5 Aug, 2017
Football Hall of Fame inducts legends including Kurt Warner by Willie McGinest
Take a deep breath, because the wait is almost over.
On Thursday night, the Arizona Cardinals and the Dallas Cowboys will face off in Canton, Ohio in the Pro Football Hall of Fame Game to kickoff this year’s Hall of Fame Enshrinement weekend events. Each and every year, thousands of fans make their way to the birthplace of professional football to see a new batch of legends enter the esteemed Hall of Fame.
But there’s so much more to this weekend than the return of football.
Football Hall of Fame
As you probably know, three of my NFL network colleagues, Terrell Davis, LaDanian Tomlinson and Kurt Warner, headline this year’s class alongside Kenny Easley, Jason Taylor, Morten Anderson and Jerry Jones.
It’s nice to see Easley make it in as a senior finalist. He had a great career in Seattle and will also be remembered for his role as a leading figure in the infamous 1987 NFL strike that helped disgruntled players acquire a new collective bargaining agreement.
It is about time TD got his call. Even though his career lasted only seven seasons, Davis was always one of the league’s premier backs. He came into the league as a sixth-round draft pick with longshot odds to make the team as the the sixth string tailback during training camp. The Broncos wouldn’t have won either of those Super Bowls without TD tearing it up in the backfield.
Jason Taylor is as worthy as anyone of being a first ballot Hall of Famer. Jason came into the league three years after me and immediately established himself as one of the league’s most feared defensive ends on his way to a Hall of Fame career. We battled for years as division rivals.
LaDanian Tomlinson was as dominant as anyone. His numbers speak for themselves. And in 2006, there was no doubting who the best player in football was. The man scored 31 touchdowns in one season! I’m pretty sure that record is safe for a while.
The legend of Kurt Warner is something out of a movie script. Kurt got his start in the league as an undrafted free agent invited to Packers training camp. Released prior to the start of the season, he started stocking shelves at a grocery store back in Iowa for $5.50 an hour. He returned to football in the Arena Football League, then showed out in NFL Europe, which earned him a shot back in the league with the Rams. The rest is history, of course, as he took two different franchises to the Super Bowl.
I’ll be in Canton to see Thursday’s game, Friday’s gold jacket ceremony, and Saturday’s main event — the ceremony itself. I am so happy for all seven of these gentlemen for their lasting impacts that they made on the game. Congratulations to all of you!