Back From Football Immortality

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 9, 2010 – 7:58 am

I’ve returned to Vikings training camp in Mankato, MN after another great Pro Football Hall of Fame Weekend in Canton, Ohio, which has now become one of my favorite weekends of the year after attending last year’s enshrinement ceremony of Randall McDaniel and then this year’s enshrinement of John Randle.

I won’t give a step-by-step account of my trip – check out the Vikings official Twitter account (@VikingsFootball) for that – but I will tell you that it was a tremendous weekend. Randle was a fan-favorite for his entire career in Minnesota and his path to the Hall of Fame is one that not many take. He is from a town of 150 people in rural Texas, wasn’t recruited by major college football programs, went undrafted and was considered too small to ever play in the NFL.

Ultimately, though, Randle became the face of the Vikings defense for nearly a decade and now he’s a Hall of Famer. Although this is said about a lot of people, I truly believe it about John – it couldn’t have happened to a better person. Randle has always been great to me and the Vikings and his wife, Candace, has been a great support to Randle and also to the organization.

On top of watching Randle go into the Hall of Fame, I also got to see the best RB and the best WR of all time (in my opinion) go into the Hall of Fame together. It was quite the site to see Emmitt Smith and Jerry Rice go in together. The fanfare in Canton for those 2 players and those 2 teams was quite remarkable.

Other members of the Class of 2010 were:
Russ Grimm – one of Joe Gibbs’ “Hogs” along the offensive line who was a true leader for the Redskins during their glory years.
Ricky Jackson – an underrated LB for the New Orleans Saints.
Dick LeBeau – a great safety for the Detroit Lions and respected defensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Floyd Little – a RB for the Denver Broncos who became the first Denver RB to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

I’ll close this entry with 2 more thoughts:

1) One reason I love Hall of Fame weekend is because of the opportunity to learn. As much as I’ve followed the NFL in my life, there is still so much I don’t know. Attending Hall of Fame weekend is a true learning experience that opens my mind to other eras, players and teams that comprise the great history of the NFL and football in America.

2) The emotion is palpable in Canton. The players who are enshrined are the game’s greatest warriors, but they are humble and emotional during the enshrinement as they look back at their careers and thank those who helped them along the way. I think players fear the day that their careers end because there’s no going back and experiencing the good times, the times of teamwork and camaraderie and the blood, sweat and tears. They know that one day those days will die. But Hall of Famers don’t suffer that fate. When they’re enshrined, their careers become immortal. They’re part of an exclusive club of great players who will live forever in NFL history. And it’s at the enshrinement ceremony where they first realize this and experience the emotion that accompanies it. They are truly humbled at that point and truly thankful for the aide they’ve received along the way. I love watching those Hall of Famers experience that.

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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 10 Comments »

10 Responses to “Back From Football Immortality”

  1. By Keith on Aug 9, 2010 | Reply

    I realize it is just your opinion, but Emmitt Smith is not the best RB of all time. He may not be in the top five. Several RBs would likely have better numbers than Emmitt if they ran behind Larry Allen and Erik Williams.

  2. By Purple Nation on Aug 9, 2010 | Reply

    It’s so true what Keith said ^! Everything always starts at the line! If the Vikings had the same protection at the line and all the time in the world to make decisions (Like manning or brees) then we would’ve already won the SB by now and Adrian Peterson would’ve already surpassed that so-called CJ2k’s mark!!!


    ~sKoL Vikings~

  3. By Carl K on Aug 9, 2010 | Reply

    I think Floyd Little and his son are very gifted motivational speakers. I enjoyed what they both shared with us on that special evening.

  4. By radzinwisconsin on Aug 9, 2010 | Reply

    There ya go Mike Lynn you dummy!

  5. By mikewobschall on Aug 9, 2010 | Reply

    Emmitt was MVP, rushing king, Super Bowl winner and Super Bowl MVP all in the same season. He won 3 Super Bowls. He won 4 rushing titles. He had 11 consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and he’s the NFL’s all-time leading rusher. You can claim it’s all because of the O-line, but I think that’s not giving the runner enough credit. He had great longevity and great production and he’s the NFL’s all-time rushing king. To me, he’s the greatest RB of all-time.

  6. By kw on Aug 9, 2010 | Reply

    no, jim brown is the best to me, more of a pure football player

  7. By kw on Aug 9, 2010 | Reply

    in fact i think jim brown is the best football player of all time

  8. By kw on Aug 9, 2010 | Reply

    in fact i think jim brown is the best football player of all time……

  9. By SBboundvikes on Aug 10, 2010 | Reply

    Great article Mike; thanks for the interesting perspective thru your 2nd thought/comment above about once these players retire and when enshrinement occures and part of the Hall of Fame.
    Emmitt Smith was fun to watch and he sure loved the game. Glad that he was enshrined with our Viking John Randle, who I’ve never doubted would make it. Go Vikes!

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