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football hall of fameGet ready for the ceremony and festivities as a handful of inductees are enshrined at the Pro Football Hall of Fame this summer.

All the hoopla is preceded by nothing less than the biggest NFL preseason exhibition pro game of the year -- when the Hall of Fame Game takes place on Thursday, August 1, 2019 airing on NBC beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET live from the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.

Next up, there's the formal enshrinement ceremony honoring all the best NFL players of the past which will take place on Saturday, August 3, 2019.

Then there is serious business to attend to -- at the Football Hall of Fame 2018 Enshrinement Ceremony! That's when the Football Hall of Fame recognizes retired pro players with the honor of a lifetime. Watch it when the ceremony is televised nationally on Sunday, August 4, 2019 by the NFL Network and ESPN from the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.

2019 Football Hall of Fame inductees

Considered one of the best tight ends in
NFL history, Tony Gonzalez leads the pack
among NFL Hall of Fame inductees in 2019.

Who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year?

Leading the pack among 102 nominees are tight end Tony Gonzalez, safety Ed Reed, cornerback Champ Bailey and inebacker London Fletcher.

In addition to first-time nominees, finalists from 2018 who are nominated again this year include running back Edgerrin James; wide receiver Isaac Bruce; offensive linemen Kevin Mawae, Steve Hutchinson, Alan Faneca and Tony Boselli; safety John Lynch; and cornerback Ty Law.

Nominees will be reduced to 25 semifinalists in November and, from there, to 15 finalists in January.

All will be presented with their bust sculptures and gold jackets in Canton this summer.

To be considered for Pro Football Hall of Fame election, a nominated player or coach must have been retired at least five years. This year's class will increase to more than 300 the players and coaches who are now permanently honored in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

In celebration, a 10-day party is traditionally planned in Canton at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival with fireworks displays, live music concerts, and kids activities.

DID YOU KNOW? Hall of Fame fun facts

• What's in a name? The more colorfully-named Hall of Fame inductees have included Elroy (Crazylegs) Hirsch, Frank (Bruiser) Kinard, Dick (Night Train) Lane, Clyde (Bulldog) Turner, Alphonse (Tuffy) Leemans, and "Mean" Joe Greene.

class of 1985
Class of '87: Pete Rozelle, O.J. Simpson, Joe Namath, Roger Staubach.

• "Mean" Joe Greene was inducted in 1987, but remains even more famous for starring in a Coke commercial entitled "Hey, Kid Catch!" which aired during the 1979 Super Bowl.

• One of the most illustrious Hall of Fame classes was inducted in 1985. It included Joe Namath, Pete Rozelle, O.J. Simpson, and Roger Staubach.

• Cal Hubbard is currently the only person in both the Pro Football Hall of Fame (as a player) and the Baseball Hall of Fame (as an umpire).

• Pennsylvania leads the pack in inductees, with 30 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame born in the Keystone state.

More about the pro football Hall of Fame around the Web:

On the Web, take a virtual tour, learn more about football greats of the past in profiles & photos, get details on the Hall of Fame Weekend festivities, and what else it means to be forever enshrined in the American Pro Football Hall of Fame ....

Pro Football Hall of Fame - Check out the official site with pictures, updates, inductee news, annual Hall of Fame Weekend & game schedule, museum virtual tour, pictures & video presentations, extensive historical guides including a decade-by-decade timeline, player profiles, plus a complete visitor guide with directions, contact info.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Festival - Pulling out all the stops in Canton with a 10-day celebration featuring hot air balloon flights, parades, races, concerts & fireworks, and a complete schedule including ticket information and visitor guide.

Pro Football Hall of Fame - Wikipedia - Get a leg up on encyclopedic knowledge of its history, the selection process, a list of inductees dating back to 1963, and related resources.

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