It was never a matter of if Jonathan Ogden would be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It was always a matter of when.
Well when was on Saturday. Arguably the best offensive tackle in NFL history was immortalized in Canton, Ohio, where his legacy, from Washington D.C., to UCLA, to the Ravens, will last forever.
In a poignant induction speech that touched upon what, and specifically who, helped him become a Hall of Famer, Ogden had plenty to say about his time at UCLA. Mainly, he had plenty of people to thank.
Now when it comes to UCLA, first I want to thank all of my teammates. Many of whom I see out in the audience, made the trip out here today. I wouldn't trade my time in Westwood with you guys for anything.
I also want to thank a few administrators there, Frank Stevens, Marc Dellins and your respective staffs. You guys really helped make my life at UCLA very special.
And to all my line coaches -- yes, in four years I had four line coaches at UCLA on the line -- Ed Kezirian, Bob Palcic, Don Rally, Mike Sherman. You each brought something special to the table, gave me things to think about and taught me how to approach my craft and make it my own. Thank you all.
And you saw it on the screen, a lot of you didn't know probably until you saw it, but I was a NCAA indoor champion in the shot put as a senior. My throws coach, Art Venegas, was also a huge influence in my life. He's the man who taught me to not make excuses and just go out there and get the job done. As a freshman he almost kicked me off the team because he thought I didn't care enough. I had to go out and prove to him that I wanted it badly and I thank you for that, Art.
But the coach at UCLA I'd like to especially thank is Terry Donahue. Coach Donahue could not be here today, but he had a great saying that every Bruin who played under him knows: 'In football, as in life, when things are going good, they're not really going that good. And when they're going bad, they're not really going that bad.' I always thought that was a great motto about how to approach the game, recognizing the importance of putting things into perspective and maintaining an even keel, and that was always the way to perform at your best. So thank you Coach Donahue.
Congratulations, Jonathan. Hall of Famer, Class of 2013.