(Editor’s Note: This is a reprint of a story written by Howard Balzer on August 3, 1994 about Jackie Smith’s induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame)
MAKING A HALL by Howard Balzer
Canton, Ohio—Friends, fans and family.
On another sun-splashed Saturday in the city where professional football was born, a new class of the game’s greats was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Friends, fans and families came from far and wide to honor them and show their love. Emotions were high as even the most stone-faced among them broke down. No matter what was said beforehand, the new Hall of Famers become overwhelmed by the moment, by the hospitality of the volunteers, by the fans lined deep on the sidewalks waving during the parade Saturday morning.
For Jackie Smith, the weekend was a whirlwind of non-stop action. He seemed to be operating on adrenaline alone, overcome by what is happening, surrounded by friends, fans and family.
Friends: They came from everywhere, including teammates Charley Johnson, Jim Hart, Larry Stallings, Bill Koman, Terry Miller, Steve Jones, Tim Kearney, Kurt Allerman.Continue reading