Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Chiefs' Will Shields Thanks a 'Village' That Led Him to the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Chiefs' Will Shields Thanks a 'Village' That Led Him to the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Article excerpt

The bronze bust that will sit in the Pro Football Hall of Fame is a likeness of Will Shields.

But in Saturday evening's induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio, the former Kansas City Chiefs guard gave the important people in his life all the credit for his spot with the Hall's class of 2015.

"It's an honor being named to the Hall of Fame, to have those 10 letters added to your name," opened Shields in his acceptance speech that ran a few seconds over eight minutes. "But it takes more than just yourself; it takes a village of people. And with me, it was truly a village."

Starting with influential folks in his hometown of Lawton, Okla., through high school, college at the University of Nebraska and then into pro football with the Chiefs, Shields thanked them for their help in his journey to a 14-year career in the NFL.

"No one gets to the top by themselves," Shields said. "Someone had to push, prod and pull me to the next level. I will be forever grateful. Each man and woman has the opportunity to impact human beings as they walk through life. I'd like to tell you about the people who mentored me, and offered me friendship and love."

Longtime friend Adrian Lunsford presented Shields for his induction, helping him unveil the bust that will mark his career at the Hall of Fame. From there, Shields thanked his brother and sister and then walked his way through his youth in Oklahoma, then his time at Nebraska and finally into the NFL.

"To Carl Peterson, Lynn Stiles, Denny Thum and the Hunt family," Shields said, "thanks for giving me the opportunity to play on the greatest stage while providing me and my family with an opportunity of a lifetime."

Shields then thanked former Chiefs offensive line coach Alex Gibbs, who was not in favor of drafting the Nebraska guard in 1993. He went on to thank Marty Schottenheimer, Jimmy Raye, Gunther Cunningham, Art Shell, Mike Solari, Mike Stock, Dave Redding, Jeff Hurd, Billy Long and "Coach (Dick) Vermeil, who has remained a close friend," he said. …

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