The Pro Football Hall of Fame and Kay® Jewelers, the Official Jewelry Store of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, will honor Class of 2016 enshrinee ORLANDO PACE and other Hall of Famers from the Rams, during a special halftime presentation at the team’s regular season opener against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday afternoon. The game marks the return of the Rams to Los Angeles, the city where the team called home from 1946 to 1994.
Pace will be the first member of the Class of 2016 to receive his Ring of Excellence this season when the Hall’s President David Baker presents it on Sunday. The Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence is one of three iconic symbols that represent the elite status of being a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Pace received his Hall of Fame Gold Jacket on Thursday night of Enshrinement Week in Canton, and unveiled his Bronzed Bust during the Enshrinement Ceremony two days later. All three symbols will be displayed during the ring presentation on Sunday. Pace will wear his Hall of Fame Gold Jacket and his Bronzed Bust will be temporarily removed from the Hall of Fame and shipped to the LA Memorial Coliseum for the Ring of Excellence ceremony.
Pace is one of 17 longtime members of the Rams franchise to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He is also the 22nd offensive tackle to make his way to Canton.
The Sandusky, Ohio native was the No. 1 pick of the 1997 NFL Draft by the Rams and is one of just 14 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to have been drafted first overall. He became the cornerstone of the Rams’ high-powered offense that earned the nickname “greatest show on turf” when the team produced three straight years of scoring more than 500 points. He was voted to seven Pro Bowls, named All-Pro five times and selected to the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.
Pace, who grew up just two hours from the Hall of Fame, shared these thoughts during his Enshrinement speech last month:
“I am honored and humbled to stand here today, for along with my induction, this occasion marks a fulfillment of each and every goal I've established for myself in football since the age of 13. For at 13, following a basketball tournament here in Canton, I toured the Hall of Fame and was inspired; me, a kid from Sandusky, that I too could be here one day as well.
This became my first goal, and now here I am, 27 years later, standing in Canton, Ohio, accepting this incredible honor. From high school, through college, to the final game of my career, my goal never wavered. It has always been to be the very best I can be. Hear what I'm saying, the very best I can be. Not simply in football but in life. Throughout, the Hall of Fame was the pinnacle, my Matterhorn, which I strived to ascend. I never spoke to anybody about my goals, but it fueled the fire inside me that I unleashed in every game I played.”
As part of the partnership between the Hall of Fame and Kay® Jewelers, all living members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will receive the new Ring of Excellence that was redesigned by Kay® Jewelers in 2013. This year marks the second of three seasons in which the Ring of Excellence will be presented to the Hall of Famers in special ceremonies.
In addition to Pace, other Rams Hall of Famers will also be honored as part of the halftime tribute. Joining him at Sunday’s ceremony will be Rams’ greats ERIC DICKERSON (Class of 1999), MARSHALL FAULK (Class of 2011), TOM MACK (Class of 1999), JACKIE SLATER (Class of 2001), and JACK YOUNGBLOOD (Class of 2001) who will each receive their new Ring of Excellence. Family members of the late GEORGE ALLEN, DEACON JONES, and MERLIN OLSEN will be on hand for the tribute as well. The Bronzed Busts of these Rams Hall of Famers will also be displayed during the halftime event.
A full schedule of the 2016 Hall of Fame Ring of Excellence presentations can be found at: ProFootballHOF.com/hof-ring/
OTHER HALL OF FAME TRIBUTES IN WEEK 2
A number of other Hall of Famers will be honored around the NFL during Week 2 action.
- Hall of Fame defensive end BRUCE SMITH will have his No. 78 retired by the Buffalo Bills tonight at New Era Field in Orchard Park, N.Y.
- Class of 2016 enshrinee KEN STABLER will be the focus of a special ceremony at the Oakland Raiders home opener at Oakland-Alameda Coliseum. The tribute will include a presentation to the late quarterback’s three daughters. Hall of Fame executive Joe Horrigan, and Stabler’s Hall of Fame presenter and Hall of Fame Coach JOHN MADDEN will present each of the Stabler daughters with Hall of Fame gold crests identical to those featured on the Hall of Fame Gold Jackets worn by living Hall of Fame members.
- KEVIN GREENE, a member of the Class of 2016, will be the honorary “Keep Pounding Drummer” this Sunday immediately following the coin toss as the Carolina Panthers take on the San Francisco 49ers. “Keep Pounding” is a team mantra used to honor the late Panthers player and coach, Sam Mills, who used the phrase in an emotional pregame speech.
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- A larger-than-life-size statue of Hall of Fame running back JIM BROWN (Class of 1971) will be unveiled during a dedication ceremony at First Energy Stadium on Sunday morning prior to the Cleveland Browns home opener against the Baltimore Ravens.