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Pro Football Hall of Fame Prepares For the Class of 2016 in Canton

photo of Jackson Flannery and Ethan Mayle

The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton enshrines the Class of 2016 on Saturday, and it includes several NFL greats with Ohio connections. 

Orlando Pace was born in Sandusky and played for Ohio State before being drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 1997 and eventually winning SuperbowlXXXIV with the team in 2000.  He’s joined by Youngstown-native Eddie DeBartolo Jr., who owned the San Francisco 49ers when the team won five Superbowls in the ‘80s and 90s.

It will be the first enshrinement ceremony to feature the first phase of the new “Hall of Fame Village.”  Terry Badman from Pennsylvania has attended several ceremonies since 1990, and says he’s excited to see it again this year.

“I remember watching the ceremony in front of the building, sitting on fold-out chairs – no charge.  And to see what it’s become is pretty amazing.”

Also in this year’s class are Indianapolis Colts Coach Tony Dungy, who has become well-known since retiring for his work as an inspirational Christian speaker, and Ken Stabler and Dick Stanfel, who both passed away last year.

Outside of the Hall of Fame in Canton on Thursday, most fans talked about the man nicknamed “The Gunslinger”: Quarterback Brett Favre, who played 15 seasons with the Green Bay Packers, winning Superbowl XXXI and making the Pro Bowl 11 times.

“What makes him great is: he’s playing his best, he’s trying his hardest.  He’s just putting power into it,” said Ethan Mayle of Colorado

Ally Reinikainen of Wisconsin added, “He sold out the stadium just walking in and waving when he was retired.”

Brian Thomas is a Denver Broncos Fan but says he's looking forward to "Brett Favre, Marvin Harrison and Tony Dungy.  The Colts were always a team I liked to root for because I like Peyton Manning, and then he came to our team, which was great.”