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.
Tailors were in Indianapolis on Monday to measure the six newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame for their Hall of Fame gold jackets, made by Haggar, that will be presented to them in August. The Class of 2012 – JACK BUTLER, DERMONTTI DAWSON, CHRIS DOLEMAN, CORTEZ KENNEDY, CURTIS MARTIN and WILLIE ROAF were elected to the Hall of Fame during the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Selection Committee annual meeting in Indianapolis, site of Super Bowl XLVI, on Feb. 4, 2012.
The six-man class was then on hand for the pre-game coin flip the following day. On Monday, the group met with Hall of Fame staff to be briefed on what will occur between now and the Enshrinement Festival in Canton in August. Aside from being measured for their Hall of Fame gold jackets, the six legends also were photographed and had their heads measured by calipers by sculptor Blair Buswell to kick off the process of creating their bronze busts.
Hall of Fame quarterbacks DAN FOUTS and WARREN MOON joined Fran Charles on the NFL Network set inside the Super Bowl Media Center for a 90-minute special called Road to Canton: Pro Football Hall of Fame: Class of 2012 presented by Allstate during which the new class was announced.
Photos above. Running back Curtis Martin gets measured for his Hall of Fame gold jacket (left) and Jack Butler sits to have his measurements recorded for his bronze bust (right).
The Pittsburgh Steelers honor roll in Canton now grows to 20 with the inclusion of Butler and Dawson. Butler, the former Steelers cornerback, drove to Indianapolis with his family and arrived just hours before the show. The 84-year-old joined Charles, Fouts and Moon on stage after it was revealed that he had been elected.
“I never, ever, ever thought I would be here,” he excitedly shared. “I just didn’t think that would be the reality. (People) told me I was good ... but I never realized I was. When I was a kid, I dreamed about being a big, strong, good football player. I dreamed of about going to Canton, Ohio, and being in the Hall of Fame. But I never, ever down deep believed what I was dreaming.”
Dawson, the All-Pro center followed Hall of Famer MIKE WEBSTER at the position for Pittsburgh and redefined how it could be played. Dermontti was not on hand in Indianapolis but joined the show by phone from his home in Lexington, Ky.
"I learned a lot from Mike Webster in my first year, how to take care of yourself, how to prepare. That's something I always valued, and it means so much to me to join this group," he stated sincerely.
Dawson then added, "It's a great honor to be elected. I never would have thought I'd being this position. I feel very fortunate. It's something my kids and grandkids can see, to take a look at what their granddad did."
Doleman, a native of Indianapolis, was in town and watch the announcement surrounded by family. He was reached by phone shortly after the announcement and shared his reaction to hearing his name read by the Hall of Fame’s President/Executive Director Steve Perry. “When they called my name, I felt absolutely numb.”
|© Minnesota Vikings
“I always had the respect of my peers and my family,” Doleman said. “I played for God, family and friends. I never embarrassed anybody. I never wanted to put them in that position where I had to explain my actions. The only thing bigger would be to be in God’s kingdom. I am totally blown away by this and totally humbled.”
He flew on Thursday to Minneapolis to take part in a press conference held by the Minnesota Vikings at the team’s headquarters (photo). On Thursday, the eight-time Pro Bowler met with the Minnesota Vikings media core for the first time as a Hall of Famer and explained his whirlwind week.
“I got home yesterday. I was home for maybe about 14 hours and then I was on the plane here today. I literally left last Thursday and we did media row on Friday. Saturday was the announcement. Saturday night I went down to the hotel where they host us. Sunday, went to the game and did all the fanfare stuff there. Monday, meetings. Tuesday, meetings. Wednesday, I was going to leave to come home. What’s today, Thursday? Well then Wednesday I did leave to come home, so there you go. Drove home Wednesday from Indianapolis, got a haircut, packed some more bags and got on the plane and came here. That’s what I’ve done.”
Kennedy has also been on the move since being elected. Along with his 16-year-old daughter Courtney they flew from their home in Orlando, Fla., to Indianapolis on Sunday morning to take part in the Super Bowl XLVI coin toss. He then scheduled a trip to Seattle on Wednesday to enjoy an intimate lunch with a small group of people (mostly members of the media) who supported him in his quest for enshrinement.
After the meal, Kennedy was asked if his career would have been complete without the recognition to match his Hall of Fame-worthy career.
“You know something? We don’t have to talk about that anymore … I’m a Hall of Famer now. So we don’t ever have to talk about that again. It’s done. It’s over with.”
Kennedy then noted that, “It hit me that I’m a Hall of Famer, but you still can’t believe it because of the magnitude of the situation being in the Hall of Fame,” he said. “When you get a call from STEVE LARGENT congratulating you; you get a call from JOHN RANDLE saying congratulations; MICHAEL IRVIN; MARSHALL FAULK; guys that I played with. That was very special.”
Martin, the New York Jets all-time leading rusher, also has found himself making the rounds on his media tour. After calling in to talk with Charles, Fouts and Moon on NFL Network he traveled to Indianapolis. He then made time for a conference call with the New York media contingent.
“It’s been such a humbling experience for me,” Martin said. “You never set out — I never set out — to accomplish this. Talking about a Hall of Fame class, only elite players are invited into the Hall of Fame. Last year, DEION SANDERS and MARSHALL FAULK, they deserved to be in the Hall of Fame. They just have that elite level. I feel I made the most of the talent I had.”
Roaf, a seven-time All-Pro choice at left tackle with the New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs, was so nervous about the upcoming announcement he said he had to go to the gym and work out.
He explained later, “I had too much nervous energy. I had to go do some cardio to get my mind off of it.”
When asked about the class of players he will be enshrined with come August Roaf summed it up perfectly, “I love it,” he said. “It’s the blue-collar class and I love that.”
You can bet on hearing much more from these six men as we countdown to the 2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Weekend.
Links related to this story:
HOF Bios: Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Marshall Faulk, Dan Fouts, Michael Irvin, Cortez Kennedy, Steve Largent, Curtis Martin, Warren Moon, John Randle, Willie Roaf, Deion Sanders, Mike Webster
More: Class of 2012
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