08/08/15 by Matthew S. Vandriak
The 2015 NFL Hall of Fame Class will be inducted in Canton, Ohio this weekend. And one common theme echoes about these inductees, durability and longevity on the field. All 6 of the players being inducted this year played double digit years on the grid iron, each battling through injuries, highs and lows, and playing on good teams and bad teams. 5 of those 6 players were on the field through the 1990's, and each has a story that makes them all hall of fame worthy. Bill Polian and Ron Wolf will also be inducted for their contributions off the field. Let's take a closer look at the 53rd NFL Hall of Fame Class.
You can be the greatest, you can be the best
You can be the King Kong beating on your chest
Drafted in 1993 by the then Los Angeles Rams, Bettis played 13 seasons in the NFL. After 3 seasons with the Rams, he was traded to Pittsburgh, where his nickname "The Bus" was born. Bettis rushed for 10,571, which is second most in Steelers history behind fellow Hall of Famer Franco Harris. Bettis finished his career as the 6th leading rusher in NFL history with 13,662 yards while scoring 91 touchdowns, which is 10th most in league history. He was selected to 6 Pro Bowls, and his last game in the NFL was Super Bowl XL. In his hometown of Detroit, Michigan, the Steelers won their 6th Super Bowl and sent "The Bus" on his ride out of the NFL as a champion.
You can beat the world, you can beat the war
You can talk to God, go banging on his door
Drafted by the Los Angeles Raiders in 1988, Brown played 17 seasons in the NFL. He spent the first 16 of those 17 years with the Raiders before finishing with Tampa Bay. Brown ranks 5th all time in receptions (1,094), 5th all time in all purpose yards (19,682), 6th in receiving yards (14,934), and 7th in touchdown catches (100). Brown made the Pro Bowl 9 times in his career and is the Raiders franchise leader in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdowns.
You can throw your hands up, you can beat the clock
You can move a mountain, you can break rocks
Drafted in 1986 by San Francisco, Haley played 13 NFL seasons with the 49ers and Dallas. Haley won 5 Super Bowls, 3 with the Cowboys and 2 in San Francisco. He recorded 100 1/2 career sacks and was selected to 5 Pro Bowls.
You can be a master, don't wait for luck
Dedicate yourself and you're gonna find yourself
Drafted by San Diego in 1990, Seau played 20 seasons in the NFL. He played his first 13 years with the Chargers and his last 7 with Miami and then New England. Seau was selected to 12 Pro Bowls and was named to the 1990's All Decade Team. Seau committed suicide in 2012, it was later determined he suffered from CTE. The NFL will waive the policy about speeches given for deceased inductees. Seau's daughter Sydney will give a speech on her fathers behalf.
You can go the distance, you can run the mile
You can walk straight through hell with a smile
Drafted in 1993, Shields played all 14 of his NFL seasons with Kansas City. Shields was selected to 12 Pro Bowls and named to the 2000's All Decade Team. Shields was a testament to durability, as he never missed a game in his entire career. He started 223 consecutive games to finish his career.
You can be the hero, you can get the gold
Breaking all the records they thought never could be broke
Tinglehoff is this year's veterans committee selection. Tinglehoff began his career in 1962 with Minnesota as an undrafted player. He would go on to play 17 NFL seasons for the Vikings. Tinglehoff was a 6 time Pro Bowl selection and played in 4 Super Bowls with Minnesota. Like Will Shields, Tinglehoff is another testament to durability and then some. Not only did he never miss a game in his career, he also never missed a practice in 17 years.
Do it for your people, do it for your pride
How are you ever gonna know if you never even try
Selected as a contributor, Polian 32 seasons in the NFL. He served as General Manager for Buffalo, Carolina, and Indianapolis during his career. Polian helped build the Bills of the 1990's, which are still the only franchise in NFL history to reach 4 consecutive Super Bowls. He built the Carolina Panthers as an expansion team following his tenure in Buffalo. He then moved on to Indianapolis, where he helped the Colts to 11 playoff appearances in his 14 year tenure. The Colts made 2 Super Bowl appearances, winning one under Polian's watch. His first ever draft pick in Indianapolis was Peyton Manning.
Do it for your country, do it for your name
'Cause there's gonna be a day...
Also selected as a contributor, Wolf was involved in professional football for 40 seasons. He spent 15 of those seasons with the Los Angeles/Oakland Raiders, helping them to win 2 Super Bowls in 3 appearances. He was the first GM in Tampa Bay history, helping to launch the Buccaneers franchise in 1976. But he's best known for his time in Green Bay, where the Packers made 2 Super Bowl appearances and won 1 title. His best known personnel move was acquiring a not very well known at the time back up quarterback named Brett Favre.
When you're standing in the hall of fame, and the world's gonna know your name
'Cause you burn with the brightest flame
And you'll be on the walls of the Hall of Fame
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