July 30th/ TMRZoo.com / ESPN will present live coverage of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2008 induction ceremony Saturday, August 2, at 6 p.m. ET from Canton, Ohio. NFL Live’s Trey Wingo will host the three-hour primetime telecast with analyst Tom Jackson. ESPN’s Chris Berman, entering his 23rd year as host of Sunday NFL Countdown, will emcee the ceremony that honors the six members of this year’s class – Fred Dean, Darrell Green, Art Monk, Emmitt Thomas, Andre Tippett and Gary Zimmerman. The telecast – which will re-air Saturday night at 11 p.m. on ESPN Classic – will review each inductee’s career with speeches from the inductees and their presenters.
Correspondent Bob Holtzman will also provide reports for SportsCenter and other ESPN programs throughout the Hall of Fame weekend, including coverage of Sunday’s Redskins-Colts game.
Jackson comments on the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2008 inductees:
On San Diego Chargers linebacker Fred Dean …
Jackson: “My appreciation for Fred was in his all-around game. He’s got the championships, the Pro Bowl, the great season where he sacked the quarterback. It’s guys like that whose induction is long overdue. He was the epitome of a pass rusher.”
On Washington Redskins defensive back Darrell Green …
Jackson: “Darrell Green is the oddity in this game, where you play for virtually two decades of football and can maintain the high standard from early in your career at a position like cornerback. The thing that always struck me about Darrell was that he was a bit undersized and yet he was able to dominate the game and dominate it for so long.”
On Washington Redskins wide receiver Art Monk …
Jackson: “Art Monk is probably the guy I was most pleased to see go in. I’ve talked to numerous Hall of Famers who wondered like I did, what was keeping Art Monk — who held almost every receiving record when he left the game — out of Canton, Ohio. I am so pleased to see him finally go in. For the Redskins he held virtually every single receiving record that there was when he retired, so this is long overdue but the immortality of it is, I’m sure, pleasing for him.”
On Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Emmitt Thomas …
Jackson: “Emmitt Thomas is just an outstanding defensive back corner. He comes from a smaller school and when you look at what he was able to accomplish, he was able to do it with quickness, speed and the ability to catch the ball. You didn’t always find him on the defensive side of the ball, which doesn’t happen a lot. He is one of the greatest players in the old AFL to cross over in the NFL which helped justify the merging of the leagues.”
On New England Patriots linebacker Andre Tippett …
Jackson: “Andre had a distinguished career with the New England Patriots. Championships don’t always dictate whether you get into the Hall of Fame or not. It is about individual excellence. You can say ‘hey, I did this and I’m the guy that is going to be the standard-bearer for us.’”
On Denver Broncos offensive lineman Gary Zimmerman …
Jackson: “Gary Zimmerman was an outstanding offensive lineman even to the end. I think he played the toughest position in football – the guy protecting the quarterback at left tackle. Everywhere he went runners flourished. Not only was he an excellent pass protector, he was a good run-blocker as well. As a former Bronco, I can’t tell you how pleased I am to see the second Denver Broncos player inducted into the Hall of Fame.”
Also, the Hall of Fame will honor longtime ABC Sports Monday Night Football and current CBS analyst Dan Dierdorf with the Pete Rozelle Radio/Television Award, as well as esteemed ESPN.com NFL senior writer Len Pasquarelli, who will receive the Dick McCann Memorial Award for Distinguished Service by the Pro Football Writers of America. ESPN.com’s John Clayton was the McCann Memorial Award winner last year, giving ESPN.com back-to-back entries into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Additional Hall of Fame Induction Week Coverage:
ESPN Radio will offer live coverage of the Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony, including speeches from the enshrinement ceremony, interviews with the inductees, and a roundup of the weekend’s activities.
Saturday, August 2
The NFL on ESPN Radio
Hosts: Jeremy Green and John Clayton
Time: 3 – 6 p.m. ET
Special Edition: The NFL on ESPN Radio
Host: Ryen Russillo
Time: 6-9 p.m.
ESPN.com will offer extensive coverage from the Hall of Fame weekend, including reports by 2008 McCann Award winner John Clayton and ESPN NFL Blog Network writers James Walker and Paul Kuharsky. Clayton will write a column about fellow Pittsburgh native Pasquarelli, who will be inducted to the Hall as this year’s McCann recipient. In advance of the inductions, ESPN.com will have a feature on Emmitt Thomas, as well as separate features on all inductees. The pages include remembrances by the Hall of Famers, their teammates and opponents. For more information, visit: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/halloffame08/index