View Full Version : Steelers linemen want Dawson in the Hall

06-27-2009, 02:36 PM
Its the off season and I'm seriously bored. Found this on Steelers.com and don't recall having seen it posted or anybody talking about it. Another jersey tribute...



Steelers linemen want Dawson in the Hall
Wednesday, January 28, 2009

By Teresa Varley
Dermontti Dawson answered the phone and was his usual talkative self, chatting about the excitement of the Steelers going to the Super Bowl and asking how things were going in Pittsburgh.

And then, he got kind of quiet. And for a guy who is so eloquent in everything he says, he was basically rendered speechless for a minute.

“Are you for real?” was about all that Dawson could muster when I shared something with him, something that he found to be very special.

On Tuesday, as the team was at Super Bowl XLIII Media Day, every offensive lineman sported a #63 Dawson jersey after the team photo, their tribute to the man they firmly believe should be elected into the Hall of Fame this week.

“Well I’ll be darned,” Dawson was able to get out after another minute or so. “That’s big. That is real big.”

The idea to wear the jerseys came from offensive linemen Trai Essex and Willie Colon. They feel that Dawson, who is a finalist this year, should get his rightful spot in the Hall of Fame and they just wanted to let everyone know.

“We wanted to do our part to push Dermontti, one of the greatest centers to ever play the game, into the Hall of Fame,” said Essex, who purchased the jerseys for all 13 linemen. “We thought he should be in there already. His credentials speak for themselves. He doesn’t need this, but we want to do our part. We want to get one of our own in there. He is a very deserving guy.”

And what is really amazing, is for the most part all of the linemen that wore the jerseys, never met Dawson but just know what a great player and person he is.


“Marvel (Smith) told me stories about him and what a great person he is and we want to do our part to help out,” said Essex, who didn’t get a chance to say hi to Dawson when he was an honorary co-captain for the AFC Championship game. “I was a Steelers fan growing up and I followed the team closely. I couldn’t help notice Dermontti Dawson. He set the standard as far as centers are concerned. I was a Dermontti Dawson fan growing up.

“He is the type of player I want to aspire to. The consistent greatness that he performed with year in and year out is rare. Not that many people can do that for that long. He is someone I want to be like.”

Dawson was drafted by the Steelers in the second round in 1988 from Kentucky. He played his entire 13-year career with the Steelers, taking over for Mike Webster at center in his second season and remaining a steady force at the position throughout his career.

Dawson, who is a finalist this year along with former cornerback Rod Woodson, had a streak of 170 consecutive games played between 1988-9. He was an All-Pro selection eight times and was voted to the Pro Bowl an impressive seven times.

“Any time you have a lineman from your team with the opportunity to go into the Hall, you always want to support him,” said tackle Max Starks. “We have all heard of him and what a great guy he is. Linemen are a small fraternity of guys, we are the unknowns. We want to support him. What bigger way and stage than heading to Tampa.

“I have known about him since I was a kid. Learning about his career has been amazing. To play the games he has and starting consecutively is not a feat many can do. To do what he has done there is no reason he shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame. He doesn’t have the stats like other players do, receivers and the like, but his stats as a lineman are the best you can have.”

Not far from the offensive line meeting room at the team’s practice facility, there is a wall with large pictures of the centers that played for the organization. The linemen see Dawson’s photo on a daily basis and know that he is one of them.

“We are all part of the linage of the Steelers offensive line which has been a great tradition for years,” said Essex. “We are all family, connected some how, some way, being a part of this great tradition and football team.”

Dawson was a semi-finalist for the Hall of Fame Class of 2006, his first year eligible, but this is the first time he is a finalist.

“It’s hard to believe I had that kind of effect on them and they have that much respect for me,” said Dawson. “Not to be around them personally and just hear about me from other guys. That’s a big honor.

“To make it this year, with the Steelers in the Super Bowl, that would be the ultimate.”

06-27-2009, 03:00 PM
good read. thanks.

I've said it before, but there is something this organization does, which continues to drive continuity. That type of thing keeps this team who and what they are.

06-27-2009, 03:33 PM
If he doesn't make it in the 2010 induction class, I will be really pissed off and write letters to people who have votes declaring them to retarded to vote.

06-27-2009, 06:52 PM
Still say he'd be in there already if he had a ring. Thanks again, Neil.

06-27-2009, 07:17 PM
It's inexcusable to not have him make it in eventually. He is the second best Center in Steelers franchise history, behind Iron Mikey Webster, and is arguably the best Center of his era.

7 Time Pro Bowl Selection
6 Time First Team All Pro
1990's All Decade Team

Damn good resume even without the hardware.

06-27-2009, 08:15 PM
i like when the Steelers defensive players got together and wore LeBeaus Lions jersey in hopes to get him inducted. that shows team pride and proper teamwork. you gotta love that.

Dawson should get it next year...since he was already in consideration.

the class of 2011 gets Bettis! YAY! =)

Galax Steeler
06-28-2009, 07:24 AM
He really deserves to be there and hopefully they will call his name this go around.

06-28-2009, 09:40 AM
It would be a double treat for me if Dawson got voted into the HOF cause he played for my beloved STEELERS an my UK WILDCATS!!!!!!!!!

06-28-2009, 03:49 PM
He SHOULD have been a unanimous first balloter...

That's right, I said UNANIMOUS. Every single one of the guys who vote for the HOF should have voted him in without even thinking about it.

06-28-2009, 05:07 PM
He is def deserving, the player.

The man even more so.

I talked to him at Latrobe once.

And I love how he carried himself.

People friendly, soft spoken, genuine.

For what its worth the player and the man has my vote.....

06-30-2009, 05:05 PM
I teach and coach at his former high school back here in KY. He is not only a HOF football player, but an outstanding person.

07-01-2009, 06:55 AM
I believe it is harder for a Steeler to get in the Hall. I think there is an unspoken bias against Steeler players because so many are already in the Hall. Peter King has openly admitted that he will never vote for another 70's era Steeler because he thinks too many are already there.... (cough) Donnie Shell?

I think Dawson does get in eventually, but he had the career that should have gotten him a first ballot HoF nod.