Frank Gifford: A Hall of Famer on and off the football field

Former NFL star Frank Gifford has died at 84, and how appropriate that we celebrate him on Hall-of-Fame weekend. Because he led a Hall-of-Fame life.


Talk of Fame Network

There are few NFL players who were as successful on and off the field as Frank Gifford. Whatever he did he did well, and how fitting that we celebrate the former New York Giants' star – who passed away Sunday at 84 – on Hall-of-Fame weekend.

Because he led a Hall-of-Fame life.

As a player, Gifford was so accomplished that he was named a Pro Bowler at three different positions (defensive back, wide receiver and running back), was an NFL MVP, went to five championship games and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

Then, of course, his second career kicked in, and Gifford continued his run of success on TV -- serving as a referee between Don Meredith and Howard Cosell on Monday Night Football, as a commentator for the Olympics and as a guest host for Good Morning America. He was so good at his second career that in 1995 he was given the Hall-of-Fame’s Pete Rozelle Award for his NFL television work, and do the math, people.

That’s two Hall-of-Fame awards for one candidate. Extraordinary? You bet. But, then, Frank Gifford was an extraordinary guy.

“Frank Gifford was the ultimate Giant,” team president John Mara said in a prepared statement. “He was the face of our franchise for so many years. More importantly, he was a treasured member of our family. My father (Wellington) loved him like a son and was proud to act as his presenter for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, a favor Frank returned years later by presenting my father in Canton. For my siblings and me, Frank was like a revered older brother who we looked up to and admired. We loved him and will miss him terribly.”