"I think what is said here today will soon be forgotten but what is being done here will be remembered here forever in the Pro Football Hall of Fame."
Those were the words spoken by Hall of Fame inductee George Blanda as he opened his Enshrinement speech on
August 1, 1981.He was correct about one of those points, his induction will be remembered forever. But in honor of the 30th anniversary of that moment when he and three other members of the Class of 1981 – Morris "Red" Badgro, Willie Davis, and Jim Ringo – were inducted, we are remembering the Hall of Fame quarterback/kicker's words.
The 1981 group of inductees were greeted by thousands of fans on the front steps of the Pro Football of Fame to watch their transition into immortality. The beautiful weather that day seemed a fitting tribute to a Class which helped shape and define the history of professional football. The anniversary of their enshrinement will be honored during the entire 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival.
Badgro at 78 years was the oldest to be enshrined into the Hall of Fame at the time
. He played most of his career with the New York Giants as an excellent defender and a big-play receiver. In 1933 he recorded an important footnote in football history when he scored the first touchdown in an NFL championship game.
"I have known bitterness and I have known the taste of victory. Today I am very proud and gratified that I can stand at this moment and this occasion. Thank you." - Willie Davis' closing remarks to his 1981 enshrinement speech
Blanda held many of the league's records when he retired at age 48. The dual threat as a quarterback and placekicker held the record for most seasons played in NFL history with 26 and as the game's all-time leading scorer (2,002).
Two players from the Green Bay Packers dynasty years in the 1960s rounded out the Class. Davis was a standout defensive end for the Packers. A great team leader, he earned All-NFL honors five seasons and never missed a game during his 12-year, 162-game career.
Ringo, a quick and intelligent center for Green Bay and the Philadelphia Eagles, played in 10 Pro Bowls. Impervious to pain, he ignored many injuries to play in 182 consecutive games.
2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement – Tickets, schedule & more>>>
More than 75 Hall of Famers will be coming back to welcome in the Class of 2011>>>
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