One of the toughest decisions a newly elected member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame has to make is deciding who will serve as his presenter. The presenters for this year’s class – Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin, and Willie Roaf – include a father, two sons, a former pro coach, a high school coach, and the widow of a longtime friend and agent.
Butler and Doleman will both be presented by their sons, John Butler and Evan Doleman respectively. “When my Dad told me he wanted me to be his presenter, I was shocked. I thought he might want one of his brothers, or someone from his playing days,” stated Evan Doleman. “I know how much this means to my father and I’m just so pleased to be able to be a part of it.”
Roaf has also chosen a family member as his presenter; his father Clifton Roaf. When asked why he selected his dad, Roaf replied, “In my entire college and pro career, my dad missed one home game and that’s because my brother had a game the same day. He drove from our home in Arkansas to New Orleans and Kansas City for every home game. It has to be him.”
Dawson has selected his high school football coach Steve Parker to be his presenter. “The reason I chose Coach Parker as my presenter was because I never would have played football if it weren’t for him,” the seven-time Pro Bowl player said. “Coach Parker came up to me in the hallway, I think in the beginning of my junior year and just put his arm on my shoulder and said, ‘Son, where have you been all my life?’ He taught me about hard work and dedication.”
Kennedy’s choice for presenter is Dixie Fraley Keller, the widow of his longtime agent and friend Robert Fraley, who died in a plane crash in 1999 along with professional golfer Payne Stewart. “One of the most important men in my life,” is how Kennedy described his friend.
Martin has asked his former coach Bill Parcells to do the honors in Canton on August 4. Martin, who began his career in 1995 with the New England Patriots, followed his coach to New York in 1998. “If Bill Parcells hadn’t been in New York, I wouldn’t have left the New England Patriots probably under any circumstances,” Martin stated.
The formal enshrinement of the Class of 2012 will take place on August 4, 2012 at 7 PM ET, on the Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium. The stadium is located directly across the street from the Hall of Fame. More than 80 previously enshrined Hall of Fame members are expected to be in Canton during the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival.