Welcoming Committee: DAN HAMPTON

01/01/2005

(Note: When Mike Singletary was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1998, he was the 25th member of the Chicago Bears to receive that honor - easily the most players in the Hall from any one team. On August 3, Singletary's teammate, defensive lineman Dan Hampton, will be the 26th Bear inducted into the Hall of Fame.)

Mike Singletary, Class of 1998

Mike Singletary was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 1998.

I'm just really excited that you're in the Hall, Dan. To me, you epitomize exactly what the Hall of Fame is all about -- blood, sweat and tears, and a tremendous amount of sacrifice and unselfishness.

"To me, you epitomize exactly what the Hall of Fame is all about -- blood, sweat and tears, and a tremendous amount of sacrifice and unselfishness. "

With all the knee problems that you had - something like 12 surgeries between both knees - you overcame more than what the average guy could have. But you wanted to win, and you wanted to go to the Super Bowl. And you definitely were a major reason why the Bears were successful on both of those fronts. And it was great to be part of a team with a guy that made such a difference. It really was one of those things where people look back on it and didn't realize how dominant you were.

I knew you were something special back in college. Back in the days of the Southwest Conference, I remember when my Baylor team played your Arkansas squad every year. All of our linemen were scared to death of you. It got very frustrating hearing Dan Hampton's name called all day when you're out there trying to win a football game. We played against each other twice in college, and I saw enough to know that I was very excited to be able to play in the NFL on a team that boasted you on the roster.

 
Watching another member of the Chicago Bears bring inducted makes this all the more special. With the tradition of the Bears, having so many great players in the past - and hopefully more great players coming up - it's one of those things where that history means so much. To play for a team that boasts George Halas as the man who started the franchise… To think about great players like Bronko Nagurski, Dick Butkus and Walter Payton, it's pretty phenomenal to look back. To have the chance to play for a team like that, a team that has that tradition, it really is something special. It gives you something to live up to. And you not only lived up to it, you added to it.

What an honor to have played with you on that great Bears defense of the 1980s, winning a Super Bowl along the way. It was an impressive defense, and you were right in the center of it. Just one of those guys that you love to go to war with.

Congratulations Dan!

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