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Jack Butler waited a long time to get into the Hall of Fame

Pro Football Hall of Fame News Conference

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 04: Former Pittsburgh Steeler Jack Butler speaks after being elected into the 2012 Class during the Pro Football Hall of Fame News Conference at the JW Marriott on February 4, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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How long has Jack Butler been waiting to get into the Hall of Fame?

He played his last game in 1959, before 18 of the 32 current NFL head coaches were born, and his eligibility for the Hall of Fame began 48 years ago. In that time Butler watched all but one of the other players who joined him on the NFL’s 50th Anniversary Team go into Canton without ever getting the call. The call finally came on Saturday as Butler was the one Seniors Committee nominee to earn election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“I never thought it would happen, but here I am!” said Butler after getting the news.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s article about Butler’s election has some information that makes it even clearer that Butler was playing in a very different football world than the one we live in right now. When he got to the Steelers as an undrafted free agent in 1951, Butler was a wide receiver. The team switched his position to defensive end before he finally settled in at cornerback.

A lot’s been made about Julian Edelman switching sides for the Patriots this season, but can you imagine if he made a stop next to Vince Wilfork?