CANTON, Ohio – The humbled men in gold jackets were unmistakable.
So were the unending seas of yellow Terrible Towels there to greet them.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis headlined the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015 on Saturday night, the sixth-leading rusher in NFL history greeted by thousands of fans who made the short trip to Canton.
The capacity crowd at Tom Benson Stadium roared as Bettis made his way down the red carpet.
Only linebacker Junior Seau was elected in his first year on the ballot. For the rest, Saturday night was a mixture of relief, joy and wonder.
Defensive end Charles Haley cracked jokes between heartfelt disclosures of his battle with depression.
Kansas City guard Will Shields spoke with the same thoughtfulness that made him one of the best linemen of his generation during a standout career with the Chiefs.
Contributors Bill Polian and Ron Wolf paid tribute to the icons who paved the way for their success. Wide receiver Tim Brown led chants of "Rai-ders! Rai-ders!"
Haley gave a rousing, freewheeling speech that included a good-natured jabs at everyone from former San Francisco owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Wolf, who hired Mike Holmgren and traded for Brett Favre shortly after taking over in 1991, led off by praising the core that restored the Packers to legitimacy after two decades of mediocrity.
Polian praised Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy for helping him resurrect the Bills.
Several of Bettis' former teammates, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Hines Ward, watched from in front of the stage as the Hall's doors finally opened for the player known simply as "The Bus."