redskin has been named to as many Pro Bowls as Hanburger.
The Redskins took him in the 18th round of the 1965 NFL draft, meaning he played under six head coaches in Washington. He went to the Super Bowl with the team in 1972 where George Allen's team lost to the undefeated Dolphins. That season he intercepted four passes, returning one for a touchdown and was voted the NFC's defensive player of the year.
Hanburger would score five touchdowns in his career to go along with 19 interceptions and 17 fumble recoveries in 187 games played. Three of his touchdowns were fumble returns, which puts him at third place all-time in that category. Sacks and tackles were not recorded during his career, but many hold Hanburger to be one of the more active linebackers of his era.
Special thanks to NFL historian JW Nix for some of this information which led me to recognize just how impressive Hanburger is.