Art McNally, the former field judge, referee, and supervisor of officiating, in two weeks will become the first NFL official to be enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. McNally, 97, will have his enshrinement speech presented during the ceremony via a prerecorded video instead of a live speech, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced on Tuesday.
McNally is the oldest living enshrinee to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. A representative from the Pro Football Hall of Fame confirmed to Football Zebras that, as of this publication, no decision has been made as to whether or not McNally will attend the ceremony and other accompanying enshrinement week events in Canton, Ohio.
In the nearly 60-year history of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, only 3 enshrinement speeches have been presented through the use of a prerecorded video: Browns offensive guard Gene Hickerson (2007), multi-team executive Bobby Beathard (2018), and Chiefs safety Johnny Robinson (2019). Beathard and Robinson gave their own speeches in their video, while the late Hickerson, who was affected by dementia, had his speech read by teammate Bobby Franklin.
All 3 of these Hall of Famers were present at their respective enshrinements to reveal their bronze busts. Wide receiver Terrell Owens, who was enshrined in 2018, is the only Hall of Famer to not attend the ceremony and give his enshrinement speech from a different location.
McNally’s speech will be the fourth delivered in the enshrinement ceremony for the 8 inductions.