And it was pretty "heady" company. Among those honored by the National Football Foundation were Senator John Glenn, ( 2008 Gold Medal Award)The other big event of the night was the awarding of the Draddy Trophy, essentially the Academic Heisman, to California center Alex Mack. Purple Reign congrats to Alex.
"In this football environment today, I feel a little like costume jewelry in Tiffany's," said Glenn. "The T-formation wasn't even invented when I played at Muskingum... It taught me a lot about perseverance and hitting a moving target with the ball on the single wing snap."Former Notre Dame Coach and TV Commentator Lou Holtz: was inducted into the NFF Hall of Fame for his work with the Irish;
You can't fool the players. You just do everything you can to make them successful, and I just hope I had an impact on the lives of some of the people I coached."Other honorees included T. Boone Pickens (Distinguished American Award Recipient), former OSU Coach John Cooper, and a former QB you may know - Troy Aikman, all inductees into the NFF College Hall of Fame and recipients of a rousing welcome by the almost 1,600 attendees.
But for the Cat fans in attendance (NU President Henry Beinen, AD Jim Phillips, The Pat Ryan family, and host of NU media types - CNBC's Darren Rovell and ESPN's Willie Weinbaum among others) the highlight was the award to Pat Fitzgerald, NU's Head Coach, and former Rose Bowl Linebacker [shown above with Award Presenter, Ohio State's Archie Griffin..
I'm honored to be here," said Coach Fitz. "To be representing Northwestern as a player as well as being head coach is an honor. The relationships with people and the opportunity to play football on teams that went 15-1 in the Big Ten Conference over two years was something special. We played some outstanding teams and couldn't have done it without a concerted effort."The formal Enshrinement Festival for all the inductees (including Coach Fitz) will be in July, the 17 & 18thin 2009.
So those who wish to see our coach in South Bend should probably be happy that in July he'll take his rightful place in football history as one of the best college linebackers of the 90's. We can all wait another 15 years or so, until he's enshrined again for his work with the Wildcats as Head Coach.
All in all, a spledid time was had by all.
[Finally recovered from the festivities] - da Coach
[All Quotes courtesy of Bo Carter for the National Football Foundation.]
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