Eliot Wolf proud to induct father into Hall
As a child, Eliot Wolf often joked with his father, Ron, that he'd someday present him during his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction.
The former Green Bay Packers general manager had his doubts about whether that day would ever come, but his son's lighthearted prophecy came true. On Saturday night, Wolf will accept his gold jacket and take his place among football's all-time greats in Canton, Ohio, following Eliot's presentation.
The addition of the new contributor category brought new life to the family's hopes that Wolf's revival of one of the NFL's iconic franchises would earn him football immortality. It also made for an emotional moment when it was announced earlier this year that the 76-year-old Wolf finally made it in.
"I was at home at the time. I cried," Eliot said. "I was just so proud of him. It was pretty flooring for me just to know what it meant to him."
Eliot's words will kick off the festivities Saturday, as Ron will be the first of the eight inductees to be enshrined. Eliot said he recently was interviewed for the package, providing roughly an hour of stories and memories that will be condensed into a 5-minute package.
Wolf began his scouting career working for Al Davis in Oakland in 1963, the first of his two stints with the Raiders. He also had stops in Tampa Bay and the New York Jets before being hired to run the Packers in 1991.
It didn't take long for Eliot to decide he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps. He filed his first scouting report for the Atlanta Falcons at 14 years old on future Pittsburgh Steelers' first-round pick Chad Scott and quickly picked up on the history of the Packers' organization.
Like many kids, Wolf wanted to be like his dad, who happened to be the architect of one of the greatest rebuilds in NFL history. His trade for Brett Favre, signing of Reggie White and hiring of Mike Holmgren as head coach forged an iron-clad foundation of success that organization still operates on today.
"I think it's really special," Eliot said. "You can walk through the halls and see the pictures of the great players that he brought here – obviously Favre and White – and it's just really special to see how far it's come. Because when I got here, it was '92, I was 9 or 10 years old, and I really didn't understand what the mystique and history of this place was all about until a few years later. To see that he's really added to that is special."
Wolf paved the way for many personnel executive and scouts to general-manager posts. He talks glowingly about how proud he is that five of his protégés – Ted Thompson (Green Bay), John Schneider (Seattle), John Dorsey (Kansas City), Reggie McKenzie (Oakland) and Scott McCloughan (Washington) – currently run NFL front offices.
Less than a week away from the ceremony, Eliot can tell his father is excited about the honor. It's still to be determined where the gold blazer will go in the household, but it's certain it won't go far from Wolf's shoulders at the start.
"My guess is he'll probably wear it 24/7 for a week," Eliot joked.
-- firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @WesHod.