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New York Jets: Winston Hill finally makes Pro Football Hall of Fame

CANTON, OH - AUGUST 3: The exterior of the Pro Football Hall of Fame prior to the NFL Class of 2013 Enshrinement Ceremony at Fawcett Stadium on Aug. 3, 2013 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CANTON, OH - AUGUST 3: The exterior of the Pro Football Hall of Fame prior to the NFL Class of 2013 Enshrinement Ceremony at Fawcett Stadium on Aug. 3, 2013 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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Former New York Jets offensive tackle Winston Hill finally makes Pro Football Hall of Fame. Here are all the details and what it means.

After 38 years of waiting former New York Jets offensive tackle Winston Hill will finally be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

To celebrate the 100th NFL season, the Pro Football Hall of Fame decided to open their doors wider than they ever have to honor the centennial class.

Hill played for the Jets from 1963 through 1976 as the team’s franchise left tackle. He’s the fourth member of the New York Jets Super Bowl III championship squad to enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame joining “Broadway” Joe Namath, Don Maynard, and Weeb Ewbank.

While Namath, Maynard, and Ewbank receive all of the credit for one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history vs the then Baltimore Colts, the team wouldn’t have been there let alone won it without the services of Winston Hill.

Hill earned four AFL All-Star appearances in 1964 and then three times in a row from 1967 through 1969. In addition, he was a three-time member of the All-AFL squad (1964, 1968, and 1969).

Once the AFL and the NFL merged, he made four Pro Bowls from 1970 through 1973 and was a three-time member of the All-Pro team after the leagues merged from 1970 through 1972.

On top of that Winston Hill was inducted into the New York Jets Ring of Honor in 2010.

Hill was an ironman for the New York Jets, “he holds the franchise mark for offensive linemen with 195 consecutive games played and 174 consecutive starts despite breaking a leg in the 1965 preseason and having his throat stepped on in 1974.”

Super Bowl III MVP Joe Namath intimated how important Winston was to the championship run:

“As a football player, his record of winning games, winning teammates over, the number of years he played, the number of times he made all-everything — Winston Hill deserves to be in the Hall of Fame,” Namath said this fall via the New York Jets. “What made Winston Hill one of the best offensive linemen to ever play was his ability to execute and protect the quarterback and block for the running game. If you look at one game, the Super Bowl, you see Matt Snell running that ball so many times behind Winston. Emerson Boozer was leading, too, and Dave Herman and other guys, too, but without Winston Hill that day – we don’t win the championship.”

This is clearly long overdue, but New York Jets fans are likely feeling bittersweet about this moment. Unfortunately, Hill won’t be able to enjoy this moment because he passed away at the age of 74 back in 2016.

The other reason fans are feeling bittersweet is because when the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced this centennial class, many fans were hoping that would be Joe Klecko’s best chance to get in.

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We found out a few weeks ago that Klecko didn’t make the cut, despite being a Pro Bowler at three different positions. With Klecko not making it in 2020, that likely signaled his final opportunity to be enshrined.

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