NFL and East-West Shrine Game alumni Robert Porcher III and Mark Rypien, will be honored as the newest members of the East-West Shrine Game Hall of Fame in a ceremony for the 92nd East-West Shrine Game, which will be played at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, on Jan. 21, 2017.
Following impressive college careers, Rypien and Porcher were selected to play in East-West Shrine Game: Rypien in 1986 for the West squad, and Porcher in 1992 for the East. During the spring of those respective years, they were both offered the chance to play in the NFL. Rypien was a sixth-round pick by Washington, and six years later, Detroit chose Porcher as a first-round pick.
Stand-Out NFL Careers
Porcher, a legendary Detroit Lion defensive-end, was the first player ever drafted from Div. 1-AA (now FCS) South Carolina State. For 13 years, Porcher was a dominant force for the Detroit Lions at his defensive end position. He led the team in sacks for eight of his years with the Lions, and recorded double-digit quarterback takedowns during four of those seasons. Porcher played his entire professional career with Detroit, retiring in 2004 as the Lions’ all-time sack leader with 95.5 – especially impressive considering the team began playing in 1930. Porcher was also very durable, playing in 155 of Detroit’s 162 regular-season games during his time there, and he recorded 603 career tackles. His skill at thwarting opposing offenses sent the defensive end to three NFL Pro Bowl games: 1998, 2000, and 2002.
Former Washington Redskin Rypien is the only person born outside the U.S. to ever play quarterback for a Super Bowl-winning team. He became Washington’s first-team quarterback beginning the 1989 season, and led the team to a 10-6 record, improving on the previous year’s 7-9 mark, and passing for 3,768 yards with 22 touchdowns. In 1990, Washington would again go 10-6 with Rypien at the helm, and the team made the playoffs. The next season the Redskins went all the way, winning Super Bowl XXVI over the Buffalo Bills. Rypien was named the game’s MVP. During this championship year, Rypien passed for 3,564 yards and 28 touchdowns. He played two more seasons with Washington before stints at Cleveland, Philadelphia, Saint Louis, and Indianapolis. Rypien retired from the NFL in 2002 with 1,466 career completions (56.1 percent) for 18,473 yards with 115 TDs versus 88 INTs.
Caring About Their Communities
Following his retirement from football, Rypien moved back to the state of Washington, and now lives in Spokane. He is active with the Rypien Foundation, which assists local families who are battling childhood cancer.
Even while a player, Porcher devoted time to serving his Detroit-home community, and today he leads a foundation for cancer research and relief that has raised thousands of dollars for programs at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.
We are proud to welcome these two worthy individuals to the East-West Shrine Game Hall of Fame.
About the East-West Shrine Game
Originating in 1925, the East-West Shrine Game is the longest-running college all-star football game in the country and features some of the highest-rated players in the projected NFL draft ranking. While the teams are divided by East and West, the players come together for the beneficiary of the event, Shriners Hospitals for Children. Learn more at shrinegame.com.
About Shriners Hospitals for Children
Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. The 22 hospitals in the United States, Canada and Mexico provide advanced care for children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate.
Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible. To learn more about Shriners Hospitals for Children, please visit shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.