CANTON, OH. — Duval takes on Canton, Ohio, as Tony Boselli gets inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Fans from our area and even across the country have traveled from far and wide to see this happen.
While most took to the skies, many made the long-distance drive.
“We said, ‘Hey we got a chance — let’s do it.’ So, 2 o’clock in the morning yesterday we jumped in the car and started driving,” Rich Daegle said.
Daegle made the trip with his son and close friend. The three of them needed quite some dedication.
It was a marathon drive straight from Jacksonville to Canton. They split the trip and it’s a time they’ll cherish forever.
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“To actually have our first-round draft pick first year make into the Hall of Fame is a great feeling, at least as a Jags fan,” Daegle said. “Jaguars are in the Hall of Fame and the team forever.”
It’s a check off the bucket list and a trip of a lifetime for Tony Boselli.
“I was a big Deion Sanders fan as well — I want to see that as well but I can’t wait to see Tony’s bust in there as well,” fan Joe Harbin said.
Rocking a Boselli jersey loud and proud, Harbin said he grew up watching him.
“Always looking out for the quarterback, not getting injured so he was just an absolute beast,” he said.
Harbin became a Jaguars fan after growing up in Jacksonville. He eventually moved to North Carolina but still drove over eight hours to see the 1995 first round pick become the first Jaguars Hall of Famer.
He’s hoping this can be a turning point for the team.
“I think having a Jag in the Pro Football Hall of Fame legitimizes the team, solidifies that they’re here,” Harbin said. “They’re not going anywhere.”
Other fans like Kevin and Crystal Walker have been season-ticket holders since 1995 and came to visit Canton.
“He’s making history and we’ll be here for him,” Crystal Walker said of Boselli.
“This is awesome, it’s awesome for the city. It’s just amazing, it’s overwhelming, almost getting teared up now, he means so much to the city,” Kevin Walker said of Boselli.
Travis Camp and his family made it a priority to get to Ohio for the Hall of Fame.
“I’ve always wanted to come see the game, see the history. This was a chance to bring my boys out, have a good time see the first Jag get in,” Camp said.
Along with Boselli, LeRoy Butler is a Jacksonville native and will be inducted. Other die-hard fans like Michael Cippio said it’s a historical moment for many reasons.
“It opened up the door for players like Fred Taylor, Jimmy Smith,” he said.
The Jaguars lost their first preseason game to the Raiders in Canton, the final score was 27-11. Cippio said he wants to see the Jaguars play at every stadium.
“It’s my bucket list to see the Jaguars play in every stadium and this is one I wasn’t expecting,” he said.
Camp and his family are staying a few days and hope this isn’t the last time they visit.
“Hopefully it’s the first of many, really. We haven’t had many high points lately so we’re taking advantage of this one for sure,” he said.