CANTON, Ohio –Ron Wolf is immortal. Brett Favre is next.
“He transferred the franchise to its (former) address of Titletown, USA,” Chris Berman said in announcing Wolf to a capacity crowd at the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night. Wolf is one of eight men enshrined in the Hall of Fame on Saturday. He was the first to be presented.
“The only way a player would go to Green Bay is if he was drafted there or was on his way out of the league. He changed that,” Wolf’s son, Eliot, said in presenting his father for enshrinement.
Ron Wolf was hired in 1991 to be the Packers’ general manager. He began the resurrection of the Packers with two legendary personnel moves: He traded for Brett Favre and signed Reggie White in free agency.
“I was fortunate enough to be able to hire Mike Holmgren, trade for Brett Favre, sign Reggie White, and because of those three people, plus an excellent supporting cast, the Packers started to become a force once again in the NFL after two decades of mediocrity,” Wolf said.
It’s expected Favre will follow Wolf into the Hall of Fame next summer. White was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006.
“To think Ronnie Wolf from New Freedom, Pa., who graduated 101st in a class of 83, is being inducted into this fabled Hall is remarkable,” Wolf joked.
Wolf thanked legendary Raiders owner Al Davis for giving Wolf his pro football start in the mid-1960s.
“I am forever in his debt for providing me an opportunity to work in this extraordinary game,” Wolf said.
“When I was hired by the Packers, I didn’t realize what a wonderful place I was moving to. Those great names that surround Lambeau Field epitomize excellence achieved on the gridiron,” Wolf said in moving on to his trademark years in Green Bay.
“At that time there was always a threat to players of other teams that if they didn’t shape up they would be traded to Green Bay. We worked hard to eliminate that stigma. Suddenly, players wanted to come and be a part of football’s most illustrious franchise and to play in football’s most storied cathedral, Lambeau Field,” Wolf said of the men who, under his watch, led the Packers to a Super Bowl title and a decade of excellence.
“To succeed in this game you have to love it, respect its history and understand you have a responsibility to make it better. It is a game of human will and athletic grace.
“Go, Pack, go,” Wolf said in ending his speech.