It’s always “Sonny” in Wilmington


A new "For Pete's Sake" blog appears each Thursday on

This past Tuesday Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Sonny Jurgensen returned to where it all began for him. As part a terrific new program established by us and Allstate Insurance, many of our Hall of Famers are being honored permanently in their childhood communities. It's called Hometown Hall of Famers™ and Jurgensen was the most recent honoree when a plaque was unveiled at his high school in Wilmington, N.C.

George Veras, the president and CEO of Pro Football Hall of Fame Enterprises observed a touching moment on Tuesday during the ceremony at New Hanover High School in Wilmington. He saw the impact of the program first hand. As expected, Jurgensen was truly touched as many of his high school teammates joined in the celebration. But, what really struck home for Veras and pretty much anyone else on hand was how young teenagers, today's New Hanover Wildcats, mobbed Sonny after the unveiling.

It was a reminder of how the passion for this great game we all love carries on from one generation to another and another. It's what connects us all to football. We at the Hall of Fame see it every day as visitors travel from all over the world to take a three-hour stroll down memory lane.

And, on Tuesday, it happened in Wilmington, N.C. as Jurgensen put his permanent mark on the high school where his path to football greatness started. The moment was not lost on the young high school players as they clearly understood who that was standing at the podium. Nearly 60 years ago, there was a young redheaded quarterback who took the very same field they do each week. Today, he is one of only 23 quarterbacks from the NFL's modern era to have been enshrined into the Pro Football Hallo Fame.

No doubt, his bronzed Hometown Hall of Famer™ plaque will forever serve as inspiration.

Here's the recap of Sonny's presentation on Tuesday. Read>>>

If you'd like to find out more about the Hometown Hall of Famer™ Program, see this story and accompanying videos>>>

Previous Next
Go back to all blog listings