The way John Lynch put on his gold jacket solidifying his place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, you wouldn’t have guessed he was surprised by the news.
But he looked like a natural in it.
Back in January, the 49ers general manager cautiously answered his door before the NFC Championship Game, and was greeted by David Baker, president and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. That’s when he found out he would finally take his place among football immortality in Canton, Ohio.
The knock represented eight times of being a finalist for such honors. That’s partly why he was overcome with emotion and fell to his knees after the news.
Prior to his front-office role with the 49ers and his broadcast career with FOX, Lynch was one of the most respected players in the game. In his 15-year playing career, the hard-hitting safety collected four All-Pro and nine Pro Bowls selections, registered 1,277 tackles, 13 sacks, 26 interceptions and 16 forced fumbles in 224 games with 191 starts.
During his career, he spent 11 seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and four with the Denver Broncos. He has been inducted into the Ring of Honor for both teams.
Legendary running back Barry Sanders once summed up how dominant Lynch was.
“John Lynch didn’t just play the position,” Sanders said, “he occupied a spot in your mind.”
Congrats John, just try to keep wine away from your new jacket.