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Jack Butler waited a long time to get into the Hall of Fame

Pro Football Hall of Fame News Conference Getty Images

How long has Jack Butler been waiting to get into the Hall of Fame?

He played his last game in 1959, before 18 of the 32 current NFL head coaches were born, and his eligibility for the Hall of Fame began 48 years ago. In that time Butler watched all but one of the other players who joined him on the NFL’s 50th Anniversary Team go into Canton without ever getting the call. The call finally came on Saturday as Butler was the one Seniors Committee nominee to earn election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“I never thought it would happen, but here I am!” said Butler after getting the news.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s article about Butler’s election has some information that makes it even clearer that Butler was playing in a very different football world than the one we live in right now. When he got to the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 1951, Butler was a wide receiver. The team switched his position to defensive end before he finally settled in at cornerback.

A lot’s been made about Julian Edelman switching sides for the Patriots this season, but can you imagine if he made a stop next to Vince Wilfork?

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6 Responses to “Jack Butler waited a long time to get into the Hall of Fame”
  1. samoanjungle says: Feb 5, 2012 9:51 AM

    If Jack Butler is good enough for the HOF then Ken Riley surely is.
    Put “The Rattler” in!

  2. bsizemore68 says: Feb 5, 2012 11:17 AM

    This man played when it took a real hard man to survive the way the game was played back then, they weren’t Drama queens and end zone dancers, most of them acted like they been in the end zone before, and sure as hell they weren’t spoon fed like some are today. Bill

  3. sojumaster says: Feb 5, 2012 11:58 AM

    He was also listed as a Halfback going into the 1956 Training Camp.

  4. Deb says: Feb 5, 2012 12:09 PM

    Congratulations and God bless, Mr. Butler!!! Steeler Nation is thrilled for you!!!

  5. meatsweat says: Feb 5, 2012 1:12 PM

    Kyle Arrington (CB) has lined up as a defensive end in the past as well…So not unprecedented for BB either

  6. stavreafavre says: Feb 5, 2012 3:50 PM

    Jerry Kramer was not only a great guard, he served as a backup place kicker. In the championship game where the Packers beat the Giants 16 – 7, Jerry Kramer was responsible for 10 Green Bay points. Jerry Kramer is still not in the Hall of Fame.

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