The Pro Football Hall of Fame and Ford Motor Company paid tribute to Gold Jacket at his high school alma mater on Tuesday morning as part of the Hometown Hall of Famer™ program. An audience of 1,300 attended the ceremony at Clarke Central High School in Athens, Ga. The crowd included students, teachers, the school’s marching band and many of Tarkenton's former football and baseball teammates.
"The road to the Pro Football Hall of Fame begins with the support of your family, friends and your community. For me, Athens was there from the beginning and was part of my ‘life’s team’ to get to Canton,” Tarkenton shared.
Hometown Hall of Famer™ is a national program that honors the hometown roots of the greatest heroes of the game with special ceremonies and plaque dedication events in local communities.
"I am honored, privileged and humble to give something back by presenting the Hometown Hall of Famer plaque to Clarke Central high school, that will stay with the school forever and for Clarke Central high school to become the 99th to become an official high school of the Pro Football Hall of Fame," Tarkenton commented after being presented with the plaque by his son Matthew Tarkenton.
“Let me say how proud Ford is to participate in 's return to his hometown. Ford and the Pro Football Hall of Fame share a commitment to excellence and an appreciation for legacies,” Jim Gleason, Regional Sales and Marketing Manager for Ford Motor Company, remarked.
Tuesday’s event was the 99th Hometown Hall of Famer™ ceremony.
, who currently resides in Atlanta, was a third-round draft pick by the Minnesota Vikings. His first game made him an instant star, after coming off the bench to lead the Vikings to a come-from-behind victory by passing for 250 yards and four touchdown passes. In his career, the scrambling Tarkenton rushed for 3,674 yards, 32 TDs and led the Vikings to three Super Bowls. He was a two-time All-NFL and was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection. At retirement, Tarkenton led lifetime passers in attempts (6,467), completions (3,686), yards (47,003), and touchdowns (342). was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.
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