NEW ORLEANS -- Jonathan Ogden spent much of Saturday waiting to find out if he would be included in the Class of 2013 for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It was, he said, a helpless feeling.
"It's like going to the hospital with your wife to have a baby," he said. "You can't do anything about it. You hear everybody say you're a first-ballot for sure, but you never really know. A lot of good, well-deserving guys didn't get in on the first ballot."
Ogden did. He was one of seven who will be immortalized in Canton on Aug. 3, together with Larry Allen, Cris Carter and Warren Sapp; veterans selections Curley Culp and Dave Robinson; and coach Bill Parcells. Ogden, Allen and Sapp are all first-ballot Hall of Famers.
Carter is not. Despite ranking fourth all-time in receptions (1,101) and fourth (130) in touchdowns, he had to wait until his sixth year on the ballot for entry. When he finally made it in, he cried.
"This is the happiest day of my life," he said. "It's unreal you're going to end your career in Canton. I said to myself, 'I'm going to get in the Hall this year.' I believed I would get in the Hall this year. It's the most amazing thing that ever happened to me."
Carter said he did not mind the wait.
"I'm glad they recognized my career for what it was," Carter said. "It doesn't matter . . . I've been in this process for five years and they have not selected one bad player. Not one bad player have I seen elected to the Hall of Fame."
Sapp played 13 seasons with the Bucs and Raiders and amassed 961/2 career sacks as an interior defensive lineman. He was the 1999 NFL Defensive Player of the Year. Allen played 203 games over 14 seasons, most of them with the Cowboys. He played every position on the offensive line except center and was a first-team All-Pro seven straight seasons. Ogden spent 12 seasons with the Ravens, most of them as the game's premier left tackle. He was a six-time All-Pro and was voted to 11 Pro Bowls.
Culp was a defensive star for the Chiefs in the 1960s and '70s who later played with the Oilers and Lions and was selected to six Pro Bowls. Robinson played outside linebacker on the championship Packer teams of the 1960s.
The selection took place during a meeting that lasted nearly 8 1/2 hours. The first names pared off the list of 17 semifinalists were Tim Brown, Kevin Greene, Will Shields and former owners Edward DeBartolo Jr. and Art Modell. On the final vote, five players were eliminated: Michael Strahan, Jerome Bettis, Charles Haley, Andre Reed and Aeneas Williams.