the 53rd class of the national football league hall-of-fame will be honored saturday night in canton, ohio. the celebrated men are jerome bettis, tim brown, charles haley, bill polian, junior seau, will shields, mick tinglehoff and ron wolf.
bettis played 13 seasons with the los angeles/st.louis rams and pittsburgh steelers. he ranks fifth all-time in rushing with 13,662 yards. a six-time pro bowl selection, bettis ("the bus") rushed for 100 yards or more 61 times.
brown played 16 years with the los angeles/oakland raiders, and one (his final) season with the tampa bay buccaneers. he caught 1,094 career receptions for 14,934 yards and 100 touchdowns. brown also totaled 4,555 yards and four touchdowns and kickoff and punt returns.
haley is the only nfl player to win five super bowl titles. he racked up 100.5 sacks in his 12-year career with the dallas cowboys and san francisco 49ers. haley posted double-digit sack totals in six different seasons.
polian helped build the 1990s buffalo bills, and launched the expansion carolina panthers in 1995. he led the indianapolis colts to unprecedented success in the 2000s. the colts won super bowl 41 following the 2006 season. he was nfl's executive of the year by the sporting news six times.
seau played 20 nfl seasons with the san diego chargers, miami dolphins and new england patriots. he's regarded as one of the best linebackers in history. seau made first-team all-pro eight teams, was selected to the pro bowl 12 times, and was named defensive player of the year in 1992.
shields played 224 games during his 14-year career with the kansas city chiefs. he never missed a game. shields was named to the all-decade team of the 2000s, selected first-team all-pro three tines, and played in 12 straight pro bowls.
tinglehoff was signed as a free agent by the minnesota vikings. he earned a starting role as center - as a rookie - and never missed a game during his 17-year career. tinglehoff was a seven-time all-league selection, and was named to six consecutive pro bowls.
wolf spent 23 years with the los angeles/oakland raiders. those gritty and rugged teams had 17 winning seasons under his budding leadership. wolf later transformed the green bay packers into super bowl champions.
the hall currently limits the number of inductees to eight per year. they adjusted its bylaws in 2014 to give added consideration to contributors like polian and wolf. both men were architects of numerous super bowl teams during their years as general managers.
this year the hall is making an exception to its ceremonial rules, which do not allow for live speeches on behalf of deceased honorees. but sydney seau will speak about her father, who committed suicide in 2012. she and her three brothers will unveil his bust at the enshrinement ceremony.
"our goal is to maintain our policy regarding enshrinement speeches, but also show compassion and understanding," said hall of fame president david baker, in a statement. next year's hall-of-fame class will be determined in february prior to super bowl 50. brett favre and terrell owens are among those eligible in 2016.
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.