(Note: One of the most feared pass rushers in pro football history, Deacon Jones played six seasons under head coach George Allen - five with the Los Angeles Rams and one with the Washington Redskins. When Jones was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980, it was Allen who presented him. When Allen is posthumously enshrined on Aug. 3, Jones will return the favor.)
George Allen served as Deacon Jones' presenter on August 2, 1980. Twenty-two years later, Jones will serve as Allen's presenter.
I am thrilled to welcome into the Pro Football Hall of Fame the greatest coach that ever walked into my life. And it's a special acknowledgement for me, because this is the same coach that presented me to the Hall. Now I get the opportunity to bring you into this elite group of 216 men - men who have given everything to the game of football. You are going to be enshrined into the greatest fraternity on the face of the globe. And I personally want to welcome you to this group, because you and I together formed not only a great tandem as player-coach, but we also had a great friendship over a long period of time. And I'm delighted to be the one to bring you into this great organization.
"As a coach, your greatness showed in the way you taught our team to stand together and to believe in ourselves."
So for the man who had a winning season at every stop he made during his illustrious career, welcome to the Hall of Fame.
I remember back 22 years ago, turning the corner one block into the Hall of Fame parade, a parade that is just stacked with people. I remember turning to you and saying, "Someday you're going to be making this run, George." And I always believed you would eventually get into the Hall of Fame, but I had no idea when.
I wish you were alive so we could share that moment again. You were one of the most emotional people I've ever met, and things like this would really take you to the heights of your personal emotions.
As a coach, your greatness showed in the way you taught our team to stand together and to believe in ourselves. Back in 1970, you got fired from the Rams. And the entire team stood up at the press conference and threatened to walk out if we didn't get our coach back. And all the L.A. fans stood with us and said they wouldn't go to the games unless they give us our coach back. So we got our coach back.
We did it because we believed we could win. And you were the one who had convinced us in a very short period of time that we could win - as long as we all stuck together. And it worked. We became a winner. We didn't win the big one, but we came close.
By teaching us how to stand together as a unified entity, it helped all of us improve our skills as players. You can't ask for anything more than that. If you believe in someone, you've got to back them up one thousand percent, and I was very proud of our squad for sticking together.
George, you always said the future is now, and that's the way it is. Every day is the most important day of your life.
Welcome to the Hall.
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