Are there two players who represent what the Green Bay Packers are all about?
I don’t think so.
That’s why I think that the selection of William Henderson and Marco Rivera for induction into the Packers Hall of Fame is not only fitting … it’s just plain right.
Both were leaders on the field and model citizens off of it. They brought a championship effort to every game they played and proved game in and game out why they were starters on so many great teams in the late 90s and early 2000s.
How could one not like William Henderson?
Not only did he pave the way for seven 1,000-yard rushers during his 12 years with the team, but what fullback in recent memory could catch the ball out of the backfield like he did? There weren’t many in the league who could hang on to a Brett Favre fastball and then bust downfield, breaking tackle after tackle and punishing anyone who got in his way.
In his 12 years with the team, Henderson had 320 catches for 2,409 yards and 14 touchdowns. Not just pedestrian numbers.
His numbers are also due to his longevity and durability while playing one of the most demanding positions on the field. Not only did he meet linebackers head on in the hole while leading the way on running plays, but he also performed well on special teams … even during his final years with the team.
In all, he played in 188 games, of which he started 112. He wasn’t a bad ball carrier either, rushing for 426 yards on 112 carries and five scores. And how many times did you see him fumble? … not many.
Rivera was cut from the same mold … a durable player who spent nine years on an offensive line that was designed to both protect Brett Favre and to open holes for the running attack that included Ahman Green in the backfield for much of the time Rivera played. A Penn State product, Rivera was drafted in the sixth round and literally came out of nowhere to claim the guard position.
What’s most impressive were the 99 straight starts that Rivera, who like Henderson, played one of the most demanding positions on the field. His durability, ability to play clean and to help lead an offensive unit that, year in and out, was among the most productive in the NFL.
Both players will be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in ceremonies scheduled to take place this summer.
Introducing Henderson will be a longtime friend John Allen. Former offensive line coach Larry Beightol will introduce Rivera.
Tickets for the banquet are sold out. A waiting list has been established and to be considered, call Gwen Borga at 920-965-6984, or email [email protected].
No refunds are available 30 days prior to the event.
For more information, visit the Hall online at http://www.packershalloffame.com.