The Class of 2009 presenters
The group of the presenters for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Class of 2009 is now complete. Ralph Wilson, Jr., the founder and owner of the Buffalo Bills, announced this afternoon that he has selected long-time friend and ESPN personality Chris Berman (photo right) as his presenter for enshrinement.
“Chris has been a friend of mine for many years and I thought he would be a great person to introduce me, if he would do so. He acknowledged that he would and I thank him very much and he will be in Canton with me,” stated Wilson in a statement released by the Buffalo Bills.
“Chris really embodies the Bills fans, who have played such an important role in my career in professional football. Professional football is all about the fans and having Chris as my presenter follows that thought.”
(Related story: Chris Berman's reaction)
Other presenters for the Class of ’09 include:
Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach (photo left) has accepted an invitation from the family of Bob Hayes to serve in the role of presenter for his former wide receiver.
Randall McDaniel selected O.K. Fulton, his high school athletic director and assistant principal. Fulton was instrumental in McDaniel’s development as a young athlete and student at Agua Fria Union High School in Avondale, AZ.
"He was one of the greatest influences in my life; someone who knew I was an athlete but got to know me and help me as a person," said McDaniel, who now works as a special-education teacher for second-grade students.
Defensive end Bruce Smith has selected his former defensive coordinator with the Buffalo Bills Ted Cottrell to serve as his presenter this summer. Smith made the announcement during an appearance at Jim Kelly’s charity golf outing in Western New York recently.
“One of the more compelling things that happened in my career was when Marv Levy hired Ted Cottrell to come in and be my position coach,” Smith shared. “He taught me how to study film.”
The family of Derrick Thomas has asked Carl Peterson (photo right), the former President of the Kansas City Chiefs, to serve as presenter for the late linebacker. Peterson, who drafted Thomas in 1989, had a long personal relationship with him.
Rod Woodson named his good friend and business associate Tracy Foster as his presenter. Woodson and Foster have remained friends since high school. Foster went to Indiana to play basketball for Bobby Knight while Woodson attended Purdue. Foster later transferred to University of Alabama at Birmingham and later played overseas for several years. Today, he runs Woodson’s car dealership in Pittsburgh.
The enshrinement ceremony takes place at Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium on Saturday, August 8, 2009 at 7 p.m. ET. Individual tickets as well as a variety of fan and travel packages are still available.
List of all-time presenters
Class of 2009
Tickets/Fan & Travel packages
2009 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Schedule
Chris Berman's reaction to serving as Ralph Wilson Jr.'s presenter
ESPN's Chris Berman comments on serving as Ralph Wilson, Jr.'s presenter.