Peyton Manning headlines induction ceremony for Pro Football Hall of Fame class of '21

Peyton Manning jokes about Tom Brady during his Hall of Fame speech. The crowd boos him. (0:33).CANTON, Ohio -- Peyton Manning, the Hall's 2021 class inductee, was one of the most prominent players in the NFL.Drew Pearson, a former Dallas Cowboys receiver, was the first-team selection to 1970s All-Decade Team. He had not yet been inducted. Pearson, a former college quarterback, was inducted into the Seniors Hall of Fame in 1973 as he was an undrafted rookie wide receiver for the Cowboys.His 33-year-old career was cut short by liver injuries sustained in a car accident. He was followed by Tom Flores who was the first coach of a minority to win a Super Bowl.Flores and Hall of Famer Mike Ditka have been the only two people in NFL history to win Super Bowls as players, assistant coaches, and head coaches. Flores spent nine seasons with the Raiders as a coach, winning two Super Bowls and posting an 8-3 record in postseason play. He also had a playoff winning percentage (.727), which is second only to Vince Lombardi.Manning was the third speaker in the order. This made Manning the star of the group. Manning was picked in his first year of eligibility. He was a five time MVP and a 14-time Pro Bowl selection. Manning was also a former Offensive Player of the Year.Manning, who had spent 14 seasons with Indianapolis Colts' quarterback, signed with the Broncos the following year. He is one of the most successful players to have changed teams during the free-agency era. Manning was their quarterback for the Colts, and they won Super Bowl XLI with 11 wins. Manning also earned MVP honors.To close out Manning's 2015 season, the Broncos won Super Bowl fifty. This was the end of a four-year Denver run that saw Manning win 50 games and four consecutive AFC West championships. Manning retired with many single-season and lifetime records, including his 5,477 yard passing and 55 touchdowns in 2013.Jim Irsay, Colts owner, stated that Manning had been selected to be inshrined last February. "Books have been written and will continue being written about the impacts he and his families have made on all aspects of life and sports."Sunday's ceremony at Tom Benson Stadium concluded an extended weekend of enshrinement, which also included Thursday's Hall of Fame Game as well as a ceremony to honor the Hall's class of 2020 (and Centennial Class) that were selected for Saturday's 100th anniversary celebrations. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, ceremonies for the Centennial Class and class of 20 had to be postponed.John Lynch, a former safety for the Broncos and Buccaneers, was to follow Manning to the podium. Lynch, the San Francisco 49ers' General Manager, was a nine time Pro Bowl selection who helped the Broncos get within a game at the Super Bowl in 2005. Eight 80-tackle seasons were his record, with 84 tackles at the age of 35 and three 100-tackle years.Calvin Johnson, a Detroit Lions receiver, was to speak fifth. He was chosen for enshrinement in the first year of eligibility. This is only the third time in Hall history that a player under 35 has been enshrined. Johnson was a Lions receiver for nine seasons before he abruptly retired after the 2015 season. He had 88 receptions for 1,214 yards and nine touchdowns. Johnson retired partly because of injuries sustained throughout his career.Next, Alan Faneca will speak. He was a nine-time Pro Bowl pick and is one the 12 NFL guards to have been named first-team All Pro six times or more.Charles Woodson, a former Raiders and Packers defensive back, was scheduled to close the evening. Woodson, a nine-time Pro Bowl pick, finished his 18-year-long career tied for fifth in interceptions (65) with Ken Riley. In 2009, he led the league with nine interceptions for the Packers and won a Super Bowl ring in Green Bay the next season.Bill Nunn, a longtime Steelers scout, was to be honored posthumously by a video tribute. Nunn was an early pioneer in scouting, who started advising NFL teams about players from historically Black colleges and universities. He had previously evaluated these students when he was a sports journalist and managing editor for the Pittsburgh Courier. Nunn spent over four decades later with the Steelers and was a key player in their dynastic run of the 1970s, and the return to the Super Bowl in subsequent decades. He passed away in 2014.