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Dermontti Dawson pays tribute to Mike Webster at the Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame Football AP

As a rookie for the Steelers in 1988, Dermontti Dawson played guard alongside center Mike Webster. A year later, Webster left Pittsburgh and Dawson took Webster’s place as the Steelers’ center. And tonight, Dawson joined Webster in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

At his enshrinement ceremony, Dawson paid tribute to the late, great Webster, the Hall of Fame center who took another Hall of Fame center under his wing.

“I used to observe Mike each day, and saw how he approached every aspect of his game. Mike used to be the first one to the weight room every morning, the first one in the meetings,” Dawson said. “Mike was a leader, whether he wanted to be or not, because he led by example. I tried to emulate everything Mike did. Mike had a profound impact on my life, and even to this day, I try to be like Mike.”

Dawson also credited other Steelers teammates, and the two Super Bowl-winning head coaches he played for.

“Very few things in life are the work of one person, and this is no exception,” Dawson said. “I had the pleasure of being coached by Hall of Famer Chuck Noll and soon-to-be Hall of Famer Bill Cowher.”

It was a classy speech from Dawson, who wanted to make it clear that he doesn’t believe he got to the Hall of Fame on his own. He got there with plenty of help from others, starting with the man whose shoes he filled, Mike Webster.

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11 Responses to “Dermontti Dawson pays tribute to Mike Webster at the Hall of Fame”
  1. fdugrad says: Aug 4, 2012 9:40 PM

    Very CLASSY. Mr. Webster had a very difficult life after football. I have heard he may have suffered from TBI, which would explain quite a lot. RIP Mr. Webster.

  2. melikefootball says: Aug 4, 2012 9:49 PM

    Was nice to hear a classy speech giving credit to others that taught him the game. Was just nice not to have to hear all the me me me speeches. Thanks Dermontti, you showed what a HOF should be.

  3. thekingdave says: Aug 4, 2012 11:06 PM

    Bill Cowher isn’t a Hall of Famer

  4. ravensd says: Aug 4, 2012 11:17 PM

    It was classy, it’s almost like he realized how lucky he was to get inducted when he only had seven good seasons. Especially over a guy like Cris Carter. Keep it classy Steeltown!

  5. yojoemama says: Aug 4, 2012 11:33 PM

    Dermontti finally got his due. The most dominant center of his era and he did it for 13 years. Great job, you deserve it!

  6. matto8929 says: Aug 4, 2012 11:55 PM

    What did you expect? Of course he was classy, he was a Steeler. Starts at the top.

  7. preston0036 says: Aug 5, 2012 12:12 AM

    hands down Greatest Center to Ever play the Game Period.shoulda been in the H.O.F the First time

  8. raysfan1 says: Aug 5, 2012 12:13 AM

    @ravensd–
    Since Dawson made the Pro Bowl 7 times in his 13-year career, and you say he only had 7 good seasons, is it fair to say you think a lineman can only have a good year by making the Pro Bowl? Either you have ridiculously high standards for linemen, or you let your rooting interest bias you against Steelers.

    BTW, Chris Carter made the Pro Bowl 8 times in 16 years–in other words, at about the same rate as Dawson. Carter was great and deserves to be in the HoF, but Dawson is just as deserving.

  9. raiderinva says: Aug 5, 2012 12:29 AM

    Dermontti finally did get his due.

    He did mention that Mike Webster was a mentor whither he knew it or not.

    However that was just a passing portion of his speech. He paid much more attention to other that had a stronger effect on his life.

    But wait, I forgot…. This is a Steeler / Mountaineer free zone. All players get a free pass and can do no wrong.

    Please mention that Cortez Kennedy said that in college he played for …. Pittsburgh. He left a silence in there and with disbelief listened to the crowd roar as he said Pittsburgh. Just like Pavlov’s dog, going crazy because someone said Pittsburgh. Even if you don’t know why?

  10. handsofsweed says: Aug 5, 2012 11:39 AM

    “Even if you don’t know why?”

    Not really, raideva. It’s because we know EXACTLY why. And so does Cortez. It’s why he left a “silence in there.” There was no disbelief, either. Don’t lie to yourself in public.

    Because you hate what you cannot understand, you say things you cannot know.

  11. randallflagg52 says: Aug 7, 2012 12:07 PM

    To anyone who says the steelers dynasty of the 70’s wasn’t built upon steroid usage, I say just look at Mike Webster and his post career issues.

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