If you're lucky enough to be a football fan for 5 or more years, you know the excitement of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony every year. The immortalizing of a player into football's most distinguished society is a big deal. These players are hand selected by a team of experts, as having been the best during their time in the league and made such an impact on the league that they will be remembered in football history forever.
So with that HOF's Class of 2009
Wide Receiver Bob Hayes: Selected in 1964 by the Dallas Cowboys in the seventh round. Career stats include 7,414 receiving yards and 71 TDs. Born December 20, 1942 in Jacksonville, Florida. Died September 18, 2002, at age of 59.
Guard Randall McDaniel: Selected in 1988 by the Minnesota Vikings in the first round, 19th overall, 1988. Earned all-rookie honors. Started 202 consecutive games and 13 straight playoff games for Vikings. Blocked for six 1,000-yard rushers and five 3,000-yard passers during career. Named All-Pro nine consecutive times (1990-98) Selected to play in a record 12 consecutive AFC-NFC Pro Bowls (1990-2001) Born December 19, 1964 in Phoenix, Arizona. *Also played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers"
Defensive End Bruce Smith: Selected in 1985 by the Buffalo Bills’ as the #1 draft pick overall. Considered one of the most dominant defensive players in NFL history with 200 career sacks is NFL all-time record. NFL Defensive Player of the Year, 1990 and 1996. Named to NFL’s All Decade Teams of the 1980s and 1990s . Selected to 11 Pro Bowls. Born June 18, 1963 in Norfolk, Virginia. *Also played for the Washington Redskins*
Linebacker Derrick Thomas: Selected in 1989 by the Kansas City Chiefs, 4th overall pick. Defensive Rookie of the Year. Led NFL with team record 20 sacks; including NFL record seven sacks in one game, 1990. Named to nine Pro Bowls. Accumulated most sacks in NFL during 1990s with a recorded 126.5 career sacks overall. Born January 1, 1967 in Miami, Florida. Died February 8, 2000, at age of 33.
Ralph Wilson, Jr: One of original founders of American Football League. During his tenure as the Buffalo Bills owner, they won two AFL Championships and an unprecedented 4 straight AFC championships. The Bills 103 regular season wins was the 2nd most in NFL during 1990s. Wilson helped lead the AFL through early years making tough decisions that were necessary for the league’s survival. In January 1965 he began talks with Carroll Rosenbloom, then owner of NFL’s Colts, that eventually resulted in AFL-NFL merger. Born October 17, 1918 in Columbus, Ohio.
AND finally my favorite of this years class, the man who's still a star among men...
Rod Woodson: Selected in 1987 by the Pittsburgh Steelers 10 overall first-round pick. 1993 NFL Defensive Player with a career 71 Intercepted passes. He is the NFL’s all-time leader in interception return yardage with 1,483. Earning All-Pro honors as cornerback, kick returner & safety he was named to 11 Pro Bowls. Born March 10, 1965, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. *He also played for the Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49er's & won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens*
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OF THESE DISTINGUISHED MEN!
The 2009 Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is LIVE on NFL Network.
details about each player provided by ProFootballHOF.com