Quarterback Peyton Manning, receiver Calvin Johnson and wideout Drew Pearson were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame during the 2021 enshrinement ceremonies Sunday in Canton, Ohio.
Manning was presented by his father, Archie, who also enjoyed a long career as a star quarterback in the National Football League.
Two-time Super Bowl winner Peyton Manning thanked his father, describing him as “my favorite quarterback, my hero, my role model.”
Joining Manning, Pearson and Johnson in this year’s class were defensive back Charles Woodson, safety John Lynch, guard Alan Faneca, coach Tom Flores, and scout Bill Nunn.
When he retired five years ago, Manning held a string of league passing records. His brilliant career lasted 17 seasons and included five Most Valuable Player awards.
Manning spent the majority of his career with the Indianapolis Colts but also played for the Denver Broncos.
“I don’t know about you, but I’m not done with this game,” Manning said at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium.
“I never will be. I’m committed to ensuring its future, and I hope you will join me in that commitment.”
Pearson is considered one of the greatest players of the 1970s, remembered best for catching quarterback Roger Staubach’s “Hail Mary” game-winning touchdown pass in a thrilling 1975 playoff contest against the Minnesota Vikings.
He played for the Cowboys from 1973-83, making the All-Pro team three times. He finished with 56 touchdowns, 557 catches and nearly 9,000 yards.
“It’s not about how long it takes to get here,” Pearson said, “but more about how you wait. My wait was supported by my faith.”
Johnson finished his nine-year career with 731 receptions for 11,619 yards and 83 touchdowns, while Flores was the first man to win Super Bowls as a player, assistant coach and head coach.
“You don’t get there alone,” Flores said. “It doesn’t happen in a vacuum. A lot of people helped me.”
Five members of the Class of 2020 were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday. They were forced to wait a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Class of 2020 included safety Steve Atwater, wide receiver Isaac Bruce, offensive guard Steve Hutchinson, running back Edgerrin James, safety Troy Polamalu and two head coaches — Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson.