NFL's Class of 2015 Hall of Famers Take Their Place in History
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NFL's Class of 2015 Hall of Famers Take Their Place in History

A hall where only the best of the best reside and are cherished for a lifetime.

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NFL's Class of 2015 Hall of Famers Take Their Place in History
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The 52nd Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony took place on August 8th, 2015 in Canton, Ohio in grand fashion. All NFL players wish to have this moment, but only few are granted this glorious opportunity. A hall where only the best of the best reside and are cherished for a lifetime. An opportunity where a player, coach, or executive's glory days are remembered and told from a storytelling perspective. They are able to channel their past struggles (if any) and conform them to inspire others on their illustrious journey to greatness. It may not have been a casual speed bump or road block, but a detour was needed. Some may have took the straight and narrow path, but others needed a few more pit stops. All things worth striving for take great determination and sacrifice. This induction class recalls groundbreaking memories, making it one of the most memorable ceremonies in a long time.

Ron Wolf, a chief executive for the Raiders, Bucs, Jets, and Packers. The 38-year NFL executive from New Freedom, Pennsylvania had earned three Super Bowl victories (XV, XVIII, XXXI). Ron had mastered the art of building a championship. He had started as a scout with the Oakland Raiders, learning under the tutelage of Dick Steinberg and Al Davis for 23 years. The Raiders had 17 winning seasons, with 10 division titles, 8 AFL/AFC Championship appearances, and two Super Bowl victories (XV, XVIII). Ron was able to successfully mesh their valuable traits and alter them to suit his style. He later utilized those skills as he transitioned to Green Bay as their general manager. Wolf was known for turning around one of the worst franchises at the time, the Packers, into a winning organization again, with much credit going to finding storied prospect, Brett Favre. Ron's great leadership and unquestioned love for the game led to his telling success. The 1996 Packers attained their first 16-win season in franchise history, as they managed to win Superbowl XXXI, and was once again established as, "Titletown U.S.A."

Charles Haley, the defensive end/ linebacker from James Madison University accumulated 100.5 sacks during his 12-season career with the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys. As a member of the 49ers with his help, they won back-to-back Super Bowls (XXIII, XXIV). Former owner Eddie DeBarloto, Jr. later said,"(letting Haley go) was the worst mistake he made as an owner," after they traded Haley to the Dallas Cowboys in 1992. Haley was apart of 10 division championship teams, making his final season the only time his team didn't have a winning season. He still remains the only player to ever win five Super Bowls.

Mick Tingelhoff, former linebacker in college at the University of Nebraska, started all of his 240 games and played in all 19 playoff games in his career for the Minnesota Vikings. During rookie camp in 1962, they moved him to center to fill a need for that position. His leadership role on the offensive line allowed the Vikings to win 10 divisional titles in 11 seasons. Tingelhoff had helped steer the Vikings to appear in four Super Bowls (IV, VIII, IX, and XI). In 1969, he was awarded to the 1,000 yard club as the NFL's top blocker. Tingelhoff had made the All-League team seven times and appeared in six consecutive Pro Bowls.

Will Shields, a man of few words, but an undeniable leader on/off the field. The 14-year veteran from the University of Nebraska never missed a game during his tenure with the Kansas City Chiefs (224 games, 223 starts), which are franchise records. He was named as one of the All-NFL Decades Team of 2000's and earned 12 consecutive Pro Bowl appearances. In 1994, Shields and fellow offensive lineman allowed only 19 sacks, a franchise record that still stands today. He joins fellow Hall of Fame linebacker Derrick Thomas as the only active players to be named on the Chief's 40th Anniversary Team.

Bill Polian, current analyst on ESPN/NFL Network, former general manager of the Buffalo Bills. Polian was promoted to general manager during the 1985 season, after the Bills had posted consecutive back-back 2-14 seasons. The fan interest was at all-time low and engineered a historical turn-around. He led the Bills to three consecutive Super Bowl appearances from 1990-1992, losing all three. Polian was later fired and went to the Carolina Panthers, a newly expansion team at the time in 1995. In just their second season, he prompted them to the NFC Championship Game in 1996, losing to the Packers (Ron Wolf's team). After the following season, Polian left the Panthers to become the team president and general manager of the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts ultimately made the post-season 11 of the 12 seasons under his leadership, with much credit to drafting Peyton Manning back in 1998. Polian remains the only administrator to ever win the NFL's Executive of the Year six times.

Tim Brown, former Heisman winning wide receiver at the University of Notre Dame played 16 seasons for the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders and one season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Formerly drafted by Ron Wolf, Brown recorded 1,094 receptions for 14, 944 yards and 100 touchdowns throughout his career. Beginning in 1993, he had marked nine consecutive 1,000 yard seasons and 10 straight years with at least 75 receptions. Brown had set franchise records with the Raiders in receptions, receiving yards, and punt return yards. He was named to the All-Decades Team of the 1990's and had 9 Pro Bowl appearances.

Junior Seau, the linebacker from the University of Southern California compiled 1,846 tackles, 56.5 sacks, and 18 interceptions during his 20-year career. He played 13 seasons with the San Diego Chargers, three with the Miami Dolphins, and his last four with the New England Patriots. In 1994, he spearheaded the Chargers to their only Super Bowl berth in franchise history. Seau has led the Chargers in tackles eight times and has recorded 10 or more tackles in 64 games throughout his career. He was a member of the All-Decades Team of the 1990's and appeared in 12 Pro Bowls. Seau was named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 1992 and awarded the Charger's Most Valuable Player six times. He is the first Polynesian player to reach the NFL Football of Hall of Fame.

Jerome Bettis, the running back from the University of Notre Dame led the Los Angeles Rams in rushing during his fist three seasons. He was the eighth rookie in NFL history to rush for 200 yards in a game. After his fourth season, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark 61 times during his career and earned eight 1,000 rushing yard seasons. When Bettis retired after 13 seasons in the NFL, he was ranked fifth all-time in rushing yards with 13,622 yards on 3, 479 and 91 touchdowns. Bettis, the 6-time Pro Bowler, is the only player to end his career with a Super Bowl win in his hometown (Detroit).

This class of 2015 inductees will surely will be remembered eternally as they cemented their legacy in football history forever. We look toward to seeing the NFL Football Hall of Fame class slated for next August.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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