The Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2016 will be inducted into Canton this Saturday evening, with several days of festivities surrounding the ceremony.
Obviously Colts fans are paying special attention to the ceremony this year because two of the franchise’s all-time greats are being enshrined: wide receiver Marvin Harrison and head coach Tony Dungy.
The induction ceremony will begin at 7:00 p.m. ET this Saturday evening, and Colts fans should tune in promptly at that time. That’s because Marvin Harrison is scheduled to lead things off, according to the schedule released by the Hall of Fame today. Tony Dungy will then go second-to-last, ahead of only Brett Favre.
Here’s the full induction order for this Saturday:
Edward J. Debartolo, Jr.
The order makes perfect sense. Everyone knew that Brett Favre, the marquee name of this year’s class, would go last. Furthermore, it makes sense to then spread out the two Colts inductees as much as possible so that fans stay throughout (although the HOF should have no trouble getting people to stay through the end based on the number of Packers fans expected to attend). That means putting Harrison at the beginning and Dungy close to the end.
It also makes sense from another perspective: Harrison’s speech likely won’t be the best one of the evening and will instead probably be the shortest. Brett Favre’s, on the other hand, could be quite entertaining, and Tony Dungy is obviously a very good speaker. So from that perspective too, it makes sense.
All of that considered, it sounds like it was also Marvin’s choice to speak first. Mike Chappell, who writes for FOX59 in Indianapolis and is one of the Hall of Fame voters, said that Harrison requested to speak first at the ceremony.
Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay will present Marvin Harrison at the Hall of Fame induction, while former Steelers teammate Donnie Shell will present Tony Dungy. When asked today how long he expects Harrison’s speech to be, former teammate Robert Mathis joked “seven minutes, tops.” It may be short, but Jim Irsay and Marvin Harrison will get things started this Saturday night as they bat leadoff at the Hall of Fame induction.