<i>Countdown to Canton</i> on Sirius NFL Radio
Countdown to Canton:
|Mar. 6 - Art Monk
Mar. 13 - Billy Shaw
Mar. 20 - Len Dawson
Mar. 27 - Mel Blount
Apr. 3 - Warren Moon
Apr. 10 - Charlie Joiner
Apr. 17 - Marv Levy
Apr. 24 - Ken Houston
Stop by Profootballhof.com each week leading up to Bob and Randy’s interview. We’ll take a look back at that week’s featured Hall of Famer and recount his enshrinement day. The Hall’s research staff will also dig into the archives and hone in on events that helped shape the careers of these Hall of Fame legends.
This week’s guest: Mel Blount, Class of 1989
Doesn't matter where you come from...
When Mel Blount stepped to the podium on the front steps of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August of 1989, he took time to reflect on a life of opportunity. He explained how the character that was taught to him by his parents is what made him excel not only on the football field but in life. The youngest of 11 children raised in the cotton and tobacco fields of Vidalia, Georgia, Blount was one of seven siblings who had a chance to go to college.It was that chance that helped Blount become one of the most devastating cornerbacks in NFL history. It also helped fuel his life after football which is now consumed by his time leading The Mel Blount Youth Home of Pennsylvania. Located on 300 acres of land, it is a multi-service treatment program for young males who are victims of child abuse and neglect.
“I came from a beautiful family, a family that struggled in the Deep South and instilled in their kids that you can do anything if you are willing to pay a price,” he commented in the closing moments of his enshrinement speech. “And, you can be as good and you are just as good and it doesn’t matter where you come from, it is where you are going that is what makes the difference between failure and success.”
Listen to Mel's enshrinement speech>>>
Mel Blount became the prototype NFL cornerback after the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted him in the third round of the 1970 draft. Known for his dedication, he worked tirelessly in games and practice as he rose to become one of the most intimidating defensive backs of his era.
Blount reported to the ’75 Steelers training camp with a shaved head. He explained it as a way of staying cool but others observed that it gave him a more menacing look on the football field. Regardless, whatever it was meant to do, it worked. Already recognized as terrific at covering receivers man-to-man as well as an excellent defender against the run, Blount adapted to a new zone coverage scheme that season. He responded by recording a career-high 11 interceptions to become the first Steelers player to outright lead the league in interceptions since Bill Dudley in 1946. For his efforts, Mel was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Blount, who picked off a pass in each of his 14 seasons with the Steelers, retired with 57 career interceptions.
|Join us this August for one of sports greatest events. Tickets and fan packages for the 2009 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival are on sale now>>>|