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What Does The Hall Of Fame Honor Mean To Bill Polian?

Intro: If Saturday night is any indication, Bill Polian’s list of thank-you’s at his Hall of Fame speech later this year will be quite long.


INDIANAPOLIS – To pass the time, almost nine hours in total, Bill Polian had a top-five college basketball matchup occupy the silent hotel room.

The silence broke around 5:30 p.m. Phoenix time on Saturday when Polian heard the knock on the door and knew in the next few seconds he was going to learn whether or not "Hall of Famer" would be added to his professional resume.

Hours of waiting had ceased.

Time well worth it to hear the answer that came when the door was opened.

"It's really overwhelming," Polian said on Saturday night upon learning about his induction into Canton. "Never in a million years would I ever have thought that I would be here."

While Polian's induction comes thanks to the body of work he made in three specific NFL stops, his longest tenure came in Indianapolis.

His first work as a general manager occurred in Buffalo with Bills head coach Marv Levy.

It's Levy who will be Polian's presenter at the 2015 Enshrinement on August 8.

"Without (Levy), I'm not in professional football," Polian, who is the third GM in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, said on Saturday night.

"Everything I have and everything good that's come to me in this business is because of him. I've often said everything I know about pro football I learned from him, and most of the things I know about life I learned from him. So I'm going to be honored to be there with him."

In Polian's 14 years (1998-2011) with the Colts, the team posted a record of 141-81 (second-best NFL mark during that span) and made the postseason in 11 of those seasons.

The Colts 115 wins from 2000-2009 are an NFL record for most victories in a decade.

It's numbers like those which has Polian in the Hall on his first try.

Like Polian said often on Saturday night though, this honor is on behalf of so many others.

"I'm overwhelmed to be here, but what this is about for me is the players and coaches that I've been so fortunate to be with over the years," Polian said.

"The biggest thrill tonight is to be able to share it obviously with my family, but have Jim Kelly and Peyton Manning here, too, because they're the reason I'm here."

A look back at Bill Polian's career with the Colts!

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