Courtesy of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame
DALLAS - Pomp, pageantry, and literal and emotional fireworks ruled the day this past weekend in South Bend, Ind., as thousands of football fans from across the country flocked to the College Football Hall of Fame for the 16th Annual Enshrinement Festival July 16-17. Celebrating the storied careers of 24 of the game's greatest stars, family, friends and admirers seized the opportunity to get up close and personal with the inductees during a wide-range of intimate events staged by the National Football Foundation (NFF).
"Enshrinement at the College Football Hall of Fame represents the pinnacle of achievement in our sport," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "And we celebrated big time this past weekend with some the greatest legends to ever set foot on the collegiate gridiron. The memories created this past weekend will last a lifetime for inductees and fans alike. It was truly special, and we want to thank the thousands of supporters who turned out for their enthusiastic participation."
The jam-packed weekend included a celebrity golf tournament, downtown block party, a fan festival, a grand parade, a youth football clinic, a pep rally, a fireworks spectacular with the celebration culminating with the Enshrinement Dinner & Show on Saturday evening. The Ohio State contingent, on hand to celebrate the induction of Buckeye linebacker Chris Spielman, made their presence felt busing in hundreds of fans who could be found everywhere wearing ubiquitous silver and scarlet No. 36 jerseys.
"The turnout this year was spectacular, and fans savored every moment of the weekend," said College Football Hall of Fame Executive DirectorLisa Klunder. "We are deeply appreciative of all the support from the City of South Bend and the local residents who shared in this celebration."
The Goshen Marching Band gave a rousing performance during the parade, taking control of four-lane Saint Joseph Street in front of the hall and winning accolades from emcees Mike Golic, the ESPN commentator from Mike & Mike in the Morning, and WNDU-TV Sports Director Jeff Jeffers. The evening show featured Mark May, a 2005 inductee into the Hall and a current ESPN commentator, who joined Jesse Palmer, a former Florida quarterback who now makes a living on the ESPN airwaves, entertaining the audience as they challenged the hall of fame class to recall some of their greatest memories.
The NFF also joined with the Football Writers of Association of America (FWAA) in utilizing the event's national stage to present the FWAA's Bert McGrane Award to the late Tom Mickle, the former head of Florida Citrus Sports. Mickle's widow, Jill, accepted the Bert McGrane Award, presented to an FWAA member who has performed great service to the organization or the writing profession, from FWAA President Tim Griffin.
Ed Dyas, a member of the enshrinement class from Auburn could not be in attendance, but he sent a taped message about profound significance of what it means to be a hall of famer. He was represented by teammates Ken Rice, a two-time First Team All-American defensive lineman, and John McGeever, a halfback for the Tigers in the backfield with Dyas, at the event. Milt Morin, a divisional inductee from the University of Massachusetts, unexpectedly passed away the week before the events. He was represented by his wife Ellen and daughter Ellen during the ceremonies.
The event received unprecedented media coverage. ESPN SportsCenter, ESPN College Football Live and ESPNEWS all ran multiple features on the event. CBS Newspath and ESPN combined to provide more than six hours of satellite time, allowing local affiliates around the country to access to the entire show and to engage in two-way talk backs with the inductees who played in their markets. All of the other major news services, including ABC NewsOne, NBC NewsChannel, Sports News Service, CNN Newsource, and Fox Feed accessed the feed for their affiliates. XOS Digitial, a leading provider of digital technologies for sports teams, streamed the event live to their Web site, and XM Sirius Satellite Radio broadcasted live from the event for the second year in a row.
Many notable names were in attendance at the various events, includingJack Lengyel, an NFF Board Member and the former head coach at Marshall; Tony Alba, the Fiesta Bowl director of media operations; George Bork, a College Football Hall of Fame inductee from Northern Illinois University; McKinley Boston, the New Mexico State athletics director; Greg Byrne, the University of Arizona athletics director; Harry Carson, a College Football Hall of Fame inductee from South Carolina State; Rick Chryst, the former commissioner of the Mid-American Conference; Mike Haywood, the Miami (Ohio) head coach; Steve Hogan, the Florida Citrus Sports CEO; Edward Leonard, Bethany College (Kan.) president; Coach Fred Martinelli, a College Football Hall of Fame inductee from Ashland University (Ohio); Mal Moore, the University of Alabama athletics director; Malcolm Moran, the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society at Penn State; Alan Pinkett, former Notre Dame running back and current radio color commentator for Notre Dame football; Johnny Rodgers, a College Football Hall of Famer inductee and the 1972 Heisman winner from the University of Nebraska; Freddie Scott, a College Football Hall of Fame inductee from Amherst (Mass.); Rick Spielman, Minnesota Vikings vice president of player personnel and brother of Chris, the 2010 enshrinee; and Chris Zorich, a College Football Hall of Fame inductee from Notre Dame.
2010 FOOTBALL BOWL SUBDIVISION ENSHRINEMENT CLASS
PERVIS ATKINS - HB, New Mexico State (1959-60)
TIM BROWN - WR, Notre Dame (1984-87)
CHUCK CECIL - DB, Arizona (1984-87)
ED DYAS - FB, Auburn (1958-60)
MAJOR HARRIS - QB, West Virginia (1987-89)
GORDON HUDSON - TE, Brigham Young (1980-83)
WILLIAM LEWIS* - C, Harvard (1892-93)
WOODROW LOWE - LB, Alabama (1972-75)
KEN MARGERUM - WR, Stanford (1977-80)
STEVE McMICHAEL - DT, Texas (1976-79)
CHRIS SPIELMAN - LB, Ohio State (1984-87)
LARRY STATION - LB, Iowa (1982-85)
PAT SWILLING - DE, Georgia Tech (1982-85)
GINO TORRETTA - QB, Miami (Fla.) (1989-92)
CURT WARNER - RB, Penn State (1979-82)
GRANT WISTROM - DE, Nebraska (1994-97)
DICK MacPHERSON - 111-73-5 (.601) - Massachusetts (1971-77), Syracuse (1981-90)
JOHN ROBINSON - 132-77-4 (.629) - Southern California (1976-82, 1993-97), Nevada-Las Vegas (1999-2004)
2010 DIVISIONAL ENSHRINEMENT CLASS
EMERSON BOOZER - Maryland Eastern Shore, HB (1962-65)
TROY BROWN - Marshall, WR (1991-92)
BRIAN KELLEY - California Lutheran, LB (1969-72)
MILT MORIN * - Massachusetts, TE (1963-65)
WILLIE JEFFRIES - 179-132-6 (.574); Howard (1984-88), Wichita State (1979-83), South Carolina State (1973-78, 1989-2001)
TED KESSINGER - 219-57-1 (.792); Bethany (Kan.) (1976-2003)