A happy Hall of Fame birthday to Walter Jones

Nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle Walter Jones turns 41 on Monday, and this year is up against it as far as trying to match everything that came Jones’ way in the past year.

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Monday is Walter Jones' 41st birthday, and 2015 be forewarned: It's going to be a tough act to follow after everything that happened to Jones in the past 12 months.

On Feb. 1, the Seahawks' nine-time Pro Bowl left tackle was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The next day, he watched the Seahawks dismantle the highest-scoring offense in NFL history during a 43-8 victory over the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII at MetLife Stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands.

On Aug. 2, Jones was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. On Oct. 2, Jones became the 11th member of the Seahawks' Ring of Honor.

Friday, he raised the 12 Flag atop the Space Needle and on Sunday he joined fellow Hall of Fame alums Steve Largent and Cortez Kennedy as the honorary captains for the NFC Championship game at CenturyLink Field.

"It's been awesome," Jones said before Sunday's 28-22 overtime victory against the Green Bay Packers that sent the defending Super Bowl champions back to the Super Bowl. "Lately, the NFC Championship has fallen the day before or the day of my birthday.

"So this year, it's almost like déjà vu. The only thing different this year is the title of my name is different."

Last year, he wasn't yet Hall of Famer Walter Jones or Ring of Honor member Walter Jones. And the Seahawks celebrated his birthday by beating the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship to become the first Seahawks team since Jones' 2005 Seahawks to advance to the Super Bowl – and only the second in franchise history.

"Last year, I was nervous wreck," Jones said. "I wanted the Seahawks to win. Everybody was confident, but still you've got that nervousness. Then we go to New Jersey and in addition to the nervous of the Seahawks playing in the Super Bowl, there's the nervousness about whether I get into the Hall of Fame."

Things, of course, worked out very well for Jones and his former team.

"There was a lot going on and it's been an exciting year. It's been a fun ride," Jones said. "Still, to be able come out here today and celebrate with the team and all that stuff, it's totally awesome just to be a part of if."

And totally awesome pretty much describes the way Jones played the game, as well as the way he has embraced the recognition and honors that have come his way because of the way he played the game.

So we send only the most awesome of birthday wishes to Walter Jones on his special day – which follows what was a very special and awesome year.

Happy 41st birthday to Seahawks Ring of Honor, and Hall of Fame recipient Walter Jones!

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