The first player ever drafted by the Baltimore Ravens will be inducted into the pro football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio in just over one week.
On Saturday, August 3, 2013, Jonathan Ogden will put on the coveted gold jacket. J.O. joined the media for his Hall of Fame conference call today, when he announced that he will have Ravens General Manager and Executive Vice President Ozzie Newsome introduce him at the ceremony.
“I chose Ozzie because he brought me in to Baltimore,” Ogden said. “I respect him, and we work well together. I could always go talk to him, be honest with him, and he’s just one of the people that I really respect in the business. It just kind of made sense to me.”
Ogden, who was present for the coin toss at Super Bowl XLVII in February, marveled at the year that it’s been for the Ravens franchise.
“You look at it, and you’re like, ‘This can’t really be happening,’ Ogden stated when asked about going into the Hall of Fame the same year the Ravens won the Super Bowl. “It just seems like a storybook, like somebody really isn’t going into the Hall of Fame while their team is playing in the biggest game on the planet in one of the best towns on the planet in New Orleans.”
“And that ovation that I got at the coin toss was unbelievable. Then the whole drama of the game … We end up winning. It could not have been a better weekend. I told them the only thing that could have made the weekend better is if Art Modell would have gotten into the Hall of Fame with me at the same time. That was the only thing that could have been better. Everything else was perfect. You get very few chances in life to say that. ”
While Ravens fans certainly agree that Mr. Modell should be joining J.O., the unfortunate fact is that the selection committee has continued to keep him out. That’s a story for another day, though. For now, Ravens fans who are going to Canton to celebrate with Ogden are likely giddy with excitement, as the big day is nearly here. And Ogden knows that Ravens Nation will be joining him.
“Oh, [Ravens fans] are crazy – in a good way,” Ogden said, laughing. “We’ve got really some of the best fans in the NFL. I’m just really looking forward to … This moment isn’t really – it’s for me, yes, but it’s for the fans. I played the game because we have such tremendous fans, [and] that’s why we play so hard out there. And just to get the opportunity to be amongst them, and just to thank them for the years of support, I’m really looking forward to it.”
Congratulations, J.O. You absolutely deserve this prestigious honor, and we can’t wait to watch you get inducted on August 3.