July 30, 2014 Louisville, KY.
Quotes from the Class of 2014 NFL Hall of Fame
Strahan (on if being a Hall of Famer will change his life)
Its incredible. Football changed my life,period. And now Im sure this will definitely change my life as well. I just think about being recognized as one of the best thats ever played in the greatest sport in our country, and being respected for the way that you played it. That in itself changes my life. Maybe not for anybody else, but it does for me, and thats very important to me. I dont know whats going to happen from here on out. I guess well see everything that hits. Its one of those things thats overwhelming at first. But once the Super Bowl is over and once I have a chance to sit back and reflect, and have some time off to think about it, then I think all of the emotions are really going to hit me.
(Ray Guy: on if its gratifying for a punter to make it into the Hall of Fame)
Yes, it is gratifying to now see a punter go into the Hall of Fame, but then again, whether it was me or somebody else, they needed representation in that position. Basically, you look at a football
team and you had so many players that are on a team at one time and theyre all in a position, but that was one position that never was filled. A lot of people would overlook that and this and that and the other, and of course I go back to my college days and high school days; I played football. I was a quarterback in high school, and I was a safety in college. So, when I got with the Raiders and was strictly a punter, I still knew the importance of that position and what it could do for you one or two times during the course of a game, how important that one play was. So now what I think is going to happen is that its going to give the younger generation, the punters and the placekickers and the snappers and all of that I (have) worked with them in the summer for 20 years and its giving them hope now. There is a place for us, and now its more recognized and it should be from now on. Its more recognized that its a very important position. If thats the dream you want, then lets go fulfill it. I hope to God that I am somebody that will help them along.
(Andre Reed: on what waiting for this award was like and what it means to Buffalo)
The Hall of Fame is such a prestigious institution. You can only have 270-something guys.
Yes, Ive waited. But, my dad always told me that patience is a virtue and good things come to
those who wait. I was part of some great teams. I was (with) some great players. Buffalo is a
small market, but that city was one of the best cities to play for in the National Football
League. These guys know, they played up in Buffalo. It didnt matter what the weather was. It
was cold. We used that to our advantage. To see Bruce (Smith) and Thurman (Thomas) and
the guys that I went to war with every single Sunday and these guys are immortalized in the
Pro Football Hall of Fame, to me now to be there with them, there is nothing better. Next to
my kids being born, there is nothing better than this. Nothing better.
(Aeneas Williams: on how he found out about the award)
Well, first of all, for the Hall of Fame they have you go to the hotel. Many people dont know what I dreaded the most was going to the stadium five hours early to sit in the locker room. Now, to wait for the call, its kind of like Batman on the phone. But when, I think it was Steve from the Hall of Fame committee that made the call and then finding out also that Kent, Texas Southern (which is) 1-AA, Michael Strahan, Texas Southern, now Southern University; three guys from historically black colleges going into this Hall of Fame class is pretty amazing. My wife and I, when we got the call, tears of joy fell down just thanking God for this opportunity. Thank you.
(Derrick Brooks: on if the reality of being inducted met his expectations)
First, I thank you. Many say that your career is written, but I always said that somebody has to sit in front of his collegues and tell his story, so I thank you for that. Its hard to imagine me playing this game and my spirit not realizing is a team, and I guess I cant bring my teammates in here with me, but their spirits are. I think its ok for me to accept this award on my personal behalf. With that being said, Im always thinking of those guys, and I will do my best to enjoythe moment for Derrick. It still hasnt hit me yet to be honest with you, until I hug Warren(Sapps) neck here behind the curtain. Im just going to do the best I can to enjoy the moment for myself knowing that I think so much of my team all the time.
(Walter Jones: on what it means to him to go in his first round and while his team is
Its been a long journey for me to be at this point. Coming into the league, all I wanted
to do was get here and play in this game to say I could play in this game. For me to be here
now, and for my team that I started with and finished with to be in the Super Bowl, is just like
the icing on the cake. It has been fun, and Im enjoying the moment and just taking it all in.
(Claude Humphrey: on waiting a long time for this and what this means to him)
I never really gave up hope. I always figured that there was a place for me here. It has been a
long time, and it has been a lot of disappointments after being nominated so many times and
always getting to the finals and missing. Getting to the finals and getting in is such a great
experience for me. I tell you what, its hard to explain.
CLASS OF 2014 ENSHRINEMENT CEREMONY Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium –
Date: Saturday, Aug. 2
Time: 7 p.m.
TV channel: NFL Network and ESPN2
NFL/HALL OF FAME GAME Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium
Date: Sunday, Aug. 3
Time: 8 p.m.
TV channel: NBC