Hall of Famers Visit Hawaii


By Greg Solomon, NFL.com
Special to Profootballhof.com

A week after being elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Steve Young and Dan Marino, two members of the 2005 class attended a press conference today at the J.W. Marriott Ihilani Resort in Hawaii.

Marino and Young will be honored during Sunday’s Pro Bowl game at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

"It has been an extremely humbling week,” Marino said.  “When you think about all the people who have played in the NFL, it’s amazing to now be considered to be among the elite.”

Marino-YoungQuarterbacks Benny Friedman, Dan Marino, Steve Young, and halfback Fritz Pollard make up the Class of the 2005 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees.

The four-man class was elected by the Hall of Fame’s 39-member Selection Committee who met last Saturday in Jacksonville, Florida. The newest members of the Hall were selected from a list of 15 finalists that had been determined earlier by the committee.

Young won a record-tying six NFL passing titles during his NFL career. Still ranked as the top rated passer of all-time, Young was also a potent threat when he ran with the ball. A four-time All-Pro selection, he was named to seven Pro Bowls.

“I have been fortunate to have played under some of the best coaches on every level,” Young said. “From high school to the NFL, they were the best coaches. Even in the USFL, I had Sid (Gillman) a Hall of Famer coaching me. I knew I was very fortunate.”

Marino, a first round pick in 1983, became one of the most prolific passers in NFL history. He is the game’s all-time leader in attempts (8,358), completions (4,967), yards (61,361), and touchdowns (420).

“It’s such a special time,” Marino said of the enshrinement ceremony. “I remember seeing the veteran Hall of Famers and see how they are so nice to the new inductees and that’s what makes this group so special.”

Friedman was the NFL’s first great passer. His first four seasons were legendary as he threw an NFL record 11 touchdowns as a rookie with the Cleveland Bulldogs in 1927, and set another record in 1929 with 20 TD passes as the quarterback of the New York Giants.

Pollard was a football pioneer as one of just two African-American players in the NFL during its infancy. In 1921 he earned another distinction becoming the first African American head coach in NFL history when the Pros named him co-coach of the team.

The 2005 class will increase to 229 the number of all-time greats permanently honored in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Formal enshrinement ceremonies will be held in Canton, home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, on Sunday, August 7, 2005. The annual AFC-NFC Hall of Fame Game will be played on Monday, August 8.

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