Kelly, Stallworth, Hampton, Casper, Allen make Hall of Fame


Sunday, February 3rd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Jim Kelly, who led the Buffalo Bills to four straight Super Bowl appearances _ losing all of them _ and Pittsburgh Steelers star John Stallworth were elected Saturday to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Joining them in the class of 2002 will be the late George Allen, Dave Casper and Dan Hampton. Induction ceremonies will be Aug. 3 in Canton, Ohio.

Kelly is the first member of the vaunted class of '83 quarterbacks group to make the Hall. He began his career in the USFL, then moved to the Bills in 1986, guiding them to the AFC championship from 1990-93.

The Bills lost in each of those Super Bowls, but Kelly, the fourth quarterback to reach 30,000 yards passing for his career, joins his coach, Marv Levy, in the Hall of Fame.

``Wow!'' said Kelly, the only one of the five in his first year of eligibility for the Hall of Fame. ``I don't think I've ever been as nervous in my life.''

Stallworth played on the powerhouse Steelers of the 1970s who were more known for their defense. His partner at wide receiver, Lynn Swann, made the Hall last year.

Stallworth scored the winning touchdown 73-yard reception in the 1980 Super Bowl. He holds Super Bowl records for career average per catch (24.4 yards) and single game average (40.33 in 1980).

Allen coached the Los Angeles Rams from 1966-70 and the Washington Redskins from 1971-77 and had a regular-season record of 116-47-5. He never had a losing season in 12 years as and NFL head coach.

Casper played from 1974-1980 with the Raiders, from 1980-1983 with the Oilers, then spent a season with the Vikings and a final year back with the Raiders in 1984. Considered one of the best all-around tight ends in the game, Casper was a four-time All-Pro who played in five Pro Bowls.

Hampton, part of the fearsome defense that carried the Chicago Bears to the 1985 NFL title, played both end and tackle from 1979-90. The fourth overall pick in the 1979 draft, he fought off injuries throughout his career to rank among the most dangerous pass rushers and run stoppers in the league.

Hampton was arrested Monday night in Arkansas on a drunken-driving charge. His arraignment has been set for Feb. 20.

``Yes, I did think this would hurt my chances,'' he said Saturday from Little Rock after learning of his election. ``I've made some bad decisions in my life, and I made one this last week. Nobody's perfect.''

Two candidates who made the final list but who were not elected to the Hall of Fame were Bill Parcells and Bob Kuechenberg.