From jump-starter Lambo to one of the most beloved head coaches in NFL history, the 2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame class took its rightful place in Canton, Ohio on Saturday.
Eight new Hall of Famers have been enshrined to end the most revered week on the NFL calendar as fans, the media and the greatest of the greats step out to honor the newest class of football immortals.
Here are the highlights from the Class of 2022 speeches and dedications:
Speech by Shannon O’Hara, granddaughter of Art McNally:
“On behalf of the McNally family, we are proud to represent the arts in Canton. He watches over his home with great anticipation when he is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He wanted to share it: he loved refereeing, that it mattered to football and his life.”
Art McNally speaking via video:
“I am very lucky to have a long career in football. Consistently, one of the best employees of officials throughout the country. I know from the dedication, love of the game, willingness to get on the field every weekend to make sure the game is played according to the rules of the National Football League. I would also like to say that when they referee, they referee those players on the field and for those respected coaches on the touchline who put tremendous pressure on them. And finally, a large number of people across the country, millions of our fans, whose passion and love for the game has made it so great: I am very lucky to be in this position. And once again, I would like to thank the Hall of Famers. I think this is the most important thing for an official. Getting the job done, hopefully no one will even know you’re around, call the right way, the way they should be, with a big dose of common sense.”
“Thank you Pro Football Hall of Fame, I’m honored to be here. Today I am filled with humility. Not because this moment is about me, but because this moment is about us and what we can do together. I am overwhelmed today with gratitude, because I am not the only one who got here. None of us made it, none of us could.”
“A graduate of 2022, they say you can judge a person by who they are friends with. I couldn’t be in better company than you. It’s a privilege to have my name forever linked to yours in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.”
“We had a young quarterback, but we did it. Together we have constantly strived for this advantage. To this advantage… we called ourselves the Extremes. That advantage was our culture. You see, we felt responsible to each other. Call of Duty. None of us wanted to be the person to let the team down, to let our brothers down, and that defined us. never cared about who got the praise as long as we got the ‘W’.”
“And, of course, this would not have happened if it were not for the coach [Bill] Belichik. Coach, you are the best coach in the game. The lessons I have learned from you have helped me succeed not only in the game, but also in life. Work hard, prepare carefully, support your teammates, respect your opponents, and put your team first. Coach, thank you for everything you’ve taught me.”
Speech by Sam Mills’ widow, Melanie Mills:
“You have already heard a lot of statistics, but today I want to talk to you about the humanity of one person. On the surface, the story of Sam Mills is the story of a man who was told he wasn’t good enough. , good enough to play college football, or that he wasn’t big enough to play pro football. And at 27, he wasn’t young enough for the NFL. And yet, today we honor him. It’s because Sam worked harder than his peers, he took every opportunity, he became a legendary athlete.”
“From the Philadelphia Stars to the New Orleans Saints to the Carolina Panthers, if you’ve worked hard at anything, Sam has let you know he appreciates your hard work. You could be a teammate, a coach, a ball boy, a security guard. … He will make you feel noticed. It’s no wonder Sam has inspired so many people, or that the Panthers have adopted his motto: “Keep hitting.”
“He led by example and people followed him. He was more than just a great football player, he was a father, a friend, a husband. And a leader who always kept hitting, no matter the odds. So thank you for this honor, for believing in Sam and for helping to keep his story alive. Keep hitting everyone, that’s what Sam would like you to do.”