CANTON, OH (July 28, 2009) - The Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival department of Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce has announced emcees for various events occurring during this year's 10-days of festivities.[gallery link="file" columns="5"]
Don Criqui, who received the prestigious Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award at the 2003 Enshrinees Dinner, will return this year to emcee the event. He is an all-around sports expert and enthusiast who has received critical acclaim for his work over the past 40 years. He is the voice of Notre Dame Football, his alma mater, and his many broadcast credits include NCAA and NBA basketball, 14 Orange Bowls, PGA and LPGA golf, The Olympics, track and field, swimming, figure skating, auto racing, and gymnastics. He also serves as a play-by-play announcer for the NFL on CBS Television, and is one of the six regional heads of the Heisman Trophy Committee.
The Enshrinees Dinner will be held on Friday, Aug. 7, with activities beginning at 5:15 p.m. A large contingent of returning Hall of Famers will be present to congratulate this year's Class of Enshrinees, and the highlight of the evening will be the presentation of the Hall of Fame/NFL Alumni gold jackets to the four living Enshrinees - Randall McDaniel, Bruce Smith, Ralph Wilson, Jr. and Rod Woodson - and the presentation of Lifetime Achievement Awards in recognition of deceased Enshrinees Bob Hayes and Derrick Thomas, both of whom will be represented by their sons. Limited Enshrinees Dinner tickets are available, call (330) 458-2048 to reserve seats.
Dan Dierdorf and Wilma Smith will be teaming up once again to co-host the national television broadcast of the Timken Grand Parade, which will step-off at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 8. Joining them as the "man-on-the-street" sportscaster will be Tony Rizzo.
Diedorf, a Canton native, is a 1996 inductee into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and 2000 inductee into the College Football Hall of Fame. He was a 1970 consensus All-American at University of Michigan. He went on to play 13 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals (1971-1983), was named All-Pro five times, was selected as the NFL Players Association's top offensive lineman three times, and was voted to the NFL Team of the Decade for the 1970s. He began his broadcasting career in 1984 with CBS Sports' NFL broadcasts, first as play-by-play announcer and later as color analyst. In 1987, he joined the ABC Sports' "Monday Night Football" broadcast team, and in 1999 returned to CBS Sports as a game analyst for the network's coverage of The NFL on CBS.
Nationally recognized as one of the top football announcers in the industry, Dierdorf is a three-time Emmy Award nominee (1987, 1988, and 1989) as Outstanding Sports Analyst, and was the 2008 recipient of the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award.
Smith, a Cleveland native, has been featured five times on the cover of Cleveland Magazine and is the winner of ten Emmys. She began her broadcasting career in Richmond, Virginia, but returned to Cleveland in 1977 to host "Afternoon Exchange" and anchor the 11 o'clock news. WJW Fox-8 became her home in 1994, where she continues her career as a journalist, interviewer, anchor of WJW's 6 p.m. Monday through Friday edition of Fox-8 News.
Rizzo was born in Cleveland, and he and his family still live in northeast Ohio. He was a fixture for Cleveland sports fans on WMJI radio from 1987-1996 while also being featured on Fox-8's "Sunday Sports Page" show from 1994-1996. He received an Emmy Award in 1996 for his "Riz on the Road" segments. He became a sports anchor for Fox-8 in 1997 and was named sports anchor of the 6 and 10 o'clock editions of Fox-8 News in 2005.
The Timken Grand Parade will step-off at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 8, following Cleveland Ave. from Sixth St. S to 25th St. N, where it will begin to disband. Featured will be the 2009 Class of Enshrinees or their representatives, including Bob Hayes, Randall McDaniel, Bruce Smith, Derrick Thomas, Ralph Wilson, Jr., and Rod Woodson, along with many returning Hall of Famers, 12 giant helium balloons including Ziggy and his creator, Tom Wilson, Jr., 22 marching and military bands, 11 floats, 27 specialty units including the Cowgirl Express Rodeo Drill Team and Invincible Regulating Striders Marching Ensemble, both from Dayton, antique vehicles, animal units and much more. Local viewers can watch the parade broadcast on Fox Sports Net Ohio on Sunday, Aug. 9, at 7 p.m. For those wishing to enjoy the sights and sounds on-site, reserved chair and bleacher seats are available. Call (330) 458-2048 to reserve seats.
Wilma Smith will also fulfill her traditional role as emcee of the Fashion Show Luncheon at noon on Friday, Aug. 7. The show, themed "Attitude," will feature state-of-the-art sound, lighting and video to showcase professional models featuring the season's hottest fashions. Lively musical entertainment will be provided by electric violinist Cathy Morris and hip-hop artist Jennifer Johns. Fashion Show Luncheon tickets are available, call (330) 458-2048.
Andrea Kremer has the distinction of being the first female emcee of the Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable since its inception in 1999. She is certainly no stranger to NFL football, and is very recognizable as a featured reporter for "NBC Sunday Night Football" and as a sideline reporter during the last three Super Bowls, as well as a contributor to "Football Night in America," and correspondent for HBO "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel."
She reported on diving and swimming at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where she covered Michael Phelps' historic pursuit of eight gold medals. She has covered the NBA Finals and All-Star Game, Major League Baseball's All-Star Game and League Championship Series, college football bowl games, Stanley Cup Playoffs and Finals, NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, U.S. Olympic basketball trials and the PGA Championship. A wife and mother of one son, she is a cum laude graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and has won a PRISM Award and two Emmys.
The Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 9, with a center stage roundtable presentation featuring the newly inducted Class of Enshrinees in an unscripted, up-close-and-personal format where they share stories and memories of their careers. Enshrinees GameDay Roundtable tickets are available, call (330) 458-2048.
For the complete event and ticket information, check: www.profootballhofef.com.