CANTON, Ohio—Terrell Davis doesn’t need to sweat out his speech Saturday evening to make it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The bronze bust he will receive Saturday will be a nice prize. But the official symbol for entrance into the hallowed halls of Canton is the Gold Jacket No. 305 he received. (The seven new members from the class of 2017 increase the total number of Hall of Famers to 310.)
“I just tried to have a clear mind about it and think about nothing but the moment,’’ Davis said about the ceremony where his presenter and agent Neil Schwartz, took off his suit coat and helped slip on his new Gold Jacket Friday night at the Canton Memorial Civic Center. “You could see when my jacket came off I was pretty excited to get the Gold Jacket on. When you put it on, it makes it official: You’re a Hall of Famer.’’
The former Denver Broncos’ running back was a little emotional as he was on the stage with Hall of Fame president Dave Baker, commissioner Roger Goodell and Schwartz.
“Well, I looked at my wife and when I looked at her she kind of got me a little teary eyed,’’ he said.
After he exchanged man hugs, Davis walked around the stage and delivered his trademark Mile High Salute.
Unlike the other modern-era candidates – LaDainian Tomlinson, Kurt Warner, Jason Taylor and Morten Anderson – Davis had to wait until his 11th year of eligibility to get elected. He made it to the semifinal round of 25 candidates each of his first eight years before he became a three-time 15-candidate finalist.
In the end, waiting and enduring the occasional bouts of frustration no doubt helped him appreciate the honor more than others.
“Absolutely. And that’s part of it,’’ he said. “And then to hear people say that, for a while, I wasn’t even mentioned as a guy that would be here. Yeah, at one point I thought I was never going to make it. And now you’re here, it just makes it that much sweeter.’’
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