Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Enshrinement: 2022 class takes its spot in Canton

From the innovator of the Lambeau Leap to one of the most beloved head coaches in NFL history, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2022 took its rightful place in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday.

Eight new members of the Hall of Fame were enshrined to conclude the most esteemed week on the NFL calendar, as fans, media and the greatest of the greats came out to honor the newest class of football's immortals.

Here are highlights from the class of 2022's speeches and enshrinements:

Dick Vermeil

"To be selected now as the 28thNFL head coach to be put in this position to accept a Hall of Fame honor as a football coach is an expectation I never, ever held high in my life at any time. Two years ago, I started hearing rumors. And I said, 'Well, maybe sometime it'll happen, I don't know.' But, you know, I just never put myself in the same category of those other 27 coaches, so I am deeply in debt to so many contributors to my career. In fact, I'm so in debt to so many people, in the time that they allotted me to speak, I won't be able to cover all the bases adequately."

"Head coach, in training camp, left training camp, flew here to say congratulations to me personally last night. I have never had, in my coaching career, a better display of respect for someone else in the profession that you are in than what Andy Reid did for me last night. It will always touch me. Thank you."

"In closing, let me say I will forever be appreciative and grateful for this honor. And about the only thing that will make me feel a little better about me standing here as the 28thNFL Hall of Fame football coach is when I see Mike Holmgren come in, when I see Dan Reeves come in, when I see Marty Schottenheimer come in, when I see Mike Shanahan come in, when I see Tom Coughlin come in, when I see George Seifert come in, when I see Don Coryell come in. Because, believe me, if I deserve it, so do they."

"Thank all you Hall of Famers. Harold Carmichael, where are you buddy? Hey, we're hooked at the hip. Kurt Warner, his story is true. Where would I be without Kurt Warner? I wouldn't be standing here. So, gosh, thank you for the contributions all you guys made."

Cliff Branch

Speech by Cliff Branch's sister, Elaine Anderson:

"Clifford was delayed, but not denied. The first thing I heard him say was, 'Thank you, God.' He never, ever gave up on his dream."

"Today is bittersweet, because we miss our beloved Clifford and sweet because it is now history. I want to tell you, there's a sweet spirit in this place today. Our Clifford, No. 21 would not miss his enshrinement for nothing. He longed for this day and 21 is seated front and center with Al Davis and John Madden."

"Clifford was drafted by the Oakland Raiders, and when this occurred, his blood turned silver and black. It was Al Davis who said, 'The fire that burns brightest is the will to win.' Clifford was born with the will to win."

"Last, but not least, a special thanks to the Pro Football Hall of Fame committee for selecting Clifford Branch. Wow, what a legacy he leaves. Today is perfect."

Bryant Young

"There isn't time today to properly honor teammates, some sitting here. All I'll say for now is I never, ever wanted to let you down. Thank you. And to my opponents: utmost respect. It meant a lot to learn that several offensive linemen I faced over the years spoke up for my candidacy. Thank you so much. Finally, the 49er faithful: Let's win another Super Bowl."

"We assured (Young's son) Colby we'd keep his memory alive and continue speaking his name. On Oct. 11, 2016, God called Colby home. Colby ... you live on in our hearts. We will always speak your name."

"From my pain I found purposes. Letting someone grab my hand is as important as reaching for theirs. In an isolated world, personal connections matter more than ever. I keep my gaze on Christ and pour myself into good works, including the pediatric brain tumor foundations. And I've learned to trust God's plan and timing, not mine. In this, my 10thof eligibility, I enter the Hall as a member of its 22 ... 2022 ... 22, it was Colby's favorite number. Thank you."

Tony Boselli

"There's nothing more important, there's nothing more powerful than the support and love of my family, in all its forms throughout my 50 years, is why I'm here today as the first Jacksonville Jaguar to be welcomed as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It's a profound honor."

"Tom (Coughlin), you were a pain to play for at times, though. You were hard, you had high standards, a bunch of silly rules I never agreed with. You were difficult to play for, but you know what, I always respected you. And you made us winners and I'm more grateful for you coach with every passing year."

"I was born Don Bosco Anthony Boselli Jr. The best part of my name, though, is Junior. To my dad, Tony Boselli Sr., whose great fight with cancer was decided on May 31, 2021, and whose impact on my childhood and career could never be adequately expressed, thank you Dad. Thank you for everything. I'm happier in the comfort of God. I know you're here, but man, I wish you were here with me. I miss you, I love you and on this, one of the greatest days of my life, I honor your memory and thank you for the greatest gift of all, and that's family."

Art McNally

Speech by Shannon O'Hara, Art McNally's granddaughter:

"On behalf of the McNally family, we are proud to be in Canton representing Art. He is watching back at home with a great anticipation of his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He wanted to share this: He loved officiating, what it meant to football and his life."

Speech by Art McNally via video:

"I've been very fortunate having a career for many years in football. Consistently, one of the finest staff of officials throughout the country. I know from the dedication, the love of the game, the desire to go out onto the field every weekend to see to it that the game is played according to the rules of the National Football League. I'd also like to say that when they officiate, they officiate for those players on the field and for those respected coaches on the sideline who have tremendous pressure on them. And finally, to the number of people throughout the country, the millions of our fans, whose passion and love of the game has made it so great, I am extremely fortunate to have been in this position. And once again, I'd like to thank the Hall of Fame. This the biggest thing I think for an official. Doing the job, hopefully nobody's even going to know you're around, make the calls the proper way the way they should be, with a heavy dose of common sense."

Richard Seymour

"Thank you Pro Football Hall of Fame, I'm honored to be here. I'm overwhelmed today with humility. Not because what this moment says about me, but what this moment says about we and what we can do together. I'm overwhelmed today with gratitude, because I didn't get here alone. None of us did, none of us could have."

"Class of 2022, they say you can judge a man by the company he keeps. I couldn't be among better company than you. It's a privilege to have my name bound forever with yours in the Pro Football Hall of Fame."

"We had a young quarterback, but we made it work. Together we were in constant pursuit of that edge. That edge ... we called ourselves, 'The edgers.' That edge was our culture. You see, we felt a sense of responsibility to each other. A sense of obligation. None of us wanted to be the person to let the team down, to let our brothers down, and that defined us. We never cared who got the accolades as long as we got the 'W.'"

"And of course, this wouldn't have happened if it wasn't for coach [Bill] Belichick. Coach, you're the best coach in the game. The lessons that I've learned from you set me up for success, not just in the game, but in life. Work hard, be meticulous in your preparation, support your teammates, respect your opponents and put the team first. Coach, thank you for everything you've taught me."

Sam Mills

Speech by Sam Mills' widow, Melanie Mills:

"You've already heard a lot of statistics, but today I want to talk to you about the humanity of one man. On the surface, the Sam Mills story is a story of a man who was told that he wasn't good enough, good enough to play college football or that he wasn't big enough to play professional football. And at the age of 27, he wasn't young enough for the NFL. And yet, here we are today, celebrating him. That's because Sam worked harder than his peers, he took advantage of every opportunity, he became a legendary athlete."

"From the Philadelphia Stars to the New Orleans Saints to the Carolina Panthers, if you were working hard at anything, Sam would let you know he appreciated your hard work. You could be a teammate, a coach, a ball boy, a security guard. He would make you feel seen. It's no wonder that Sam inspired so many people or that the Panthers adopted his motto, 'Keep Pounding.'"

"He led by example and people followed. He was more than just a great football player, he was a father, a friend, a husband. And a leader who always kept poundin', no matter what the odds were. So, thank you for this honor, for believing in Sam and for helping to keep his story alive. Keep poundin' everyone, that's what Sam would want you to do."

LeRoy Butler

"When you play for the Green Bay Packers, a lot of doors open up. When you win a Super Bowl, all doors open up. But when you make the Hall of Fame, football heaven opens up. You wanna know why? Just guess. It's rare company. There's only 362 guys in the Hall of Fame and I'm No. 357."

"I want to thank the fans. Without you, there is no LeRoy Butler. And again, my teammates. You saw Gilbert Brown. My teammates, I love y'all. Where else could you go -- the ultimate team sport -- that I can have a bad game, every now and then -- don't Google it -- and my other 10 teammates carry me. So my teammates, I love you."

"The voters, thanks you. Sixteen years is a long time, but it's worth the wait."

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