MIAMI, Fla. (WBAY) - UPDATE: Packers legend Leroy Butler was not selected for this year's Hall of Fame.
On Twitter, Leroy said "Sorry @packers fans!! I missed it this year!! Thank you to all the fans that voted for me!! GOD IS GOOD!!!"
Here at the Super Bowl, Packers legend Leroy Butler is on the eve of anticipation as a Hall of Fame finalist for the first time after 14 long years of waiting and wondering if the moment would ever come.
Butler is one of 4 safeties among the 15 modern-era finalists. Steve Atwater, John Lynch, and Troy Polamalu are also up for Hall of Fame honors. All told 5 modern era men will join the Hall with the vote and announcement coming Saturday.
And even though Butler has had to wait, his resume is legitimate: Butler's 38 interceptions and 20.5 sacks, are more than any of the other safety finalists. And his 4 All-Pro First Team selections are tied for the most out of the group.
The only thing the other 3 have on Butler are more Pro Bowls, which, as we know, are popularity contests. Then again, the Hall of Fame can be too. We will see if Butler's incomparable resume wins out.
"Don't worry about stuff you can't control," Butler said. "This is nothing you can control so don't be worried about it. My wife is here with me, we are having fun and enjoying the process. If you are a finalist for a ton of years, maybe the process can get a little frustrating. But for me, I am the new kid of the block, and I am having a ball. Slam dunk to me. I am the first 20-20 guy. And it's not just interceptions, because I think that's what safeties are supposed to do. You're supposed to get interceptions! But getting sacks is big."
"I think it's time," said former Packers WR James Jones. "You look at what he has done over his career, All-Pro, Super Bowl champion, and look how long he has had to wait. I just think this is the time for him and I think we might be looking at two safeties sneaking their way in there."
"I was there in Green Bay when he was the captain of our defense before Reggie White. And he was the captain there after Reggie White," said former Packers assistant coach Steve Mariucci.. "He is a great guy, very productive. He fits into that fold of the safety that can do everything: cover, play zone, blitz, play tackle, lead. It will be interesting to see if he gets in. I am hopeful. Plus, he invented the Lambeau Leap! Are you kidding me? High schools use it. Colleges use it."
"To me the most compelling thing to me, because I think most everybody (of the finalists) is worthy,is the Leap that is amazing," Butler said. "You can do anything to celebrate. You can jump around. You can dance. But to jump up and thank the one person that we sometimes take for granted. To say thankful and show how much we love our fans. And that is what Green Bay is about, our connection with our fans."