The Haggar Gold Jacket Report is a weekly update on recent news surrounding the very select group of men who’ve earned a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Earlier this week ESPN.com rolled a five-part series called the “NFL Any Era Team.” ESPN.com and ESPN the Magazine sought to compile a list of 20 current NFL players who are believed to be tough enough and good enough to suit up and play football in any era.
In order to create such a group the World Wide Leader in Sports enlisted the help of 20 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The elite panel was a “who’s who” of NFL legends all of whom earned a bust in Canton.
The Hall of Famers were tasked with looking at the current NFL rosters and then debate and decide who among them would they'd want lining up next to or across from them on game days.
Hall of Fame running back FLOYD LITTLE was honored by the Walter Camp Football Foundation with the Walter Camp “Distinguished American” Award. The presentation took place on Jan. 14, 2012 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven, Conn.
The award is presented each year to an individual who has utilized his or her talents to attain great success in business, private life or public service and who may have accomplished that which no other has done. He or she may have a record of dedication to mankind that should not pass unrecognized and a life that has been dedicated to the preservation of the American ideal. The recipient need not have participated in football but must be one who understands its lesson of self-denial, cooperation and teamwork, and one who is a person of honesty, integrity and dedication. He or she must be a leader, an innovator, even a pioneer, who has reached a degree of excellence that distinguishes him or her from contemporaries, as well as someone who lives within the principles of Walter Camp, according to the foundation.
Little accepted the award and talked about six basic principles for success: drive, desire, determination, dedication, commitment and sacrifice. "It's not always the smart guys that go to college. I wasn't very smart, I struggled in high school. I struggled in military school. I struggled in college. I struggled in law school,” he explained. “But I made the commitment and I made the sacrifice to plan my future and take the journey that I've been on these past 30-plus years. It's been unbelievable."
Another Hall of Famer honored by the Walter Camp Football Foundation at this year’s event was linebacker HARRY CARSON. The Class of 2006 inductee was presented the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s Man of the Year Award, which according to the foundation, honors an individual who has been closely associated with the game of football as a player, coach or close attendant to the game. He must have attained a measure of success and been a leader in his chosen profession. He must have contributed to the public service for the benefit of his community, country and his fellow man. He must have an impeccable reputation for integrity and must be dedicated to our American Heritage and the philosophy of Walter Camp.
“Harry Carson was a leader on the football field, but his passion and devotion for the game of football and those who played it clearly represents the life of Walter Camp and makes him a worthy recipient of the Man of the Year Award,” said Foundation president John Marks.
Former Miami Dolphins quarterback BOB GRIESE, after 29 years of covering college football for ABC Sports and ESPN, was back in the NFL. Griese retired from his college football analyst role after the 2010 college season but found himself back in the booth in 2011. The two-time Super Bowl champion just finished his first season as the color commentator for the Dolphins radio broadcast team.
Griese was glad to be back with his old team again and did find a few things he liked better about his new gig. "It was a lot easier. There were no preproduction meetings. I didn't have to learn two new teams every week. The number system is a lot easier in the NFL than in college…”
He also noted, “The travel is easier. I flew on the Dolphins' charter and half your games are at home. You're staying at the Ritz Carlton or Four Seasons instead of the Holiday Inn Express."
He also enjoyed the fact that he was back in the Dolphins family in which he has a rooting interest rather than the college game where he didn’t care who won or lost.
Links related to this story:
HOF Bios: Marcus Allen, Jim Brown, Harry Carson, Larry Csonka, Mike Ditka, Darrell Green, Bob Griese, Sonny Jurgensen, Willie Lanier, Floyd Little, James Lofton, Warren Moon, Joe Namath, John Randle, Jerry Rice, Mike Singletary, Dwight Stephenson, Lynn Swann, Roger Wehrli, Kellen Winslow, Rayfield Wright, Steve Young.
More: Miami Dolphins team history, ESPN.com’s “NFL Any Era Team”
Issue 1 (Jan. 20)
Back to news