Pro Football Hall of Famer , Super Bowl XX MVP, was honored during a special plaque ceremony on Wednesday, March 27, 2013, as a “Hometown Hall of Famer™” by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company. The event had an intimate feel, as Dent spent most of his time at the podium recounting found memories and life lessons with dozens of friends and family members in the audience.
Dent was one of the greatest defensive ends of his era. The former high school standout at Murphy High School, later renamed Crim Open Campus High School, said one of his greatest memories was after returning to Atlanta following his Super Bowl XX victory with the Chicago Bears. At the time, the current students had made him a sign using his last name as an acronym, it read, “Dedication, Education, Name, Try.” Dent was so moved by the sign that he asked to take it with him so he could always be reminded of the influence his actions had on his hometown.
Additional speakers at the event included local Atlanta radio personality Silas Alexander, who served as the ceremony’s emcee; Dent’s former high school basketball and football coach Henry Adams, who presented Dent with his plaque; and Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises Program Director Brock Richards.
“Crim High School truly embodies the spirit of the ‘Hometown Hall of FamersTM’ program,” said Richards. “Honoring legends, like , in front of the communities that helped raise them is the reason the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate have teamed up to make this program a reality.”
Allstate representative Vince Green explained that, “Allstate is a hometown company and we are very excited to be a part of this special day for Crim High School and the City of Atlanta. The goal of this program is to keep alive and protect the hometown legacies of pro football’s greatest players, like .”
The City of Atlanta was also in attendance to honor Dent and officially proclaimed March 27, 2013 as “ Day” in Atlanta. In addition to the plaque, a commemorative “Hometown Hall of Famers™” road sign will be on display in Atlanta.
Dent, a Tennessee State University alumnus, was the Chicago Bears’ eighth round pick in the 1983 NFL Draft. In just his second season with the Bears, he recorded a team record and career-high 17.5 sacks, which was also the most of any defender in the NFC. It also marked the first of eight times over the next 10 seasons that he recorded double-digit sack totals. At the time of his retirement, Dent’s 137.5 career sack total was third behind only Reggie White and Bruce Smith.
Dent was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
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