Ten years ago the Class of 2001 was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This year the Hall of Fame is proud to continue a tradition that recognizes that group of football greats by celebrating the 10th anniversary of their enshrinement.
Immortalized on August 4, 2001 – Nick Buoniconti, Marv Levy, Mike Munchak, Jackie Slater, Lynn Swann, Ron Yary, and Jack Youngblood – is one of only four seven-man classes be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame since 1988 (two of those classes are the 2010 and 2011 group of inductees, the other was 1990). The Class of 2001 is also the last Class to have their Enshrinement Ceremony conducted on the front steps of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Close to 13,000 football fans packed in front of the grid shrine to witness this great group of men become immortal members in pro football's most elite fraternity. The heart-felt and emotional ceremony is certainly one that will never be forgotten.
Buoniconti was one of the driving forces of the Miami Dolphins "No Name Defense" and helped lead them to two Super Bowl victories. Before that he was a one-man wrecking crew for the Boston Patriots. He was named to the All-Time AFL Team in 1969.
"It was 14 years on that list before I could stand here today and wear this gold jacket to tell you thank you and how much I love and appreciate how you've supported me over these years. Fourteen years. But, if patience is a virtue then the virtuous part of that patience is in finding the positives of having to wait so long." - Lynn Swann commenting during his Pro Football Hall of Fame speech about being a Hall of Fame finalist for 14 years before being elected.
Levy led the Buffalo Bills to and unprecedented four straight Super Bowl appearances. His 154-129-0 overall record placed him 10th in NFL history at the time of his retirement. He was the NFL Coach of Year in 1988 and a three-time AFC Coach of the Year recipient.
Munchak earned the starting left guard position with the Houston Oilers during his rookie season and never relinquished the post during his 12-year career. Equally effective as a run and pass blocker, he earned nine Pro Bowl selections and 10 first- or second team All-Pro nods during his career.
Slater played an incredible 20 seasons and 259 games as a tackle in the National Football League. He paved the way for seven different 1,000-yard rushers during his career and earned seven Pro Bowl selections.
Swann was one of the most graceful and athletic wide receivers of his era. He also had a knack for the big play and always seemed to deliver on the games largest stages. The Super Bowl X MVP retired after nine season with 336 receptions for 5,462 yards and 51 TDs.
Yary was the first overall selection in the 1968 AFL-NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He was worth the top choice as he missed only two games due to injury during his 15-year career. An All-Pro choice six straight seasons (1971-76), he possessed rare speed and agility for an offensive tackle.
Youngblood was a rugged, determined and durable (he played in team-record 201 straight games) defensive end for the Los Angeles Rams. He is perhaps most known for playing most of the 1979 playoffs, including Super Bowl XIV with a fractured left fibula.
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