Sunday, February 5, 2012
Hall of Fame worth the wait for Jack Butler
By Jamison Hensley
INDIANAPOLIS -- Before yesterday's Hall of Fame class was named, former Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown tweeted not to watch the announcement because he wasn't selected.
It seems Brown is mad that he wasn't selected in his third year of eligibility. If you took Brown's advice and didn't watch, you missed out on Steelers defensive back Jack Butler getting elected into the Hall of Fame after a 52-year wait. Yes, more than a half century.
Butler, 84, one of two senior nominees, was a four-time Pro Bowl player who retired after the 1959 season. His election was refreshing compared to the players today who expect to make it.
"I never, ever, ever thought I would be here. I just didn't think that would be the reality," Butler said. "When I was a kid, I dreamed about being a big, strong, good football player. I dreamed of about going to Canton, Ohio, and being in the Hall of Fame. But I never, ever down deep believed what I was dreaming."
Butler was named one of the 33 greatest Steelers of all time in 2008. His 52 interceptions were the second-most in the NFL at the time his career ended. With 52 interceptions in 103 games, Butler has the best interception rate (50.5 percent) of any player in the Hall of Fame.
“Jack was one player,” longtime Pittsburgh executive Dan Rooney said, via the team's website, “who could have played with the great Steelers teams of the 1970s.”