CANTON, Ohio — Lights? Check. Cameras? Check. No rain? Check.
With just over an hour to go before the Hall of Fame induction ceremony begins, the threat of rain appears to have lessened. Good news for the Hall and fans alike. Situated in the green room to the side of the stage inside Fawcett Stadium, the previously rainy skies have broken up, and the light rain has stopped. The sun is even poking through. The jersey-clad fans are filing into the bleachers.
Speaking of jerseys, the NFL.com crew was debating earlier the most random jersey we’d see today. Lots of variations of Bruce Smith, Derrick Thomas and Rod Woodson, of course. But the winner to this point is the 10-year-old girl wearing the Chad Johnson jersey.
The finishing touches are being conducted on and off stage, and NFL Network reporters Kara Henderson and Jason La Canfora are prepping for their updates. Randall McDaniel is the first Hall of Famer to appear so far, and, as expected, he’s all smiles.
When you watch the induction ceremonies, you’ll see 82 current Hall of Famers split up into two seating sections behind the podium. With the exception of Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas, who will be sitting in the first row to assist inductee Ralph Wilson. I’m told the seating is not assigned — the guys sit where they want. So it might be interesting to see who sits where. Communications manager Pete Fierle said that getting the HOFers lined up is quite a chore. In fact, he claims it would be easier getting 80 cats lined up and to go one direction.
— Frank Tadych