Class of 2022: Patience pays off for Tony Boselli, Hall of Fame

By Brendan Heffernan
Pro Football Hall of Fame

TONY BOSELLI had to wait until his 16th year of eligibility before being selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Earlier this summer, it was the Hall’s turn to wait for Boselli. 
Boselli’s section of the Class of 2022 Locker Exhibit sat filled with merchandise from the Hall of Fame’s gift shop for a week as the Hall’s archives team waited for Boselli’s donations to arrive. 
“I’m sure they probably hate me at this point since I was the last person to get stuff to them,” Boselli joked. “We were in the midst of a move so everything was in storage. I appreciate the Hall of Fame and the archives team and everything that group has done and the patience they had with me.” 
Boselli’s locker in the interactive area of the museum is now filled with mementos from his playing career, telling the story of his journey from high school, to USC and finally to his All-Pro career with the Jacksonville Jaguars. But Boselli said seeing his things on display is nothing compared to the feeling he gets from being celebrated for what he accomplished in his 91 NFL games. 
“I’ve never really been big on that stuff,” Boselli said. “My kids love it, fans love it, it’s neat stuff. I think the biggest thing for me is preserving my legacy, what I did on the field. Because that’s why I’m in the Hall of Fame, that’s why any of us are in the Hall of Fame.” 
Tony Boselli will be enshrined as one of 362 members in the Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 6. He’s the 26th tackle and the first Jacksonville Jaguar to receive a Gold Jacket.  
Boselli said having a permanent place alongside the other greats of the game has been the most humbling part of the experience. 
“I’m going to have a bronze bust in Canton for the rest of time,” Boselli said. “My grandkids and their grandkids are going to be able to visit Canton and say ‘Hey, that was my great-great granddad,’ you know? To be amongst all the great players who ever played the game is mind-boggling to me.”  
Patience paid off, Boselli said. After 16 years, all there is left to do is bask in the light of football’s greatest honor. 
“I sit there and pinch myself,” Boselli said. “I was the kid who grew up wanting to be those guys. Now to be alongside them is amazing.” 

Brendan Heffernan is a student at Loyola University New Orleans and he is an intern this summer at the Pro Football Hall of Fame.