The wait is over. As is tradition, the National Football League announced the newest class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, on the evening prior to the Super Bowl. On Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015, it was made official. The 2015 Pro Football hall of Fame class will be made up of former players Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Junior Seau, Will Shields, and Charles Haley. Former Minnesota Vikings center Mick Tingelhoff was elected by the Veteran’s committee.
Joining the six players, will be Ron Wolf and Bill Polian. Wolf was GM of the Green Bay Packers during the Brett Favre era. Polian was GM of the Indianapolis Colts during the Peyton Manning era. Both will go into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as “contributors”; this is the designation for someone who was not selected for reasons other than having been a player or a coach.
Five players, Kurt Warner, Tony Dungy, Kevin Greene, Marvin Harrison,and Orlando Pace made it to the final vote before being eliminated.
Of the five players elected, only Jerome Bettis and Charles Haley have Super Bowl rings. Bettis earned his ring in Super Bowl XL, which was his final season in the NFL. Haley, who was finally elected after 11 years of eligibility, is still the answer to a great NFL trivia question – He is the only player in NFL history to have played on five Super Bowl-winning teams. Haley won rings with the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowls XXIII and XIV; and three with Dallas, in Super Bowls XXVII, XXVII and XXX.
The 2015 class will be formally inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH on August 8, 2015 at 4:00 pm PT.
Nicknamed “The Bus”, running back Jerome Bettis was a six-time Pro Bowler and twice a 1st team All-Pro. Bettis amassed 13,662 rushing yards in his 13-year NFL career. His Pittsburgh Steelers team won Super Bowl XL on Feb. 5, 2006 at Ford Field in his hometown of Detroit, MI. During postgame interviews, he announced his retirement.
DE Charles Haley was part of the San Francisco 49ers team which beat John Elway’s Denver Broncos 55-10 in Super Bowl XXIV. In his career, Haley earned 100 sacks, made five Pro Bowls, and was twice named defensive player of the year. He remains the only player to have played on five Super Bowl winning teams.
WR Tim Brown was a Heisman Trophy winner at Notre Dame. He was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection and a member of the 1990’s All-decade team. He played in one Super Bowl (XXXVII) and had over 1000 catches and caught over 100 TD passes in his NFL career.
The late Junior Seau was a great, mobile linebacker who played his college ball at USC. Seau played in two Super Bowls with two different teams. He played in Super Bowl XXIX with San Diego, and in Super Bowl XLII with New England. Seau was a 12-time Pro Bowler and an eight-time 1st Team All-Pro.
Junior Seau chased the ring
Pictured here with DB Assante Samuel in the wake of Super Bowl XLII, Seau was part of the New England Patriots team which went undefeated during the regular season, but lost in Super Bowl XLII to the Eli Manning-led New York Giants. As great as Seau was, the Super Bowl ring eluded him.
Guard Will Shields played his entire career with the Kansas City Chiefs. He made 12 straight Pro Bowls from 1995 – 2006. Shields was a member of the 2000’s All-Decade team.