Isaac Bruce HOF

Isaac Bruce models displays his Pro Football Hall of Fame bust with fellow Hall of Famers from “The Greatest Show on Turf” St. Louis Rams. From left are Kurt Warner, Orlando Pace, Bruce and Marshall Faulk.

 

The St. Louis Rams first game in 1995 after departing Los Angeles was at Green Bay. They beat the Packers. 17-14.

A thin, talented second-year player blocked the first punt in St. Louis Rams history and, on the ensuing drive, caught its first touchdown pass. It was Isaac Bruce.

During that inaugural season in St. Louis, Bruce was targeted 199 times, caught 119 passes for 1,781 yards and scored 13 touchdowns – including a punt return for a TD against the Atlanta Falcons.

Bruce made those plays and hundreds more with the Rams. His 2020 celebration was postponed because of the pandemic, but he officially became a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, Aug. 7.

He used part of his acceptance speech to ridicule a person who was probably just doing his job. But hey, Bruce had waited a long time for vindication.

“To the nameless voice that called me two weeks before the draft in 1994 to let me know that the NFL wasn't checking for me. They didn't like me,” he said.

“They liked more of NFL legends Bert Emanuel and Ryan Yarborough. I know you're alive. I know you're listening. I prayed for God would keep you alive for this day. So, my message to you is — rap legend Kool Moe Dee wanted me to ask you: "How ya like me now?"

By the way, the Los Angeles Rams drafted Bruce in the second round of the 1994 NFL Draft. Emmanuel and Yarborough were drafted after Bruce.

Bruce thanked St. Louis fans during his speech and shared true appreciation for his years here.

He told Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he would like to see an expansion team in St. Louis, and that he wants to be part of the ownership group.

“I have visions of being an owner in the NFL. I do have visions of that. So, I wouldn’t be surprised,” he said.

Steve Atwater enters Hall

Former Lutheran North star Steve Atwater was inducted into the Pro Football Fame as member of the 2020 class and, during his acceptance speech, thanked his late mom, Jesse, and his father, Jeff, for all they did for him and his budding football career.

“To my mom, thank you for the sacrifices you made, for always loving me and for showing me how to never give up on those you love,” Atwater said.

“To my dad, you always loved me unconditionally and I know how much you sacrificed to send me to Lutheran North High School, and that laid the foundation for everything that followed. Thank you for believing in me,” he said.

Atwater played at Arkansas before being selected in the first round of the 1989 draft by the Denver Broncos. He was voted to eight Pro Bowls and earned first-team All-Pro recognition in 1991 and 1992.

In 1997, he was an integral part of the Broncos’ championship season that was capped by the franchise’s first Super Bowl title. Atwater played his final season with the Broncos in 1998 and he helped lead them to a second straight Super Bowl victory.

The Reid Roundup

The St. Louis Cardinals donated 800 tickets to the St. Louis County Department of Public Health as part of the department's COVID 19 community outreach and vaccine incentive program.  Those who receive COVID-19 vaccines at two upcoming events will receive two tickets to the September 29 game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Busch Stadium. They are available on a first come, first served basis at the following vaccination clinics: 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday, Aug. 14: John C. Murphy Health Center Back to School Event, 6121 N. Hanley Rd, 63134 and Saturday, Aug. 21: Ultimate Cosmetology & Barber Academy Back to School event, 10420 West Florissant Ave, 63136. Both the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be administered, and no appointments are necessary…After missing almost three months with an oblique muscle injury, Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty vowed that he would pitch Wednesday night, Aug. 11, in Pittsburgh. His last rehab assignment was last Friday in Memphis. He threw 75 pitches over five innings but was also touched up for three runs…Duke Slater, who is recognized as the NFL’s first Black lineman, was posthumously inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2020 class. Slater would earn a law degree and started a practice in Chicago. In 1948 he became the city’s second Black judge. He would become the first African American judge to serve on the Superior Court of Chicago. He died in 1966. 

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