Walter Jones’ Golden evening

Posted Aug 1, 2014

Before being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night, nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones picked up a little memento on Friday evening at the Gold Jacket Dinner.

CANTON, Ohio – Walter Jones looks good in gold.

A Gold Jacket, that is. Jones, the Seahawks’ nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle, received his Pro Football Hall of Fame Gold Jacket on Friday night during a nationally televised ceremony from the Canton Memorial Civic Center.

Jones will be one of seven players inducted into the Hall on Saturday night. But quarterback Warren Moon always says that slipping on his Gold Jacket in 2006 was the moment he felt like a Hall of Famer, and NFL Network host Rich Eisen called the blazer “the first tangible item” the Class of 2014 will receive to commemorate achieving the highest honor in their sport.

“Oh my gosh, this is amazing. It’s so emotional,” Jones said from the stage in the emotional mayhem that followed the event, just after giving his daughter, Waleria, a kiss and accepting congratulations from Pierce McIntosh, the coach who launched Jones’ career by talking him into turning out for football as a freshman at Aliceville High School in Alabama.

“I knew this would be an exciting night, but it’s even better than I thought it was going to be. My son being up there with me made it really special.”

That would be 14-year-old Walterius, Waleria’s twin brother. He helped his father slip on the Gold Jacket, and he’ll also introduce him in a video that will be played before Jones makes his highly anticipated acceptance speech on Saturday night.

And Walterius offered a right-back-at-you assessment when asked about his part in this emotional evening for father and son.

“I’m so happy for my dad, and I’m so proud of him,” Walterius said. “I can’t really explain just how this feels. I’m so happy for him.”

And how does Walterius think his father looks in his new Gold Jacket?

“He looks very good in gold,” he said with a huge smile. “Very good. It brings out his eyes.”

For much of Friday evening, Walter Jones was having a difficult time comprehending just what his eyes were seeing.

Before the NFL Network telecast began, 100-plus Hall of Fame members formed gauntlets on either side of the stage that the Class of 2104 would pass through on the way to their moment in the spotlight. And each was wearing his Gold Jacket.

On his way to the stage, Jones was greeted by – and exchanged prolonged hugs with – Steve Largent, Cortez Kennedy and Moon. Along with Jones, Largent and Kennedy are the only member of the Hall who played their entire careers with the Seahawks.

“Being here among all the greats, it’s just been fun,” Jones said. “Just to see everyone, the emotion was so raw and so overwhelming.

“It’s just surreal.”

No Walter, it is very real. And your new Gold Jacket is just the first memento that proves it.