Former Pittsburgh Steelers guard Alan Faneca made a big announcement Tuesday, as he named former teammate Hines Ward as his Hall of Fame presenter.
Faneca joined The Cook & Joe Show on 93.7 The Fan on Tuesday to elaborate on the selection, while also discussing his own NFL Draft experiment and lifelong battle with epilepsy.
While Faneca admits it was difficult to narrow down his options, he says Ward rose to the top of his list as the natural choice after months of thought and consideration.
“The more I thought about it, the more I thought about Hines. And what we’ve done and gone through together,” he said. “Just how special it would be to have him do it. And that’s how I got to him.”
Faneca said Ward was initially surprised by the request, but excited and honored all the same.
“He was floored a little bit,” Faneca said. “I caught him off guard. … He called me back afterwards a couple minutes later. Still had a whole bunch of questions. He was still floored and just excited.”
His next goal is getting Ward himself in football’s greatest fraternity.
“We’re gonna keep on working on it, keep on plugging away until it happens,” Faneca said. “Because it’s gotta happen.”
Faneca also discussed his lifelong battle with epilepsy, which came to the forefront again in recent weeks after he shared encouragement for former Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, who also has the disorder.
Faneca took exception to news of Field’s diagnosis coming out as a critique in the lead up to the NFL Draft, calling it “dirty.”
“It just irked me a little bit,” he said. “It is the season where things like that start to come out… It’s a little dirty in how it comes out. But that is what it is right now in the NFL. He’s gonna be fine. He’s been fine. He wouldn’t have been able to do the things he’s done through high school and college had he not had ownership of it and (been) taking care of it himself.”
He once again echoed support and shared advice for the young quarterback and other living with epilepsy.
“There is nothing to be ashamed of if you do have it,” he said. “The best thing you can do is to talk about it, so that people know and it’s not as scary.”
Faneca will be presented by Ward and officially inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame at the Enshrinement Ceremony in August.