2022 Pro Football Hall of Fame: How each inductee forged a path to Canton

August 3, 2022

The Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the election of eight new members in February, and their enshrinement will take place on Aug. 6 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.

The ceremony will be televised by both ESPN and NFL Network.

The list includes six players: offensive tackle Tony Boselli, wide receiver Cliff Branch, safety LeRoy Butler, linebacker Sam Mills and defensive linemen Richard Seymour and Bryant Young. They will be joined by coach Dick Vermeil and the first official to enter the Hall, Art McNally.

Mills was in the 20th and final year of eligibility as a modern-era candidate. Butler and Boselli were in their 16th year of eligibility, and Young was in his 10th. For the first time since 2012, no one with first-year eligibility was selected for enshrinement.

ESPN is profiling each member of this year’s class, and Boselli’s story will be featured Wednesday.

‘He was a trendsetter’: Why Art McNally will be the first official enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Art McNally, left, seen here before a 1976 divisional playoff game, made a huge impact on the NFL, but he did it while trying to draw as little attention to himself as possible. His legacy, however, speaks volumes.

The best day for NFL officials, McNally said in 2012, is when they go entirely unnoticed. Their job, he said, is to perform in a way that “hopefully nobody is going to even know you’re around.” McNally might not be as well known as other NFL pioneers, but his legacy includes instant replay and other advancements.

Dick Vermeil’s ‘burnout’ turned into an unconventional Hall of Fame career

Dick Vermeil's St. Louis Rams -- nicknamed "The Greatest Show On Turf" -- won Super Bowl XXXIV.

When Vermeil surprised the NFL by retiring in 1982 at just 46 years old, he seemed to be “eroding.” When he returned to coach 14 years later, the game had changed, but so had he.

‘He looked like he belonged — and he did’: How underdog Sam Mills became a Hall of Famer

"The first guy I thought of to be the face of the franchise and set the tone for what I wanted our team to be like and look like was Sam,'' former Carolina Panthers coach Dom Capers, the first coach for the franchise, said of Sam Mills.

Mills’ path to the NFL was anything but routine, but the 5-foot-9 linebacker nicknamed “Field Mouse” carved out his path on and off the field.

Packers great LeRoy Butler earned HOF nod with patience, perseverance

LeRoy Butler originated the Lambeau Leap when he jumped into the south end zone stands on Dec. 26, 1993, after he scored on a fumble return. A statue of the celebration was built in front of Lambeau Field in 2014.

Butler is known for originating the Lambeau Leap, but his story goes well beyond the famous celebration. His Hall of Fame résumé stands on its own without any post-touchdown celebrations.

Raiders receiver Cliff Branch’s impact went far beyond world-class speed

Cliff Branch was a three-time All-Pro and retired as the NFL's most prolific receiver in the postseason.

“We had to find out if he was a track man playing football, or if he was a football player.” Branch was known for his blazing speed, but his ability to become a complete receiver is what made him a dominant force in the 1970s and ’80s.

Why six former rivals campaigned 49ers’ Bryant Young into Hall

Former 49ers teammate Charles Haley surprises Bryant Young with the news of his Hall of Fame election.

Hall of Fame voters said the testimonials of so many opponents helped push Young into the Hall after nine years of waiting quietly. “It was humbling to hear the things that they said,” Young said.

How Richard Seymour’s versatility, values made him an underrated Patriots force

Richard Seymour was named first-team All-Pro three times and made seven Pro Bowls in 12 NFL seasons.

His leadership and ability to dominate at any position on the defensive line helped fuel New England’s first three title teams. “We could put Richard anywhere and be successful with it. When you have that type of talent and domination from that position, that’s how you win championships.”

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