HOF Accolades Remain Thrill to Class of 2011

Packer Report, the only media outlet on the course, talked to Marco Rivera and William Henderson during the Packers Hall of Fame Golf Classic on Monday. Here are some highlights of the day, with extended stories throughout the week.

SHEBOYGAN FALLS, Wis. — On July 23, William Henderson and Marco Rivera will be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame.

On Monday, they got their first taste of the prestigious club by playing in the Packers Hall of Fame Golf Classic.

They learned of the honor in December but it still hasn't sunken in for Henderson, a third-round selection from North Carolina who played fullback for 12 seasons in Green Bay (1995 through 2006). Henderson played in 188 games for the Packers — only Brett Favre, Bart Starr and Ray Nitschke played in more — and made 112 starts. Upon Henderson's arrival, the Packers hadn't had a 1,000-yard rusher since 1978. Incredibly, he led the way for seven such seasons: Dorsey Levens in 1997 and 1999, and Ahman Green in 2000 through 2004. Henderson, an All-Pro and Pro Bowler in 2004, ranks 10th in Packers history with 320 receptions.

"No, actually, I'm still surprised," he said behind the ninth green. "I'm in the company of some amazing gentlemen and there's still so many names that played with me, before me, that I think are worthy candidates. For them to choose me to be inducted this year, I'm just very humble."

Rivera, a sixth-round draft choice from Penn State, played nine seasons (1996 through 2004) for the Packers. He started 111 games at left and right guard for the team, including his final 99. He was voted to the Pro Bowl in 2002, 2003 and 2004. Only Jerry Kramer started more consecutive seasons at guard (nine) for the Packers since 1958.

Rivera knew Kramer but got to know him on a deeper level on Sunday night.

"It's pretty incredible," he said. "It started sinking in last night when we were having the dinner. I was sitting at the table with Jerry Kramer and Boyd (Dowler) and just rubbing shoulders with the legends of the past. You can appreciate what they did for the game and what they did for the Green Bay Packers and why the Green Bay Packers are such a historic franchise. You look at these guys across the table and you realize you're joining a select group of individuals. God, what an honor. It's awesome."

For more, check out the rest of Bill's story at Fox Sports Wisconsin. Plus, Packer Report — the only media outlet to attend the event, will have more exclusive stories throughout the week.

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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/packerreport.

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