On August 7, 2010, the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio will receive the first member of a legendary group of Washington Redskins.
Russ Grimm, the best of the Hogs of the 1980s, will be received into the Hall as part of the Class of 2010. In a league where offensive linemen get little glory, Grimm will finally be recognized as one of the greatest to play the game.
He was a critical component in all three of the Washington Redskins' championship teams of 1982, '87, and '91. In addition to his three Super Bowl rings, he also earned Pro Bowl honors four years in a row, from 1983-86.
Not bad for a man who started out wanting nothing more than to play linebacker. In fact, while he was still at the University of Pittsburgh, he hated the idea of playing on the offensive line.
"I wanted to play linebacker all the way," Grimm said. "You were in the middle of everything. You had the chance to make all the plays."
When the coaching staff of Pittsburgh told him he would have to switch from defense to offense, Grimm considered transferring to another school. Reluctantly, he swallowed his pride and made the switch.
The rest, as they say, is history.
If one was to describe Grimm's style of play with the Redskins, you could almost say that he played guard like a linebacker. He was a tough guy, a mauler, and he loved the intense battles with defensive players.
"He was hard-nosed player," former Redskins tight end Don Warren said. "He was a guy that I saw get punched in the eye, get stitches, and get carted off the field. He had blood rolling down his face, had stitches, and within 10 minutes, you look in the huddle, and he's right back next to you. He's a fierce competitor, and just a tough guy."
Along with his longtime teammate on the left side of the line, Joe Jacoby, Grimm opened up running lanes wide enough for a Mack truck to fit through. Pass protection was just as stout, including Grimm's final year with the Redskins in 1991, when Mark Rypien was only sacked nine times during the entire season.
Even rivals like former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Randy White held Grimm in the highest respects.
"He gave me more problems than anybody I ever played against," White said.
So, after years of opening up holes for backs such as John Riggins and Earnest Byner, Grimm has finally opened up a hole for himself into the Hall of Fame. And on August 7, don't be surprised to see a few men in dresses and pig snouts when Grimm gives his induction speech.