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From Talking To Peyton Manning, To Waiting: Tony Dungy's Induction To Canton

Intro: One week earlier, he was still being a coach. The next, Tony Dungy was honored with selection into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


INDIANAPOLIS – Take the last two Saturday's for Tony Dungy and you see why he will be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year.

Two weeks ago, longtime Colts quarterback Peyton Manning dialed up his former head coach.

Manning was a week away from playing in what many believed would be his final NFL game.

In search of advice, Manning called the man he won a Super Bowl with some nine years prior.

Retirement was on the mind of Manning and he wanted to hear from Dungy, who had similar thoughts following the two's Super Bowl XLI victory together in 2007.

"I told (Manning), I was pretty convinced before our Super Bowl XLI that was going to be my last game, if we won," Dungy said on Monday’s Dan Patrick Show.

"But I got some great advice from (former Rams head coach) Dick Vermeil and he said, 'Don't do that. You are going to get caught up in the, boy this is special. This is great. This is the time.'"

Vermeil's advice to Dungy was to take a couple of weeks and let the inevitable Super Bowl emotions simmer down.

One week after Dungy continued to offer much needed tutelage to one of his former players, it was time for the coach to be rewarded for years of NFL service.

Saturday of Super Bowl week for Hall of Fame finalists is the definition of nail biting, pacing and clock watching.

Hall of Fame selectors, 46 in all, gathered just before 7 a.m. local time in San Francisco to begin deliberation.

Nearly nine hours later, the votes were tallied.

"They told us to be in our hotel room at 2:30 and sometime between 2:30 and 4:00 we would get the message," Dungy said of waiting to hear the word for a third straight year as a finalist.

"We are here (Dungy, his wife Lauren and their son Justin), kind of waiting and waiting. (Sports Illustrated's) Peter King tweeted out that the meeting was over at 3:15. That's when you start getting nervous. Before then, you start thinking they haven't finished. 3:15, 3:30, 3:45, you don't hear anything. What's going on? Finally, a knock on the door. And it's David Baker, the President of the Hall of Fame saying, 'Congratulations.'"




"It was one of the most surreal moments," Dungy said.

"You think about your parents, your family, everyone who kind of got you off on the right foot. (Hall of Fame coach Chuck Noll), (former Vikings coach) Denny Green, (former Steelers Owner) Art Rooney, (former Chiefs Owner) Lamar Hunt, just all of the people you crossed paths with, truly blessed by the Lord to have some special people kind of pour into you. That's what you think about that in that moment."

2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame Finalist - TONY DUNGY

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