Posts tagged hall of fame
WWE announced today that pop-culture icon Arnold Schwarzenegger will be inducted into the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame at a ceremony to be held on Saturday, March 28 at SAP Center in San Jose, CA as part of WrestleMania Week.
Former Governor of California from 2003-2011 and the star of such blockbuster films as Predator, True Lies, Kindergarten Cop and the wildly successful Terminator franchise, Schwarzenegger is a longtime WWE fan dating back to the 1970s, appearing at many Monday Night Raw® and SmackDown® events through the years. A seven-time Mr. Olympia winner, he is the founder of the Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Festival, the world’s largest annual sports weekend, which hosts 200,000 attendees and more than 18,000 of the world’s top athletes. He also appeared at the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame Ceremony at Madison Square Garden, inducting his friend Bruno Sammartino. Most recently, Schwarzenegger guest starred on the March 24, 2014 episode of Monday Night Raw opposite WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan® and WWE Superstar The Miz®. Schwarzenegger’s decades-long health and fitness crusade is a perfect fit with WWE.
“We are honored to induct Arnold Schwarzenegger into the WWE Hall of Fame,” said WWE Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative, Paul “Triple H” Levesque. “His larger-than-life on- and off-screen presence translated perfectly into the world of WWE, resulting in many memorable moments.”
Tickets for the 2015 WWE Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony at SAP Center are currently available through www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. All tickets are subject to service charges and facility fees.
WrestleMania 31 takes place at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA Sunday, March 29 at 7pm ET live on WWE Network and pay-per-view.
Even before Marshall Faulk played in the NFL many knew that he was going to be a superstar in the league. In college at San Diego State University Marshall was a three-time All-American. The Indianapolis Colts drafted him as the second overall pick in the 1994 NFL Draft. After his time with the Colts, he played for the St. Louis Rams.
Faulk is one of only three NFL players with at least 10,000 rushing yards and 5,000 receiving yards. Marshall has been named the league MVP, helped the Rams win Super Bowl XXXIV, and was selected seven times for the Pro Bowl. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011.
Faulk can be seen on TV shows such as “NFL Total Access,” “Thursday Night Football,” and “NFL GameDay Morning” on the NFL Network.
Before Super Bowl weekend I caught up with Marshall. He was working with Verizon to promote the “Who’s Gonna Win?” campaign in connection with the Empire State Building. Besides talking about that promotion we did chat about this year’s match up between the Seahawks and Broncos, his time in the NFL, and his induction into the Hall of Fame.
Art Eddy: You are part of Verizon’s “Who’s Gonna Win?” program, the first-ever social media-driven light show on the world’s most iconic building, the Empire State Building. Tell me a little about that promotion?
Marshall Faulk: This whole “Who’s Gonna Win?” campaign is an initiative by Verizon. They are powering up the Empire State Building. Fans can help decide if their team’s colors will go up on the Empire State Building. It is a pretty cool program. Each day is going to be a different program leading up to Saturday.
Obviously everyone wants to know who is going to win. That is the interesting thing to see. Which team’s fans will get more involved and how many hashtags will be for Seattle or Denver is going to come into play. We will find out when the Empire State Building will be lit up.
AE: It sounds like a very cool program. Who do you think will win the Super Bowl? Broncos or Seahawks?
MF: I think it can go either way. I don’t have a favorite. Usually you can look at the numbers or watch how they play common opponents. It is so tough to tell. I keep telling people that only because Peyton (Manning) is a friend of mine that I just want to see him win another Super Bowl. Outside of that I really don’t know. I am not going to lie.
AE: Speaking of the Super Bowl you had the great fortune of playing in two of them. What was the week leading up to the game like?
MF: You want to say that it is all business. You are trying to have a normal week. Last night I saw that a bunch of players from the Seahawks have a team event. They showed some support for the (Brooklyn) Nets by going to the game. Those are the kind of things you want to do. Dinners, going to a basketball game, just things like that with your teammates.
Keep it in a team atmosphere. If you have family here, have dinner with your family. You don’t want to be that guy who is drawing negative attention to your team. That is what we are waiting for. We are in the media. We are trying to see who is going to be the idiot to try and do something stupid.
MF: Let’s see here. First you come out of the tunnel. You are excited about the game. You realize the magnitude of the game. You look around and see all the press. You look at the field and say ‘God this looks small.’
You hyperventilate. You catch your breath. Probably the second series after you get a hit a couple times and had a few times touching the ball.
AE: With everything that you have accomplished in your phenomenal career from MVP awards to a Super Bowl win what is the number one thing you take away from your time in the league?
MF: Winning the Super Bowl. I am telling you that it is the hardest championship to win. It requires all hands on deck. When you are on the field 11 guys must be pulling towards the same goal. It is the greatest team sport ever. It is the greatest sport ever. I just love how fun it is to win a championship.
The one thing that you know about our game and I love this as well, the best team doesn’t always win. It is the best team on that day. In other sports you get seven games to get it right. In our game you get one game to get it right.
AE: Can you imagine playing the best of seven for a Super Bowl? It would be crazy right?
AE: After your time in the NFL you got the call that you would be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. What was the first thing that entered your mind when you got the news?
MF: I will take you through the whole process. When you first hear that you are on the ballot you are kind of nonchalant about it. It gets down to 35 and you are like alright. When it gets down to 15 you are pretty good. The week of the Super Bowl and pretty much that Saturday was when I started having the pregame jitters feeling.
They are calling names. I am standing up there. My hands are sweaty. My heart is beating. I am saying to myself you can’t go in the game. You are not playing, but that natural feeling of anticipation or excitement that you have when things are out of your control when you can’t do anything about it. That was what it was. I was quite relieved that my last name ends in F and it was called early out on the list. It was a good day to hear my name called. I will say that.
AE: You and your teammates on the St. Louis Rams had a sick nickname, “The Greatest Show on Turf.” What was it like to play with guys like Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt, and the rest of that high powered offense?
MF: It was fun. I enjoyed playing with those guys. As much fun as it was the one thing that we talk about when we see each other like we did at the Pro Bowl recently. Ricky Proehl, who is now the Carolina Panthers receivers coach, was at the Pro Bowl because the Panthers coaching staff was there for the Pro Bowl.
We just started talking once again. Ernie Conwell, he works for the NFLPA. Me, him, and Ricky were having the same conversation. We always talk about it. The one thing that continues to come up about it is how unselfish we were. When I look at the Denver Broncos that is what you get from them. They really don’t care who is catching the touchdowns, who is catching the passes, who is getting the yards, or who is getting the accolades. It is all about a team goal.
It is hard to get that especially from receivers. We had it. It was special. I definitely enjoyed playing with those guys. We talk about it. I always point to Ricky Proehl. The year before Ricky led the team in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns. The year we won the Super Bowl he catches one touchdown. It was touchdown that sent us to the Super Bowl against Tampa in the NFC Championship. He doesn’t say a word about it the whole season. That is the unselfishness you need in order to win games like that.
Deacon Jones, former NFL defensive lineman, Hall of Famer, and Orlando Florida football legend, was honored in his hometown community as part of a special program called “Hometown Hall of Famers” presented by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate. The event took place at Edgewater High School where Deacon grew up. Representatives of the Hall of Fame, Allstate, the Orlando community, and Deacon’s friends and family will be in attendance.
Elizabeth Jones, his wife was kind enough to speak with me about her late husband’s career, the hometown ceremony and what it means to their family and his legacy.
Elizabeth Jones: It is really a great, great promotion. There are so many things that young people can learn about life from my husband. He was always preaching about where he came from and fighting very hard to become what he became and do be the best at what he could be.
So I think that Allstate sponsoring this event and going back to the hometown of these guys is a great educational tool. Hopefully it will not only promote the Hall of Fame, but it will be inspirational for some of the kids, if not all of them. Maybe it will push them to go into life and do good things.
AE: This is a great honor and I know Deacon would appreciate this event. What does this ceremony mean to you to honor Deacon’s legacy?
EJ: So many thing have happened since he passed away. He was honored for things when he was alive, but since he has passed away there has been so many accolades and honors. Seeing now how much he was loved and really respected and how he helped out many people’s lives in ways you don’t even think about when he was alive is amazing to see.
I think he would be very, very pleased. I think for his legacy to continue in the place where he grew up would be especially poignant to him. As you know in the times in which he grew up are quite a bit different than they are now. Often times I think young people don’t know it or they forget about it. I think that it would be a lot to him for them to maintain that knowledge and understand how far they come and what it means now.
EJ: What motivated him more than anything else was where he came from and the times in which he grew up. Nobody thought that he could make it. Nobody gave him credit for being as good as other white people. You are well aware of the circumstances and it really annoyed him so much. It motivated him so much to prove to the world that he was not only as good as, but better than.
People in hometown believed he was a dreamer and he would never accomplish his goals. They thought his goals were something that wasn’t accomplishable. He just refused to accept that. He would not accept the fact that he was lesser than anyone else. What also motivated him was anger. A lot of anger. It served a purpose for him.
AE: What do you think was your husband’s greatest moment in his phenomenal career?
EJ: I think for him the greatest moment was when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first year of his eligibility. That was validation for him. You know that my husband was a very in your face kind of person. So that was a big deal to him. Getting into the Hall of Fame meant the world to him. People thought that he couldn’t do it, but he felt like well here I am.
That was a huge accomplishment for him. When he started playing football in the NFL he never played to be a Hall of Famer. It wasn’t a consideration. The fact that he was not only a Hall of Famer, but he achieved that in his first year eligibility was a great moment for him.
AE: Tell me about the Deacon Jones Foundation and the many great things your organization provides.
EJ: Deacon often said that he wouldn’t know what his life would have become if he didn’t get the opportunity to go to a good school and to further his education in ways some others don’t get to. He wanted to give young people the opportunity and really level the playing field.
In terms of the Deacon Jones Foundation it was much more than a scholarship situation. We look to mentor them. We get them involved with corporate America. We introduce them to people in business that can mentor them as well. We teach them about giving back to their community. One of the things that Deacon wanted was to make sure these kids wanted the education we provided for them and give back to their community.
It is a very hands on program with a lot of different aspects to it. Primarily it was created to create leaders in the community and be able to help those in need.
AE: I know Deacon did a lot work with the military. What are some of the things beyond football you want people to know about Deacon?
EJ: Oh my gosh! He was so impressed with the soldiers. He went to Iraq and that scared the devil out of him. When he went to Iraq and saw the risks that these young people were taking. He loved the military beforehand and the fact that people would go into battle for thing that they believed in. It affected him very deeply. The last trip he took in Iraq made him want to be more involved in helping the military.
Deacon was really unique. He was big, bad, fierce, and tough. He was also the sweetest, warmest, and most caring person in the world.
There’s just something special about watching grown men – men who have achieved the highest distinction in sport – break down in tears while expressing their love and respect for the game of football. If you have ever played the game of football, at any level, it changes you. Football’s all about personal responsibility and pride, execution and trust in other men. It’s a beautiful game that forces you to become more than you are, and to strive for something bigger than yourself.
The Hall of Fame speeches I saw on Saturday we’re fantastic. Watching Deion Sanders and feeling that guy’s passion was incredible. Hearing him explain how he was embarrassed by his mother and her job cleaning up at a hospital, but how he flipped that into motivation to make sure that she’d never have to work a day again in her life. Just great stuff.
Watching Sterling Sharpe trying, desperately and unsuccessfully, to choke back the tears after his brother Shannon gave him a Hall of Fame shout out like no other, you could just feel the weight and importance of that emotional moment for both of the brothers Sharpe. That shit was just real, raw, once-in-a-lifetime emotion right there.
Sure, football’s just a game. And yea, there’s all kinds of cliches about football being a metaphor for life and all that, but you just can’t underestimate how respected and beloved the game of football really is, and how deserving the game is of that respect. When you see football legends break down on an open mic while expressing their appreciation for the game, it’s the closest thing us dudes have to a perfect cathartic moment.
If you haven’t see this year’s Hall of Fame speeches, spend some time and get in touch with your man-emotions this weekend. You’ll feel better after you do.
I could rant on Federer, too. I’m not the biggest fan of that smug mug, either. It’s a good thing Roger Moore is still alive and kicking–he’s a Saint.
Roger Clemens. That guy. I need to fire on all 8 cylinders for this one.
I’m a very forgiving human being. In fact, I don’t hate Roger Clemens for using PEDs, I don’t hate him for lying about it and I don’t even dislike him for the episodes–but I can’t stand the guy. I couldn’t stand him as a player, and I can’t stand him as a fellow member of society. I couldn’t stand how he wished he were the Brett Favre of the baseball world, and I wish to this day that Mike Piazza would have thrown the nub of his bat at Clemens after Clemens threw the head of the bat at Mikey.
I remember in depth conversations I had about Roger Clemens late in his career. I’ll never forget, round about 2003 or 2004, perhaps, when my brother said to me, “I can’t believe that everyone only wants to single out Barry Bonds. If there is anyone in the league that I am 100 percent certain is on steroids, it’s Roger Clemens.” And you know what, you couldn’t argue. How was the guy getting better at a power position, as his body got older. People can say what they will about his training regimen, but they showed videos of it, and it wasn’t that impressive. Yeah, it was obvious–the dude was DRANKIN’ the juice. And honestly, he always acted like such a prick–like the world owed him a huge debt for being a great pitcher.
I laugh when people mutter the words “Hall of Fame” in the same breath as “Roger Clemens.” And I also hate when people try and justify Hall of Fame inductions based solely on numbers. Halls of Fame have become jokes because bums like this are in them. They should be places of celebration, not contention. Make no mistake, there will never be another discussion about Roger Clemens, only arguments.
Whew. Cleansing breath. Now, to the serious matter at hand. An indictment that it going to put Clemens in court. And do you know what sucks? He still won’t admit that he used PEDs. If for some reason he comes out and states that he did use the drugs, I’m sure that he’ll also say it was because he loved the game soooo much, and he didn’t know how to let it go.
Do I think he’s going to jail? Nah. But I think it’s far more likely that he’ll land in the clink than he will in Cooperstown.