NOTEBOOK | From Canton



Speaking his mind: Former Los Angles Rams defender Deacon Jones was one of 51 Hall of Famers who returned to Canton for Sunday's induction ceremony. He was also one of the most entertaining, freely giving his opinion about this year's inductees. On Bob Brown, "It was like being beat with a big stick when you went up against him. He was a mosquito with an ax." On Carl Eller, "If you see Carl's style, you see mine. Where do you think he got it from?" And when he was asked what it would be like to chase John Elway or Barry Sanders, he began yelling at the reporter. "I've got a lot of respect for John Elway and Barry Sanders," he said. "Don't ever ask me what it's like to chase anybody. Everybody here can catch everybody else. There is no jealousy in this house. Everybody here's a Hall of Famer."
Staying loyal: Barry Sanders won the Heisman Trophy his junior year at Oklahoma State. But his father didn't always cheer for him. "My dad's only downfall is that he's an Oklahoma Sooner fan," Sanders said. "Even when I played for Oklahoma State, he still rooted for the Sooners."
Thanks mom: Sanders also paid tribute to his mother, but found time to get in a few jabs. "Her only downfall is she knows nothing about football," he said. "And she was always running late. I told the other guys that the reason I was a half-hour late for the bus today is my mom was always late to church and I think I developed a pattern."
Thanks dad: Jessica Elway became the first daughter to introduce a Hall of Famer when she introduced John on Sunday. Growing up, his kids were often asked about the best thing about having Elway as a father. "We're too young to remember his Super Bowl losses," she said.
Paying tribute: Pat Tillman's widow, Marie, was honored during Sunday's ceremony. Her late husband quit the Arizona Cardinals to join the military after the Sept. 11 attacks and was killed this spring while fighting in Afghanistan. When Marie was announced, the crowd gave her a standing ovation and started chanting "USA, USA."
Tonight's game: Washington coach Joe Gibbs, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1996, will coach his first game since 1992 when the Redskins play the Denver Broncos in tonight's Hall of Fame game at 8 at Fawcett Stadium. The game is sold out, but can be seen on ABC.
-- Joe Scalzo

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