The Tony Gonzalez countdown begins for the Pro Football Hall of Fame
By Matt Conner
With the Class of 2018 now officially inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the countdown can officially begin for Tony Gonzalez.
On Saturday night, the Pro Football Hall of Fame officially inducted their latest class. It was a magical night in Canton, Ohio for several candidates whose dreams had come true, and they celebrated with speeches, the revealing of the bust, the sporting of the jacket and lots of applause and fanfare from all.
For a Kansas City Chiefs legend, the countdown now begins as he looks forward to the voting process and ultimately a certain inclusion in Canton as a first-time eligible player on the ballot. Tony Gonzalez is considered a near-lock to secure a spot in the Hall on his first opportunity (a rare honor) due to his incredible resume that so few, even among the most elite skill position players in the business, can touch.
Gonzalez is considered a favorite, along with former Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed and former Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, for inclusion on the first ballot next year. Gonzalez certainly looks the part as arguably the single greatest tight end to ever play the game.
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The numbers themselves are almost overwhelming:
- 270 regular season games played across 17 NFL seasons (missed only 2 games that entire span)
- 1,325 career receptions (inc. a league-leading 102 in 2004 (2nd all time behind Jerry Rice)
- 15,1027 receiving yards
- 111 touchdowns
- 1 fumble in his final 14 seasons (1,157 receptions)
- Another 30 catches for 286 yards and 4 TDs in the playoffs
The honors that came with all of these stats over this incredible span of time are also mindblowing:
- 14 (FOURTEEN) Pro Bowl nods
- 10-time All-Pro (6 First Team, 4 Second Team)
- 1997 All-Rookie Team
- Pro Football HoF All-2000s First Team
The Chiefs themselves will honor Tony Gonzalez next December with the team Hall of Fame induction ceremony. It’s a foretaste of the bigger glory and a nice year of celebration for one of the greatest pass catchers in NFL history and the greatest tight end of all.