NFC North: Gary Zimmerman
|Kirby Lee/Image of Sport/US Presswire|
|Gary Zimmerman (left) and presenter Pat Bowlen (right) pose with the bust following his enshirement at the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Fawcett Stadium.|
Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
CANTON, Ohio -- Saturday obviously was a celebrated day for the Washington Redskins, but there were several highlights from today's other 2008 Hall of Fame inductees.
Here were the notables:
- Former New England Patriots linebacker Andre Tippett was introduced by team owner Robert Kraft, who explained how Tippett impacted the franchise.
"We had two Hall of Fame quarterbacks in our division in Jim Kelly and Dan Marino, and he completely changed the passing attack of those two teams," Kraft said. "Once [Tippett] joined the joined the team, the New England Patriots improved dramatically."
- Former defensive end Fred Dean promised early in his speech that he wouldn't cry Saturday. He held true to his declaration for a special reason.
"Because I know there's a wager waged somewhere [that I would]," Dean said.
- Five-time Pro Bowler Emmitt Thomas mentioned his rough upbringing and his ability to persevere to lead him to this day.
"Growing up, I was resentful and angry at other families around us because they seemed fully intact," Thomas said. "I'd often lay awake at night wondering why our family had to be different.
"But I came to the stark realization that the good Lord wanted us to be reared and raised under the guiding hands of my grandfathered, who in his own right was a giant of a man."
- Newly inducted Hall of Fame tackle Gary Zimmerman addressed how he used smarts and technique to overcome a bad left shoulder injury that could have otherwise cut short his 12-year career.
- As a final goodbye, a group of Washington Redskins fans sang "Hail to the Redskins" in the corner of the end zone in Fawcett Stadium as Darrell Green was doing interviews with the NFL Network.
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Here at Green Bay Packers training camp, coaches and players alike are hoping they are nearing the end of the Brett Favre saga.
"Everyone wants this resolved," coach Mike McCarthy said Friday after morning practice.
So does the NFL -- and soon.
This weekend, six former players -- Fred Dean, Darrell Green, Art Monk, Emmitt Thomas, Andre Tippett and Gary Zimmerman -- will be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Although training camps have been open for two weeks in some cases, the Hall of Fame festivities represent the ceremonial opening to the NFL year. The league celebrates each man's contribution to the game and then kicks off the preseason with the annual Hall of Fame game.
No one wants an ugly modern-day dispute overshadowing one of the NFL's most revered traditions. That's why Favre is under a bit of pressure either to accept the Packers' offer to remain retired, thereby lifting the story from national headlines, or table the issue until after this weekend's ceremonies.
Commissioner Roger Goodell has yet to act on Favre's reinstatement request, apparently hoping Favre and the Packers would resolve the problem on their own. But even if no resolution occurs Friday, there are some who hope Goodell will continue to delay.
Either way, the NFL's goal is to have all eyes on Canton this weekend.