Committee: JOHN STALLWORTH
Special to Profootballhof.com
When former Steelers star Lynn Swann was inducted into the Pro Football
Hall of Fame last summer, he lobbied the selection committee to consider
his teammate and fellow receiver John Stallworth for the same honor. The
voters obviously took heed, making Stallworth a member of the Class of
is an important date as it is your induction into the Pro Football Hall
of Fame. John, you know how I feel and I want to formally welcome you
into that small family of professional football players who were at the
top of their game.
Swann selected John Stallworth to be his presenter in 2001.
been deserving of this for a number of years, and I believe that you demonstrated
early on in your career the ability to be one of the best wide receivers
in the National Football League. Your induction into the Hall of Fame
says just that: You were one of the best of all time.
You and I
came into the National Football League together in 1974. You were drafted
in the fourth round and I was drafted in the first round. Instantly, I
saw that you were a dedicated receiver and that you were willing to prove
yourself and make sure you made that football team by being totally prepared.
In fact, you were much more prepared for our first minicamp than I was.
You showed me right away that it was about being prepared, working hard
and taking advantage of an opportunity.
major strength as a football player was your competitive attitude.
Your desire to be the best and do all the things you had to do to
get to that level."
When we were
rookies together, I remember sitting on our helmets watching the first
quarter of a football game, before getting into the game in the second
quarter. And you and I would always talk about the game, what was going
on, different perspectives on the game -- so that when we got into the
huddle for the first time, we had a gameplan. We knew how the defense
was playing and found ways while watching the game to take advantage of
that secondary. We pushed each other.
strength as a football player was your competitive attitude. Your desire
to be the best and do all the things you had to do to get to that level
- by being in shape, studying the game, by understanding how it should
be played, technically as well as artistically. Then going out and analyzing
the opponent - looking for the small details that would allow you to beat
your man. Those are great assets.
recall a game in our second year - the AFC Championship Game against the
Raiders. I was injured and out of the game. Franco Harris got the ball
on a sweep around the left end. You came in on a crackback block, and
knocked the guy flat on his back - and then kept going and took on another
guy. You took both of those guys off their feet. Franco waltzed around
the outside on an ice-covered football field and went into the end zone
for a touchdown that - no pun intended - iced the game for us.
you make catches, four- or five-yard receptions, and then run through
the entire secondary, traverse the field and get to the end zone. Phenomenal.
We used to
refer to you as being gangly, because it was hard to judge your pace and
your speed. But you just made moves, went up for the ball, made great
one-handed catches. When they threw the ball to you, we knew you were
going to catch it. You'd make that move.
on your latest move
Welcome to the Hall!
Deacon Jones welcomes George
Marv Levy welcomes Jim
Shell welcomes Dave Casper
Mike Singletary welcomes