Offensive tackle Winston Hill partook in 14 New York Jets seasons, including their run to Super Bowl 3 in 1969 with Joe Namath.
“Bust” took on a whole new meaning for the New York Jets this draft weekend.
Former offensive lineman Winston Hill was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend, posthumously enshrined in a special ceremony with eight other late newcomers. Hill, who passed away in 2016, was elected to the Hall of Fame last season, but last season’s ceremonies were postponed due to the ongoing health crisis.
Hill’s bust, which will forever reside in Canton, was unveiled by his daughters, Heather and Hovlyn, each clad in green.
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) May 1, 2021
Hill was originally drafted by the NFL’s Baltimore Colts in 1963 but joined New York City’s American Football League club before playing his first down. His signing coincided with the team’s first year under the Jets moniker. He’d go on to play 195 games in green, which currently stands as fifth-best in team history.
The Texas Southern alum reached eight all-star events and was later named to the AFL’s all-time team upon merging with the NFL in 1970. Hill played a major role in the catalyst for that merger, partaking in the Jets’ Super Bowl 3 triumph over Baltimore. Thanks to Hill’s efforts, the Jets put in 143 rushing yards (121 from Matt Snell) in the 16-7 victory.
“Our dad, he was amazing. He loved to share stories about his experiences,” Heather, wearing her father’s Super Bowl ring on a necklace, said. “But our dad was keenly aware that when you have a great event, and Super Bowl III was a great event that changed football, coupled with a platform, you can change lives. Our dad used every platform. He used his platform: every accolade, every honor he received, every accomplishment, as a way to inspire people, as a way to elevate people.
“(This enshrinement) is a reinforcement of his character, his kindness, his integrity, and his perseverance, these different traits that are necessary for athletes, whether they be in school or on the gridiron,” Holvyn added. “We are just so thrilled.”
Hill’s professional career coincided with the endeavors of Joe Namath. He even followed the Super Bowl MVP to Los Angeles for one final season with the Rams in 1977, their final year in the league.
Namath spoke highly of his former teammate during a recent appearance on NFL Network.
“Winston was a top-notch teammate anyone could want to have,” Namath told host Andrew Siciliano. “Winston always made you feel like you were his best friend, no matter where you were on the team, on the sideline…he was a righteous man, but boy, was he a competitor.”
Among the others posthumously inducted in the ceremony were Bobby Dillon, Alex Karras, Bill Nunn, Steve Sabol, Duke Slater, Mac Speedie, Ed Sprinkle, and George Young. It will air this week on Tuesday night (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags
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