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Rickey Jackson gets enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (slideshow/video)

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; We have all been waiting a very long time for it to happen and just last year, the New Orleans Saints went out and won the Super Bowl. Well, there is something else Saints' fans have been waiting a very ...

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Old 08-07-2010, 08:10 PM   #1
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We have all been waiting a very long time for it to happen and just last year, the New Orleans Saints went out and won the Super Bowl.
Well, there is something else Saints' fans have been waiting a very long time to happen, and tonight it did. For the first time, a New Orleans Saint was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and that Saints' name is Rickey Jackson.
The 2010 Hall of Fame class included some truly great names including Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Dick LeBeau, John Randle, Floyd Little, and Russ Grimm. Six of the greatest names in the history of the NFL were inducted into the Hall of Fame and it's so pleasing and heart-warming to know that the name of a beloved Saint was right there with them.
Rickey Jackson played in the NFL for 15 seasons, most of which were spent with the Saints before going to the 49ers (where he moved to defensive end) and winning a Super Bowl with them. In the minds and hearts of those in New Orleans though, he will always be a Saint. A Saint that played in 227 games throughout his entire career while only missing a grand total of two.
Not only is this article going to go through the career statistics and moments of Jackson's career, but it will recap his induction tonight into the Hall of Fame.
Jackson came out onto the stage first introduced by Chris Behrman and looks like the man we all remember him to be even though he's a little older now.
Behrman said, "Last winter, the New Orleans Saints won a Super Bowl for the ages, did they not? For a region devastated by Hurricane Katrina, tested again now by the oil catastrophe. Let's face it, the Saints were so often losers and they had always been losers until this man helped spearhead a defense that gave New Orleans a winner at last in the late eighties and early nineties...linebacker, Rickey Jackson."
After LeBeau, Randle, and Grimm; it was Jackson's turn and he was to be inducted by none other than New Orleans Saints' owner Tom Benson.
The induction speech starts with Benson saying, "Rickey Jackson was born to play football." The video package shows some of the greatest hits from Jackson's career and they were just incredibly vicious hits. I had forgotten just how fast and agile the big man was, but he could move out on that field no matter who he was chasing.
Benson said, "The opposing team's quarterback...they didn't like Rickey Jackson. Heh...and I don't blame him (laughs)."
Benson then brought in the easy-to-identify Rickey Jackson helmet that had a facemask like a a medieval castle gate. He went on to talk about how the winning seasons only came about after Jackson came to town. Benson was told that Jackson was going to be enshrined when the Saints were playing in the Super Bowl and he could not have been prouder of those two things.
Benson finished by saying, "It is my honor to present Rickey Jackson into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Wow (laughs)!"
Jackson and Benson then unveiled the bust of Jackson's head that will sit in the Hall and it looked spectacular. Not to be upstaged by an inanimate version of him, Jackson walked up to the podium and said, "Boy, I didn't know I did all that."
Jackson went on to talk about his hometown, his family, and how his life in football started when he was in the sixth grade. Jackson's inspiration to play football was that his home town had a sign which read "The Home Of Mel Tillis." He knew in his heart that he wanted his name on that sign more than anything else in the world.
From there, he went on to thank just about every coach he could think of from his high school days all the way up to Bum Philips and Jim Mora with the Saints. He promotes the NFL as being a great product and knows that the Hall of Famers present themselves in great ways and they love the game. Jackson wants to make sure they don't let the game get away from them.
Jackson takes his hat off to Benson stating that he has done a lot and kept the Saints in New Orleans. The Saints have been through Katrina and the oil spill and stayed where they belong, and now they have won a Super Bowl. He believes that if they go back this year and win another, then Benson should be in the Hall of Fame.
It's then that Jackson discusses the loss of his mother and finding a good church that steered him in the right direction by having Christ in his life. He knows his life is going straight due to Christ and with that, he points a finger to the crowd and says, "Thank y'all. Love y'all."
Leave it to a Saint to throw "y'all" into their acceptance speech and it was nothing more than appropriate. It's been long overdue that a Saint get inducted into the Hall and long overdue that it was none other than Rickey Jackson. Congratulations to you number fifty-seven for this is a well-deserved honor.

Link back to Examiner and video

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