Packers’ Woodson, Lions’ ‘Megatron’ elected to HOF
Though others have eclipsed him in some sections of the record book, Peyton Manning’s stamp on the NFL is very much a thing of 2021 and beyond.
Manning, the quarterback whose meticulous attention to detail helped turn the 21st-century gridiron into a chessboard on turf, was awarded his spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday in his first year of eligibility.
The son of Saints legend Archie and brother of two-time Super Bowl champion Eli will be joined later this year in Canton by another first-ballot lock, defensive back Charles Woodson, who beat out Manning for the Heisman Trophy in 1997, and then spent nearly two decades trying to stop him. Calvin Johnson — aka “Megatron” — was also a first-ballot selection, his mere nine years of playmaking excellence with the Lions more than enough to convince the panel.
Also making it were guard Alan Faneca, who made nine Pro Bowls and missed only one game over 13 seasons with the Steelers, Jets and Cardinals; and John Lynch, the hard-hitting safety who burnished his reputation in Tampa Bay.
Woodson went to one Super Bowl in his first eight years with the Raiders, then went to Green Bay to win his only Super Bowl title before finishing out his career as a safety in Oakland.
“Like (Hall president) David Baker says, this is 40,000 years that (bronze) bust will last, so I feel like this means I’m going to live forever … So this means immortality,” Woodson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Said Johnson, a member of the 2010 NFL All-Decade Team, “To be a member of this excellent fraternity, the guys I grew up watching, to be alongside the guys I emulated my game after. I can only imagine all the great stories to be told. Just to be with the best in the game is truly an honor.”