February 2, 2002 - Jim Kelly was sitting in a hotel room, wearing his less-than-Sunday-best on a Saturday morning. Yes, he had some good clothes with him, but he wasn't about to put them unless the phone rang with good news.
That phone did ring, and Kelly found out that he had been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
"I was really nervous for 45 minutes before the announcement was made," Kelly said. "People were telling me to be ready for when my name was called. But I kept my blue jeans and sweat shirt on. I said: 'You know what? I never take anything for granted anymore.' "
Kelly, one of the greatest players in the history of the Buffalo Bills and clearly the best quarterback in the team's annals, shouldn't have been worried. He was easily elected in his first year of eligibility.
Kelly was part of a golden age for quarterbacking in the National Football League. He played with such greats as Joe Montana, Steve Young, Troy Aikman, John Elway, Dan Marino and Warren Moon. None of the Hall's voters thought Kelly wasn't deserving of his place on that list.
"We were No. 2 in a lot of Super Bowls, but today we're No. 1 -- not just me but all the Buffalo Bills fans and all my teammates, Ralph Wilson, Marv Levy, everybody," Kelly said.
--- Budd Bailey