Mater Dei High School and Evansville, Ind. are now an extension of the Pro Football Hall of Fame following a "Hometown Hall of Famer ™ ceremony honoring former quarterback and Hall of Famer on Thursday. The program from Allstate Insurance Company and the Pro Football Hall of Fame is designed to honor the hometown legacies of football's greatest legends.
Following the plaque dedication ceremony at Mater Dei High School, the plaque will be permanently placed on the Wall of Fame in Evansville’s new 9,000-seat Ford Arena.
Griese, who was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990, took a moment during a heartfelt speech to directly address the students in attendance with a special message.
“Worry about today, and tomorrow will take care of itself," shared Griese. He explained to the audience that this was the very quote he's used as motivation throughout his career and a big reason why he was able to achieve the things he did throughout his life.
Nearly 800 students, friends and family members cheered as Bob received his plaque from his brother, Bill Griese. The ceremony also featured speakers including Mike Blake, sports director for the local NBC affiliate; Allstate representative Shelley Frost; local priest and friend Father Ted Tempel; and Evansville's Mayor Lloyd Winnecke.
"Seeing the pride on display here today that this community has for the city of Evansville and their own is what this program is all about," said George Veras, president and CEO of Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises.
Before officially unveiling the plaque with his younger brother, Bill Griese entertained the audience with stories that included memories of the two growing up in Evansville and playing against each other in football as teenagers attending rival high schools.
"To be part of a program that brings the prestige and tradition of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to cities like Evansville is an honor for Allstate, our agents and employees," said Lisa Cochrane, Allstate's senior vice president of marketing.
A successful student-athlete in high school, Griese went on to play quarterback for Purdue University. During his career as a Boilermaker, Griese was a two-time All-American and led his school to its first-ever Rose Bowl appearance. Purdue defeated Southern California, 14-13, in that game. Griese was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1984 and the Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994.
Griese was selected in the first round by the Dolphins in the 1967 AFL-NFL draft. He immediately became the leader of the young Miami franchise. For 14 seasons he was the Dolphins poised leader of a ball-control offense. He led the team to three AFC championships and two Super Bowl victories. Named the NFL Player of the Year in 1971, Griese also played in two AFL All-Star Games and six AFC-NFC Pro Bowls. He was named All-Pro twice and All-AFC three times in his career. In all, he completed 1,926 of 3,429 passes for 25,092 yards and threw 192 TDs.
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