Sunday, August 3, 2008

2008 Hall Of Fame Ceremony

CANTON, Ohio -- The Hall of Fame induction ceremony turned Hog wild Saturday.

Darrell Green and Art Monk walked across the stage waving their arms and urged thousands of Washington Redskins fans to give them one more salute. Emmitt Thomas, the former Chiefs player and Redskins coach, simply waved back.

And they applauded the three other inductees without Washington ties - Fred Dean, Andre Tippett and Gary Zimmerman - knowing they would have fit in with the Redskins' blue-collar reputation.

Green, the oldest cornerback in league history (42) when he retired in 2002, spoke of the deaths of two close friends from his childhood days and the deaths last year of two former teammates - Kevin Mitchell and Sean Taylor.

As usual, Green did his own thing though. The only player in the '08 class selected in his first year of eligibility was also the only one to cry, and he was proud of it.

Darrell Green
Position: Cornerback
Teams: Washington Redskins
Years: 1983 to 2002
Seasons: 20
Honors and achievements:
• First-round pick in 1983 draft
• Had at least one INT in 19 straight seasons
• Selected to seven Pro Bowls

"Can I tell you today, at the expense of sounding real self-righteous, I belong here? I belong here. I belong here because I know what to do with it. I know what to do with God's fame, with God's dollars, with God's visibility, God's influence and relationships. I know what to do with it."

Art Monk
Position: Wide receiver
Teams: Redskins/Jets/Eagles
Years: 1980 to 1995
Seasons: 16
Honors and achievements:
• First-round pick in 1980 draft
• Had at least one catch in 164 straight games
• Had five 1,000-yard receiving season

What I've tried to convey to those who were upset about the process was that I was okay with it. But in all due respect, that as great as this honor is, it's not what really defines who I am or the things that I've been able to accomplish in my life. I'll always be known as a Redskin."

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