Dermontti Dawson and Jack Butler, the two newest Steelers to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, went in with a touch of class Saturday night.
Dawson, a seven-time Pro Bowl center, paid tribute to the player he replaced, the late Mike Webster, who is also a Hall of Fame center.
"Mike taught me how to be a true professional, whether he knew it or not," Dawson said. "I observed Mike each day and saw how he approached every aspect of the game. Mike used to be the first ones in the weight room in the mornings, first ones in the meetings."
Dawson added, "I tried to emulate everything Mike did. Mike had a profound impact on my life and even today I still try to lead by example and be like Mike. Thank you, my friend, for playing and living with honor. We miss you."
Butler, one of the best cornerbacks in the 1950s, could have stood on stage for as long as he wanted considering he waited 52 years to be enshrined. But his speech was the shortest of the night. It was 337 heartfelt words (as compared to Cortez Kennedy's 2,943-word soliloquy that included a shout-out to his childhood doctor).
"I never envisioned being here in Canton," Butler said. "This induction is the highest honor I have achieved in my professional career."
The 84-year-old Butler wrapped up by saying, "I am grateful and very proud to be part of this great Class of 2012, and I congratulate the five tremendous men who join me here. I am thankful to God for all that I have been given throughout my life. I am thankful for the support of my family and friends. ... Heck, I'm thankful I'm here."