Steelers Inductees Reminisce on Careers, Make Cases for Others at Hall of Fame Roundtable
CANTON, Ohio — As is customary during enshrinement weekend for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the inductees gathered together at the Canton Memorial Civic Center to reminisce on Sunday. Like everything else during the weekend this year, this roundtable event was bigger, including both the 2020 and 2021 classes.
With so many Steelers greats entering the Hall of Fame this year as part of this combined class weekend, it was important for Steelers Now to be in attendance. Among the highlights of the roundtable session was when Troy Polamalu, who became a popular figure all weekend, even for non Steelers fans, after he surprised the parade crowd Saturday morning and was able to deliver his speech in person, detailed how a tackle he made on a then veteran receiver Isaac Bruce provided him the affirmative that he belonged in the NFL while in the midst of a tough rookie season. Ironically, Polamalu was telling this story while sharing the stage with Bruce, as the two ended up being elected in the same class.
The question that elicited the loudest reaction from the mostly Steeler fan crowd was one each inductee was able to answer: which player, coach or contributor would you like to see immortalized in Canton and join you as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame? Alan Faneca and Polamalu both took that opportunity to shout out Hines Ward and L.C Greenwood, two former Steelers players many fans and media believe deserve the honor and recognition.
Oddly enough, Calvin Johnson, who has no connection to the Steelers and became a first ballot Hall of Famer due to his freakish ability and jaw dropping statistical dominance, echoed what others said about Ward. Johnson feels it is not far to judge Ward solely off the stats since he played the position differently and was often like another lineman.
Bill Cowher agreed with Ward, but offered another plea to see a bust for his mentor the late Marty Shottenheimer in the Hall of Fame one day. Cowher, much like did during his induction speech Saturday night, brought up that, even though he was not fortunate enough to lead a team to a Super Bowl himself, 4 coaches who learned from him, which includes Cowher himself, eventually won a Super Bowl.