Take your hat off for Jackson

CANTON, OHIO — Rickey Jackson brought a little “ring-a-ding-ding” to the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies by rocking a fedora. With plenty of style.

Jackson opened his speech talking about his hometown Pahokee, Fla. There was a sign outside of Pahokee that said, “The home of Mel Tillis.” (Incidentally, Tillis was a co-star in the Cannonball Run along with Hall of Fame QB Terry Bradshaw.) Jackson said that he was able to resist temptation because he wanted to get on that sign.

And then Jackson’s speech really became interesting.

Jackson talked fondly of Saints owner Tom Benson, saying that if the Saints win a Super Bowl this season Benson should be in the Hall of Fame. Jackson also said that Benson should be given credit for keeping the Saints in New Orleans, when a lot of other owners have snuck teams out of town in the middle of the night.

A sentiment that no doubt is popular in Cleveland.

Jackson said that with all that has happened to New Orleans, with Hurricane Katrina and the oil spill, moving the Saints would have been “10 times worse.”

Jackson said that you should take your hat off to him, while of course, not removing his own hat. He must have meant figuratively. But we should all take our hats off to Jackson for a wildly entertaining speech and a career that landed him in Canton.

Adam Rank

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