Blanton Collier Award to honor Harbaughs

The Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame announced its 2013 inductees and the Blanton Collier Sportsmanship Group announced that it will honor the Harbaughs for its 2013 Sportsmanship Award.

Here’s the release:

LOUISVILLE, KY (February 1, 2013) – Today, the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame announced the names of this year’s inductees. In addition, the organization plans a new approach to the ceremony activities, which will include a ring ceremony, Game Day Live Preview at Fourth Street Live – a free, public event that will offer a taste of Game Day Spectacular, the official induction ceremony for this year’s honorees. The induction ceremony – Game Day Spectacular – will also feature a presentation to Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, his brother and San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh and their father, Jack. Today’s announcement featured former University of Louisville linebacker and 1985 Super Bowl champion Otis Wilson, one of this year’s inductees.

Prominent members of the Hall of Fame include former University of Louisville coach Howard Schnellenberger, New York Giants quarterback and Morehead State University graduate Phil Simms, and the late Lenny Lyles, defensive back for the Baltimore Colts and San Francisco 49ers. Last year’s inductees were Mo Moorman, Dan Neal, Bubba Paris, Chris Redman and Rob Bironas. The organization’s selection committee has chosen inductees each year since 2003.

The official 2013 induction ceremony, the Game Day Spectacular, will take place on Friday, June 28 at the Louisville Palace. The two-day celebration will also include a golf scramble, ring ceremony and other activities for attendees in Louisville. Tickets for the ceremony will cost $25, $50 and $75 and will be available online at a soon to be announced date.

On the preceding day, Thursday, June 27,the Game Day Live Preview will occur at Fourth Street Live in downtown Louisville. Fans will have the opportunity to see football legends and Legendary football players and get a taste of Game Day Spectacular. The event at Fourth Street Live will be free and open to the public.

“This year we have created an exciting way for everyone to experience what the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame is all about,” said Frank Minnifield, Executive Director of the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame. “Game Day Live Preview will provide an eye-opening experience for the community and offer a glimpse of the Game Day Spectacular, when we officially induct these incredible players.”

The Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at the University of Louisville was chosen as this year’s beneficiary. Over the years, numerous football players have sustained spine and brain injuries, making the choice of the organization a natural fit as well as a personal one, according to Minnifield.

“The Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center is honored to be the recipient of funds raised at this extraordinary Hall of Fame induction,” said Dr. Scott R. Whittemore, scientific director for the center. “These resources will help to advance the science we work with every day that can make a marked difference in the quality of the lives of not only athletes, but people all over the world recovering from a spinal cord injury. We are thrilled to be a part of these events.”

During the Game Day Spectacular induction ceremony, The Blanton Collier award will be presented to the Harbaugh Family – Jack Harbaugh, and his two sons, John and Jim Harbaugh. As coaches of this year’s Super Bowl match-up teams (San Francisco 49ers and the Baltimore Ravens), the two brothers are the first in history to be coaching opposing teams in the game taking place in New Orleans on Sunday, February 3. Jack Harbaugh played college football for the Bowling Green State University Falcons from 1957–1960, where he was a three-time letterman. In his junior year, the Falcons finished the season 9–0–0 and were named the small college division national champions. Harbaugh played for one year, 1961, in the old AFL for the Titans of New York. John Harbaugh is the head coach of the Baltimore Ravens. Previously, he coached the defensive backs for the Philadelphia Eagles and served as the Eagles special teams coach for nine years. Harbaugh and his younger brother, San Francisco 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, are the first pair of brothers to serve as head coaches in NFL history. The award is for integrity demonstrated on and off the field.

This year, Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame member George McAfee will also be honored during the Game Day Spectacular induction ceremony. McAfee was born in Corbin, Kentucky and played college football at Duke University. He played running back for the Chicago Bears (1940-1941, 1945-1950). Nicknamed “One-Play McAfee” he was known for explosive speed. He passed away in 2009.

University of Louisville head football coach Charlie Strong and University of Kentucky head football coach Mark Stoops will both serve as co-chairs of this year’s event.

In addition, the 2012 All Commonwealth Collegiate Team was announced at the press conference, including Defensive Player of the Year Zack Autenrieb, and Offensive Players of the Year Teddy Bridgewater of the University of Louisville and Larry Warford of the University of Kentucky.

The 2013 inductees to the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame include the following:

2013 Kentucky Pro football Hall of Fame Inductees

Irv Good

Irv Goode was born in Newport, Kentucky and played college football for the University of Kentucky. Drafted into the NFL in the first round in 1962, he played guard for the St. Louis Cardinals (1962-1971) and the Miami Dolphins (1972-1974). He was a Super Bowl champion with the Miami Dolphins in 1972 and 1973.

Lander McCoy (Coy) Bacon

Lander McCoy Bacon, or Coy Bacon, was born in Cadiz, Kentucky and played defensive lineman at Jackson State. Drafted into the NFL in 1968, he played for the LA Rams (1968-1975), the San Diego Chargers (1973-1975), the Cincinnati Bengals (1976-1977), the Washington Redskins (1978-1981) and the Washington Federals (1983). He was selected into the Pro Bowl in 1972, 1976 and 1977. Coy Bacon was inducted into the American Football Association’s Semi Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986. He is being inducted into the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame posthumously.

Otis Wilson

Otis Wilson played linebacker for the University of Louisville after transferring from Syracuse University. He was drafted in the first round of the 1980 NFL draft and played for the Chicago Bears (1980-1987) and the Los Angeles Raiders (1989). He won a Super Bowl as a member of the 1985 Chicago Bears. That same year, he made the only Pro Bowl selection of his career, and was a featured soloist of the “Shuffling Crew” in the video “The Super Bowl Shuffle.” He is the father of former Cincinnati Bengals running back Quincy Wilson. Otis Wilson was born in Brooklyn, New York.

Chad Bratzke

Chad Bratzke played college football at Eastern Kentucky University. He was named Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Year and Kodak All-American. Originally drafted in the fifth round of the 1994 NFL Draft, he played ten seasons in the NFL, five for the New York Giants (1994-1998) and five for the Indianapolis Colts (1999-2003). He signed as unrestricted free agent for the Giants on March 1, 1999. He was born in Waukegan, Illinois.

Roman Dissake Oben

Roman Oben played offensive tackle for the University of Louisville, and was also a three year letterman in track and field. He was drafted in the third round of the 1996 NFL draft, and played for the New York Giants (1996-1999). He went on to play for the Cleveland Browns (2000-2003), the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2002-2003) and the San Diego Chargers (2004-2007). He was the starting left tackle on Tampa Bay’s 2002 Super Bowl champion team. Oben has been inducted to the Athletic Hall of Fames at Gonzaga College High School, Fork Union Military Academy and the University of Louisville.

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