Because of his work ethic and competitiveness, Shannon Sharpe -- who will be enshrined Saturday in the Pro Football Hall of Fame -- completely exceeded everyone's expectations as a player (and he continues to do so as a broadcaster).
Here are 10 things you probably didn't know about Sharpe:
» Sharpe was born in Chicago, but moved to Georgia when he was three months old to live on his grandmother's farm.
» Even though brother Sterling was star at South Carolina and bound for the NFL, Shannon's only scholarship offer came from tiny Savannah State.
» As a rookie in 1990, Sharpe's career almost ended before it began. Sharpe was scheduled to be let go in the final cut down, but it was Denver offensive coach Chan Gailey - now the head coach in Buffalo -- who lobbied hard to keep him. "Where does he play?" Denver coach Dan Reeves asked. Gailey said he didn't think Sharpe could play receiver and wasn't big enough to play tight end. "But he's first in line for all the drills and he's good on special teams," Gailey said. So they kept him.
» Reeves used to get mad that Sharpe would take himself out of games as a rookie. Reeves told him the only way he'd make the team in his second season was if he gained 35 pounds. Sharpe did so. They ended up playing Sharpe at tight end and flanked him out to create mismatches.
» Sharpe's big breakthrough came in 1995 when Mike Shanahan came in and installed a zone-blocking scheme that forced Sharpe to be a blocker. Sharpe thrived.
» Sharpe starts every day at 5 a.m. with pilates and yoga exercises. When he goes on the road, he packs his own food at home and keeps on a strict diet.
» He still has a full-time speech coach who he talks to every Sunday morning before appearing on CBS Sports' NFL studio show.
» A big movie buff, Sharpe watches at least three movies a week.
» He played in 204 regular-season games, and had 11 seasons with 50-plus catches. (That might not seem like a ton based on today's passing game, but it was unprecedented when he played.)
» From the start of the 1997 postseason through a wild-card win in January, 2002, Sharpe won 12 consecutive playoff games, an NFL record since the 1970 merger.