Jack Butler began his Hall of Fame speech as only Jack Butler can – by telling the Steelers faithful on hand that were chanting, “Here We Go Steelers, Here We Go,” time and time again, “That’s enough.”
After waiting for as long as he did to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he had every right to say whatever he wanted.
Butler, a Pittsburgh native, joined the Steelers in 1951 as a free agent out of St. Bonaventure. He played in 103 games at cornerback in his nine seasons, recording 52 interceptions that helped earn him a spot in the Hall of Fame as one of the Senior Committee nominees.
Butler didn’t talk about his career during his speech. Instead, he kept it short and sweet, thanking the special people in his life, including his parents, four brothers, two sisters and his wife. He also acknowledged his four sons, four daughters, and 15 grandchildren, most of them decked out in Steelers throwback jerseys with Butler’s No. 80 on them.
“I can’t figure out what caused all of this,” Butler told the crowd after saying thank you.
He went on to thank Steelers ownership, the Rooney and McGinley families, and those at the Hall of Fame.
“I have been very fortunate and have had a lot to be thankful for,” said the humble Butler. “I was born with a talent to play football, had the motivation to become the best player that I could, and I also was fortunate enough to play in the great City of Champions, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.”
From the time he was elected, Butler has said he felt like he needed to pinch himself.
“I never envisioned being here in Canton,” said Butler. “This induction is the highest honor I have achieved in my professional career. I have always been grateful and happy to have played, having a 56-year career doing the things I always loved, being involved in professional football – as a player, coach, scout and administrator. I am honored to be included with the great players who preceded me here.
“I am grateful and proud to be a part of this great Class of 2012 and I congratulate the five tremendous men who join me here. I am thankful to God for all I have been given throughout my life. I am thankful for the support of my family and friends. I am thankful for my brother and sister who are here to witness this, my wife, my children and grandchildren.
“I am thankful I’m here.”