Peyton Manning Headlines Professional Football Hall of Fame Class 21 Induction Ceremony – .

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Peyton Manning Headlines Professional Football Hall of Fame Class 21 Induction Ceremony – .


TOWNSHIP, Ohio – One of the NFL’s most decorated players helped close the Professional Football Hall of Fame dedication weekend on Sunday night, as quarterback Peyton Manning led the class of enthronement of the Hall in 2021.
Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson, who was the only non-consecrated 1970s All-Decade first-team selection, led the night on the podium. A former college quarterback who made the Cowboys roster as an undrafted rookie wide receiver in 1973, Pearson has been inducted into the senior ranks.

Pearson, whose career was cut short by liver injuries he suffered in a car crash at the age of 33, was to be followed by Tom Flores, the first minority coach to win a Super Bowl.

Flores and Hall of Fame member Mike Ditka are the only people in NFL history to have won the Super Bowl as players, assistant coaches and head coaches. Flores’ nine seasons as Raiders coach included two Super Bowl wins, an 8-3 playoff record and a 0.727 playoff winning percentage, which ranks behind only Vince Lombardi.

But the headliner of the group was to come third in the order of speeches with the turn of Manning. Manning, who was selected in his first year of eligibility, played on two Super Bowl-winning teams, was a five-time MVP, a 14-time Pro Bowl selection, a former offensive rookie of the year and returning player of the year.

After 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, Manning signed with the Broncos in 2012, making him one of the most accomplished players to change teams in the era of independent agencies. The Colts had 11 seasons with 10 wins while Manning was their quarterback and won Super Bowl XLI, with Manning earning MVP honors.

The Broncos won Super Bowl 50 to close the 2015 season – the last game of Manning’s career – and complete a four-year streak in Denver that saw the team win 50 games and four straight AFC West titles. . Manning retired with numerous single-season and career records, including 5,477 passing yards and 55 touchdowns in 2013.

When Manning was selected for consecration last February, Colts owner Jim Irsay said, “Books have been and will continue to be written about the impact he and his family have had in all aspects of the game. sport and life. “

Sunday night’s ceremony at Tom Benson Stadium closed an extended weekend of dedication, which included Thursday’s Hall of Fame game and a ceremony for the Hall Class of 2020 and the Centennial Class selected as part of the 100th anniversary of the league on Saturday night. Class ’20 and Centennial Class ceremonies had been postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Manning was to be followed on the podium by former Buccaneers and Broncos safety John Lynch. Lynch, now general manager of the San Francisco 49ers, has been called to the Pro Bowl nine times and helped the Broncos qualify for a Super Bowl game in 2005. He had eight seasons of 80 tackles, including 84 in 2006. at 35 years old. , and three seasons of 100 tackles.

Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who was scheduled to speak fifth, was selected for consecration in his first year of eligibility and is the third player in Hall history to be listed at 35 or under. Johnson played nine seasons for the Lions before retiring abruptly after the 2015 season, when he made 88 catches for 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns. He retired in part because of injuries that plagued him throughout his career.

Alan Faneca, who was due to speak next, has been selected nine times to the Pro Bowl and is one of 12 guards in NFL history to have been named to the First Team All Pro six or more times.

Former Packers and Raiders defensive back Charles Woodson was due to close the night. Woodson has been drafted nine times to the Pro Bowl and ended his 18-year career tied for fifth in interceptions with Ken Riley (65). He led the league in interceptions with nine for the Packers in 2009 and won a Super Bowl ring with Green Bay the following season.

Longtime Steelers scout Bill Nunn, who was consecrated as a contributor, was to be posthumously honored with a video tribute at the ceremony. Nunn was a pioneer in scouting who began advising NFL teams on historically black college and university players across the country that he assessed when he was sports editor and editor of the Pittsburgh Courier. Nunn then spent over four decades with the Steelers, and he was a key figure in the team’s dynastic run in the 1970s and returned to the Super Bowl in the decades that followed. He died in 2014.

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