Why Do NFL Hall of Fame Inductees Receive a Gold Jacket?

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The gold jacket has become synonymous with the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Similar to the green jacket and the Masters Golf Tournament, it is hard to imagine the Pro Football Hall of Fame without envisioning the infamous gold jackets given to the new hall of fame inductees. What is the significance of the jacket and how did the tradition start? The gold jacket has quite the history.

According to NFL.com, the jacket is gold because the gentlemen who are being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame are the “gold standard of their profession.”

Each year the jacket is given to new hall of fame inductees to symbolize their induction into the hall of fame. The gold jacket process starts long before the enshrinement ceremony in August. Haggar has been the official provider of the gold jackets since 1978. The jackets are mailed out to the inductees in May with strict guidelines. They are prohibited from taking pictures with jacket as that is reserved for when they officially receive them at the induction weekend. Members of the new class receive the jackets in May to make sure it fits properly.

Each gold jacket is custom fitted for the individual. The jacket contains hall of fame buttons as well as the hall of fame patch sewn on the outside. The jacket has a unique lining on the inside along with a patch that will have the inductees name and number. Haggar notes that during the first year of issuing the jacket, they get lots of requests for a variety of reasons. The first year has a lot of wear and tear so the company often gets requests to fix holes and tears.

This year, Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown, Charles Haley, Will Shields, Mick Tingelhoff, Ron Wolf and Bill Polian will all receive their custom gold jackets as they are inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Now you know the story behind the iconic Pro Football Hall of Fame gold jackets.


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