Former players OT Clifton, S Collins, broadcaster Winnie named to Packers Hall of Fame
It won’t have the hoopla of the Brett Favre ceremony, but the Green Bay Packers announced three more additions to their Hall of Fame.
Longtime offensive tackle Chad Clifton, playmaking safety Nick Collins and former broadcaster Russ Winnie are this year’s inductees. The ceremony will be held July 23, 2016, in the Lambeau Field Atrium.
Clifton, who was selected in the second round of the 2000 NFL Draft, appeared in 165 games with 160 starts during his 12-year career in Green Bay. He ranks No. 2 in franchise history for most games played by an offensive tackle behind only Forrest Gregg (187 games). In 2004, Clifton helped limit the opposition to a franchise-low 14 sacks, as the Packers did not allow a sack in eight games, another single-season club record. Clifton was selected to the Pro Bowl twice during his career (2007 and 2010) and blocked for five of the top eight single-season rushers in franchise history (Ahman Green, 2001-03; Ryan Grant, 2008-09). He played on eight playoff teams in Green Bay, highlighted by the 2010 squad that won Super Bowl XLV.
Collins, a second-round draft pick out of Bethune-Cookman in 2005, played seven seasons (2005-11) for the Packers before his career was cut short due to a neck injury. The talented, athletic defender became one of the top playmakers in the league at the safety position and racked up 21 interceptions among 83 passes defensed in his career. Collins was a three-time Pro Bowl selection (2008-10), and became the first Packers safety since LeRoy Butler (1996-98) to earn the honor in three consecutive seasons. His interception return for a touchdown in Super Bowl XLV staked the Packers to a 14-0 lead in the eventual 31-25 triumph.
Winnie was the radio voice of the Packers for 18 years and considered one of those most responsible for building their statewide and rabid fan base. He broadcast Packers games from 1929-46, in the years before television and when the team won six NFL championships under Curly Lambeau. Legendary radio voice Ted Husing, the first national sportscaster hired by CBS, once called Winnie "the man who has broadcast more sports events than any other man in America." Like so many others, former Packers historian Lee Remmel became a fan of the team as a youngster in Shawano, Wis., at least partly because of Winnie. "I grew up with Russ Winnie," Remmel once said. "I liked his dramatic style. He had an excellent vocabulary and expressed himself very well." A native of Racine, Wis., Winnie died in 1956 at age 49.