CANTON, Ohio -- Jack Butler stood and waved to the crowd while hundreds of fans wearing the Pittsburgh Steelers' throwback jerseys rose and cheered. The big screens at Fawcett Stadium showed Butler, 84, rising and soaking in their adulation.
That brought the first goosebumps of the 2012 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony, at least for me.
Butler waited 50 years for his enshrinement. He and his oldest son, John, have been quite visible in Canton over the past few days. They've been so appreciative, so gracious, so humbled.
In speaking with John Butler at a reception Friday night, he said something about getting a couple of football cards featuring his father and giving them to my young sons. A couple of hours passed and that part of our conversation had faded from my mind. It was the sort of thing a lot of people would have said without really meaning it.
Our family left the reception, returning only briefly a couple of hours later in hopes of seeing a couple more Hall of Famers. The younger Butler found us and presented the two football cards -- both signed by Jack Butler, with "2012 HOF" written on them.