NFL

What Is the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week?

The Pro Football Hall of Fame is filled with extraordinary players. Legends like Joe Montana, Reggie White, and Joe Greene created incredible memories that fans will never forget. The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week is an exciting celebration of past and present NFL idols.

Unfortunately, this awesome, weeklong event has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Let’s iron out the details now so we’re ready for the event when it resumes.

How did the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week begin?

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In 1959, the city of Canton, Ohio asked the NFL to create a Hall of Fame. The city had played an integral role in developing pro football. It felt it was the perfect place to honor the sport’s legends. In 1920, the American Professional Football Association formed in Canton, later becoming the NFL.

The city donated land, residents raised nearly $400,000 to help with construction, and the museum opened on September 7, 1963. Enshrinement Week began as a way to honor and celebrate both newly inducted players and past legends.

The event gives fans the chance to see over 100 Hall-of-Famers who return each year for the celebration. The week-long festival includes parades, a hot air balloon show, 5k, football camps, and the Hall of Fame Game, among other special events. The 2020 Enshrinement Week was going to be held from August 5-9, 2021. 

The Hall of Fame game

The Hall of Fame Game is the official start to Enshrinement Week. It kicks off at 8:00 p.m. on August 5, 2021. Watch the Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers face off at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.

The state-of-the-art stadium features 20,000 seats and a permanent stage. It is also the site of the Enshrinement and the Concert for Legends. The teams for this special game are chosen based on that year’s inductees into the Hall of Fame. 

Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony

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The Enshrinement Ceremony is the place where the magic happens. Watch as the Class of 2020 receives their bronze busts and are welcomed to the prestigious Hall of Fame. The inductees’ speeches are often very emotional, as they touch on their road to the NFL and thank those who helped them achieve their dreams.

Concert for Legends

Enshrinement Week traditionally wraps up with spectacular performances at the Concert for Legends. Past headliners for this show included Imagine Dragons, Maroon 5, and Toby Keith. Fans will learn of the 2020 Concert for Legends performers at a future date.

How are the Hall of Fame enshrinees chosen? 

Fans can nominate their favorite players and coaches by writing to the Hall of Fame. The only restriction is that a player or coach must have finished their final season at least five years earlier than his nomination. Most Hall of Fame enshrinees are record-breaking leaders in the NFL.

Fans adore them because they stand out for their incredible contributions to the game. One might assume that these legends are usually top draft picks, but that’s not the case. There are plenty of unbelievably talented Hall-of-Famers who were never drafted at all

A committee consisting of one media representative from each team’s city (two from New York) and 16 at large selectors oversees the induction process. Candidates must receive approval from at least 80% of the Selection Committee.

A majority vote by the Hall of Fame’s Board of Trustees approves the appointments. Selection Saturday, the evening before the Super Bowl, announces finalists. The Class of 2020 enshrinees includes:

  • Five modern-era players: Steve Atwater, Isaac Bruce, Steve Hutchinson, Edgerrin James, and Troy Polamalu
  • Two coaches: Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson
  • Three contributors: Steve Sabol, Paul Tagliabue, and George Young
  • 10 seniors: Harold Carmichael, Jimbo Covert, Bobby Dillon, Cliff Harris, Winston Hill, Alex Karras, Donnie Shell, Duke Slater, Mac Speedie, and Ed Sprinkle

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week is a festival of events honoring the accomplishments of legendary players. Public health concerns caused the postponement of the 2020 event until August 2021. It’s unfortunate, but the Hall of Fame promises “twice the fun in ’21!