The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced its class of 2003, with former Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Allen and former Kansas City Coach Hank Stram leading the class. The class also includes a former Buffalo Bills lineman, a wide receiver from Buffalo and Green Bay and a Houston Oilers defensive End.
On the weekend that his former team is trying for its first Super Bowl title in 19 years, Marcus Allen was chosen for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A San Diego native, Allen spent 10 seasons with the Raiders when the team was in Los Angeles amassing more than 12,000 yards running, 5,400 yards receiving, and scoring 145 touchdowns in his career.
Allen also helped lead the Raiders to the Super Bowl title in 1984 but after a falling out with team owner Al Davis, ended his career with the Kansas City Chiefs. The 42-year-old Allen said that he is not sure which team he would like to represent when he is enshrined in Canton, Ohio. "It is virtually impossible to ignore even though I had some tumultuous years in Los Angeles to ignore all the great things that have happened there," he said. "And again Kansas City and the [team owners] Hunts have really embraced me in a very, very positive way in my latter part of my career. I would like to recognize both teams and pay them the regard in doing so."
In addition to Allen, former Houston Oilers defensive end Elvin Bethea and former Buffalo Bills offensive guard Joe Delamielleure were elected to the Hall of Fame. Delamielleure said that making the Hall of Fame was secondary to his love for football. "I would have played for a cap and a t-shirt. I love the NFL, I love what it stands for. I gotta mention this I have four kids of my own and I adopted two Korean boys," he said. "And those boys would not be in this country watching the Super Bowl tomorrow unless it was for the NFL. I would have never, ever been able to adopt those two kids unless I played in the NFL. I would have been working in Detroit somewhere."
The other members of the class of 2003 are former Kansas City Chiefs Coach Hank Stram, and former Raiders, Green Bay and Buffalo Bills wide receiver James Lofton.
The class of 2003 will be inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Sunday August 3, 2003.