Packers Legend Sterling Sharpe Gave Up on Following the NFL: ‘I Got No Reason to Watch’
For the duration of Sterling Sharpe’s career, it appeared the Green Bay Packers legend would find himself in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Things haven’t worked out that way. Sharpe, one of the most productive skill players in Packers history, remains out of Canton’s ranks through January 2021.
Don’t expect to see Sharpe appear at a Packers game in the near future and campaign for himself. The time eventually came where Sharpe gave up on following or caring about the NFL.
Sterling Sharpe is a Green Bay Packers legend
Sterling Sharpe may have only played seven NFL seasons, but he spent most of that time among the league’s top receivers.
By the time Sharpe had to retire after the 1994 season, he was still in the tier for elite receivers who would have a case to be No. 1 if Jerry Rice didn’t exist. Across 112 games with the Packers, Sharpe hauled in 595 catches for 8,134 yards and 65 touchdowns.
A five-time Pro Bowl selection, Sharpe earned first-team All-Pro honors three times in five seasons from 1989-93. In his only two playoff games, Sharpe turned 11 catches into 229 yards and four touchdowns.
Sterling’s brother is longtime Denver Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe, who caught 815 passes for 10,060 yards and 62 touchdowns in 14 seasons. A four-time first-team All-Pro selection, Shannon won three Super Bowls and is among the greatest tight ends in modern history.
Sharpe remains out of the Pro Football Hall of Fame
Sterling Sharpe’s career, quite literally, ended at the worst time.
Sharpe suffered a neck injury to end the 1994 regular season, a campaign where he totaled 94 catches, 1,119 yards, and a career-high 18 touchdowns. At only 29 years old, Sharpe never played in the NFL again.
That injury ruined any chances that Sharpe realistically had of making the Hall of Fame. Although he spent six of his seven seasons as an elite receiver and one of the league’s top overall players, some voters may have considered that too short a career.
Unlike ex-Broncos running back Terrell Davis, who reached the Hall despite also only playing seven seasons, Sharpe didn’t win a Super Bowl. Davis also had a great deal of success in the postseason.
Sharpe’s 20 years of eligibility expired last year. However, it remains possible that Sterling could eventually enter the Hall as a senior candidate.
Sterling’s brother, Shannon, entered the Hall in 2011.
Sterling Sharpe gave up on watching the NFL
Sterling Sharpe gave the NFL everything that he had for seven seasons — and if not for the injury, he would have kept going.
That was a long time ago, and it shows in Sharpe’s current views on the sport he loved. In a 2018 interview with Sportsnet, Sharpe admitted that he doesn’t follow the NFL anymore.
“If a football game is on, it has to be a big one for me to watch. I think I saw three minutes of the Super Bowl, and not together. … I got no reason to watch. When I played, I watched. When I did TV, I watched. I don’t do either anymore, so I don’t have to watch.”
That is another major difference between Sterling and his brother. Shannon Sharpe spent numerous years with CBS on The NFL Today and now co-hosts Undisputed with Skip Bayless on FS1.
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