FOXBOROUGH, Mass. - Former Patriots guard John Hannah, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and former Patriots linebacker Andre Tippett, one of 14 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2008, will serve as the Patriots' honorary captains at Sunday's AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. Hannah and Tippett, members of the Patriots' 1985 AFC Championship team, will accompany Patriots captains to midfield for the pregame coin toss. The honorary captains will be joined at the coin toss by Anna Grant of Stratham, N.H., the national winner of the NFL Punt, Pass and Kick competition in the girls age 14-15 division.
Hannah was the first Patriots player elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, earning induction in 1991. He spent 13 seasons with New England from 1973-85. Hannah was a member of the NFL's 75th Anniversary Team and was hailed by Sports Illustrated in 1981 as the best offensive lineman of all time. He was a 10-time All-Pro pick and his nine Pro Bowl selections are a Patriots record. Hannah was an All-Pro selection and earned a Pro Bowl berth as a starter for the Patriots' 1985 AFC Championship team in his final NFL season.
Tippett was a five-time Pro Bowler and a member of the NFL's 1980s All-Decade Team, playing 11 seasons with the Patriots from 1982-93. He was named as a finalist for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Jan. 15, marking the second consecutive year he has been chosen as a finalist. The Hall of Fame's 44-member Selection Committee will meet in Phoenix on Saturday, Feb. 2 to choose between four and seven players from the finalist pool for election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Tippett recorded 16.5 sacks in 1985 and played in New England's 31-14 victory over the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Championship Game that season.