On August 6, two of the pillars of one of the greatest eras in NFL history will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as former Colts head coach Tony Dungy and wide receiver Marvin Harrison will be enshrined in Canton.
The entire Colts team will be in Canton preparing to play their first preseason game the following night, the Hall of Fame game against the Green Bay Packers. But make no mistake: despite all of the preparations for that game (ok, not really that much for the first preseason game), there will be plenty of time for the Colts to take in that ceremony.
“Absolutely,” Chuck Pagano said today when asked whether he and some Colts players would be able to go. “That is out of respect. There are guys that have shed a lot of blood, sweat and tears with that man [Tony Dungy] and played with Marvin [Harrison]. We’ve got some guys on this football team that went through all that together and they will be able to go.”
In fact, there are only two players who were around to play with Marvin Harrison or to play for Tony Dungy, as both men left the organization following the 2008 season. Outside linebacker Robert Mathis and kicker Adam Vinatieri are the only holdovers from the Dungy era, and they’ll certainly be able to attend the ceremony along with other notable former Colts and owner Jim Irsay - who is presenting Harrison. It sounds like Pagano plans on being there too, out of respect for the contributions the two men made to the franchise Pagano now helps lead.
“I mean, his résumé obviously speaks for itself and what he’s done to this point in his professional career as a player, as a coach, it’s second to none,” Pagano said of Dungy today. “The wins that he stacked on top of each other year after year after year [and] the program that he build sustained success. I think seven seasons with 12 wins or more, a Super Bowl championship and just the human being that he is, the person that he is, the man of character. It’s unbelievable and obviously an honor that’s well deserved.”
It’s unclear how many players on the current Colts roster will attend the induction ceremony, but it sounds like the two players who actually played for Dungy and with Harrison will be in attendance for a mini-reunion of sorts. They’ll be playing with the current Colts the next day, but for that Saturday night they’ll be able to re-live a tremendous era in both Colts and NFL history.