A first-ballot Hall of Fame finalist in 2012 alongside his old teammate Priest Holmes, former Kansas City offensive lineman Will Shields was quite literally taken aback by his induction into the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame on Sunday.
Shields, who started 223 NFL games with the Chiefs from 1993 to 2006, became the 42nd player in Kansas City history named to the team's Ring of Honor during a halftime presentation. And after 14 seasons of often unglamorous work on one of the most dominant offensive lines in the sport, Shields spoke of how honored he was to be mentioned alongside former greats at the team's official press conference.
"The presentation was awesome," Shields said. "You never imagine that you’re going to be in the Ring of Honor, Hall of Fame or anything like that. It’s really cool to say your name in the same breath as some of the great players like Willie Lanier and Emmitt Thomas that are up there on that ring."
Usually accustomed to focusing on his opponent when Saturday and Sunday roll around, Shields was finally able to sit back, connect with fellow greats, and enjoy his induction weekend as a privileged spectator.
"It’s been really good," Shields said of the entire weekend. "It’s really nice to have all of the guys come out and be a part of it. It’s a chance to reconnect every year, and that’s what makes it special."