Pro Football Hall of Fame 2022: Best Moments

The Pro Football Hall of Fame welcomed eight new members on Saturday.

Hall of Fame induction is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a player once their career is over, and former Green Bay Packers defensive back LeRoy Butler – a four-time All-Pro who helped the Packers to win Super Bowl XXXI – explained Why.

“When you play for the Green Bay Packers, a lot of doors open,” Butler said. “When you win a Super Bowl, all doors open. But when you’re in the Hall of Fame, football heaven opens.”

Sam Mills’ widow, Melanie Mills, gave a Hall of Fame speech honoring the former Carolina Panthers linebacker, sharing a motto her husband used as motivation as he passed undrafted free agent to five-time Pro Bowler.

He used the same motto during his battle with cancer before he died in 2005.

“Thank you for this honor,” said Melanie Mills. “For believing in Sam and for helping to keep his story alive. Keep hammering everyone – that’s what Sam would want you to do.”

During his speech, Richard Seymour, who helped the New England Patriots win their first three Super Bowls, recalled his first football memory while thanking his mom.

“It was 31 years ago this month when you drove me to my first football tryout and I didn’t even get out of the car,” Seymour said. “Mom, if I told you three decades later that I would be wearing a gold jacket, you would have no reason to believe me. But you believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself.”

Art McNally made history on Saturday by becoming the first game official to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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Considered the “father of modern umpiring”, McNally worked as a playing official from 1960 to 1967 before working as an NFL officials supervisor from 1968 to 1987 and then director of umpiring from 1988 to 1990. McNally , who turned 97 in July, gave a pre-recorded speech.

“That’s the biggest thing I think of for an official,” McNally said. “Do the job, hope no one knows you’re there, make the calls as they should with a good dose of common sense.”

Tony Boselli also made history on Saturday, as the five-time Pro Bowl offensive tackle became the first Jacksonville Jaguars player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Boselli shared how his high school coach killed his dream of becoming a quarterback, which ended up being the best thing for him in the long run.

“I was destined to be an offensive lineman, but not before a short stint as a tight end on the sophomore team and a water boy for the varsity team,” Boselli said. “I was a damn good water boy. … It’s not the most glamorous path, but all credit goes to your coach. It was the right path.”

Former defensive tackle Bryant Young helped the San Francisco 49ers win Super Bowl XXIX in 1994. His 89.5 sacks over his 14-year career are also the most in history. of the 49ers.

Young said it was fitting that he was in the Class of 2022 because 22 was his late son, Colby’s favorite number. Young paid tribute to Colby, who died of cancer at the age of 15.

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“We assured Colby that we would keep his spirit alive and continue to speak his name,” Young said. “On October 11, 2016, God called Colby home.

“Colby, you live on in our hearts. We will always say your name.

Cliff Branch was the only wide receiver inducted into the Hall of Fame on Saturday. He helped the Raiders win three Super Bowls in the late 1970s and early 80s, leading the league in reception in 1974. He was also a three-time All-Pro.

Branch died at age 71 in 2019. His sister, Elaine Anderson, said her brother was still enjoying the day, likely with two other deceased Raiders legends.

“I can tell you there’s a sweet spirit in this place today,” Anderson said. “Our Clifford, No. 21, wouldn’t miss his consecration for nothing. He’s been looking forward to this day and 21 sits front and center with Al Davis and John Madden.”

Former head coach Dick Vermeil closed Saturday’s ceremony.

Vermeil, who also coached the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, won his only Super Bowl as Rams head coach, leading the “Greatest Show on Turf” in 1999. He paid tribute to one of his Super Bowl players. -Rams winning team.

“Kurt Warner, his story is true,” Vermeil said. “Where would I be without Kurt Warner? I wouldn’t be here. God, thank you for all of your contributions.”

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