EDMONTON - Together they stood beside their busts at the Winspear Centre and, in accordance with 50 years of tradition, they unveiled them in unison.
“The last time I was in Edmonton they said, ‘Off with his head!’ ” laughed Hall of Fame referee Jake Ireland as he revealed his own head.
Ther ceremony was the first of two Hall of Fame events on the day. The annual dinner held Thursday evening at the Shaw Conference Centre, with over 1,000 tickets sold, became the first sold-out Hall of Fame Gala in 50 years.
The unveiling of the busts is my favourite moment during Canadian Football Hall of Fame Weekend.
I’ve been involved with a few in the years this happened in Hamilton, including having been given the honour by Rollie Miles to present him at the induction dinner back in 1980. But this moment, when their busts are revealed — except for when one sculptor of the past managed to produce busts of players like Warren Moon which didn’t look remotely like themselves — is when it hits home.