It took longer than anyone thought it would. But Pittsburgh Steelers bias aside, Donnie Shell can finally call himself a Hall of Famer. It took the NFL and their Centennial class of 2020, with the NFL celebrating 100 years of existence, but I don’t think Shell will complain about how or when he gets enshrined.
Just that he will have his bust forever immortalized in Canton, OH along with the other members of those legendary 1970s Steelers who won four Super Bowls in six seasons.
The NFL decided to announce the members of their Centennial class in a unique way. Former Steelers coach Bill Cowher and ex-Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson were surprised on live television, and the rest of the class was announced on the NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” television show.
Shell joined the show live to talk about what this honor means to him, but before that he received a very important phone call. Check it out...
After Shell received the call he spent time with the “Good Morning Football” crew and talked about his time in college, choosing the Steelers as an undrafted rookie and how Mel Blount possibly saved his career.
Donnie Shell speaks about what being selected to the @ProFootballHOF means to him, his decision to sign with Pittsburgh, his career with the #Steelers and more on @gmfb. #PFHOF20 pic.twitter.com/d1mbja9E4X— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 15, 2020
For the younger Steelers fans, you might know not much about Shell other than how he has long been viewed as a snub for the Hall of Fame. Here is a video of just what Donnie Shell brought to the legendary Steel Curtain defense.
Of course, following the announcement of Shell being inducted, Steelers Team President Art Rooney II released a statement. You can read it below:
Even Bill Cowher took to his verified Twitter page to congratulate Shell and to tell him he will see him in Canton this summer.
Former Steelers running back and NFL analyst Merril Hoge also chimed in with congratulations for Shell.
Donnie your a Hall of Famer in all categories!! Congratulations on being inducted into @ProFootballHOF ! Also a big congrats to the former commish, Paul Tagliabue who’s Vision and brilliance made the @nfl the greatest sport in the world— Merril Hoge (@merrilhoge) January 15, 2020
@Steelers #herewego #steelernation pic.twitter.com/tSxZLsxYfZ
Former teammate and Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy was thrilled with Shell’s selection.
I think I’m more excited today than I was for my selection in 2016. My mentor and brother Donnie Shell has been selected to the Hall of Fame Centennial Class. No one deserves it more and I can’t wait to see him put on the Gold Jacket in August. CONGRATULATIONS DONNIE! pic.twitter.com/5eFdnCenMn— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) January 15, 2020
For a full list of players, coaches and contributors being inducted as a part of the NFL’s Centennial Class, you can see the full list below:
Full Pro Football Hall of Fame Centennial Class:— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) January 15, 2020