The Pro Football Hall of Fame has announced the class of 2015, and this is one for the ages. Making the cut this year are Jerome Bettis, Junior Seau, Charles Haley, Tim Brown, Will Shields, Bill Polian, Ron Wolf and Mick Tingelhoff. The announcement was made the day before the Super Bowl after the 46-person selection committee debated over nine hours over 18 finalists.
Jerome Bettis began his NFL career with the Rams in 1993 but is best known for his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1996 to 2005. During his career, “The Bus”, earned six Pro Bowl appearances and led the Steelers to a Super Bowl Championship in 2006. After helping the Steelers to a championship he decided to go out on top, hanging up his cleats for good shortly after he and his team brought the trophy back to Pittsburgh.
Tim Brown played his college football at Notre Dame and became the first wide receiver in history to capture the Heisman Trophy, accomplishing that feat in 1987. In 1988 he was a first round selection and went on to enjoy a decorated 17-year NFL career. Currently he ranks 5th all-time in career receiving yards with 14,934, and is the NFL record holder for most consecutive games with a reception with 147.
Will Shields is a 12-time Pro Bowl player and two-time All-Pro offensive guard. In 1993 he was drafted in the third round and went on to play all 14 of his NFL seasons with the Kansas City chiefs. During his career he started all but one of his 224 career games at guard, and earned his way on to the NFL 2000’s All-Decade Team.
Mick Tingelhoff was the only nominee from the senior committee and joins the Hall of Fame at age 74. During his career he was one of the best centers in the league, making 240 consecutive starts and playing in all four of the Minnesota Vikings Super Bowls in the 1970’s. IN 1969 he helped the Vikings to a Super Bowl title, reaching the pinnacle of his NFL career.
Ron Wolf is being inducted in the Contributors category, and is widely considered to be one of the finest personnel men in the history of the game. During his 23 seasons with the Raiders he helped his team to Super Bowl titles in 1976, 1980 and 1983. He also spent 10 seasons with the Green Bay Packers as the general manager, in which he helped his team to a win in Super Bowl XXXI.
Bill Polian is also being inducted in the Contributors category as the former general manager of the Buffalo Bills and President of the Indianapolis Colts. During his time in the league he had the reputation for building franchises into dominant playoff teams. While serving as the general manager for Buffalo Bills he helped them to four consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the early 1990’s. From 1995 to 1997 he served in that same role with the Carolina Panthers before being named the President of the Indianapolis Colts in 1998. He went on to help build the Colts Super Bowl XLI championship team.
Seau is the only member of the class that will be inducted posthumously. During his 20-year career he was one of the most popular players in the league, earning NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1992 and earning a spot on the NFL 1990’s All-Decade Team. Seau tragically took his own life in 2012 at the age of 43. An investigation into his death showed that Seau suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which was the result of multiple concussions and blows to the head during his NFL career.
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Watch the 2015 Hall of Fame Inductees Speaking: