Will Shields is a member of the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame, the College Football Hall of Fame and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame and on Saturday, he could be a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The former Chiefs guard, Shields, who is one of the 15 modern-era finalists, decided through voting by the Hall’s Selection Committee, will receive a phone call tomorrow, learning if he's been voted in as a member of the 2014 Class.
For the first time, the Hall of Fame’s newest class of enshrinees will be introduced during the “3rd Annual NFL Honors” show, a two-hour primetime awards show, airing across the nation, on Saturday night at 7 PM ET/PT on FOX.
"If I make it, awesome," Shields said. "It’s a great honor just to be on that list. If I get in, that’s awesome and if I don’t, it’s okay. It still doesn’t tarnish anything that’s been done over the 14 years of my career; so, it’s still a positive thing."
Shields played in 224 regular season games (223 starts), during his 14-year career with Kansas City (’93-06). His 224 games played with the Chiefs ranks first in team history, while his 223 starts are also the top mark in franchise annals. His 14 seasons played for the Chiefs tie him for second-most in team history. He originally entered the NFL as a third-round selection (74th-overall) of Kansas City in the 1993 NFL Draft out of Nebraska.
During his career, Shields was elected to 12-consecutive Pro Bowls, earning his first trip to the NFL’s annual all-star game after the 1995 season. His 12-career Pro Bowls stand tied for sixth all-time in NFL history for most-career Pro Bowl appearances by an NFL player.
Shields described his career in Kansas City by including the passionate Chiefs Kingdom fan base.
"It was the opportunity of a lifetime to play a sport for a living and also, just the love, back and forth, from the fans was tremendous," Shields said. "Being able to say that I actually had a career at the highest level of a sport, that’s the coolest thing ever."
In 2003, the entire National Football League community recognized Shields for his extensive work off the field as he was named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. At the time, he was the fourth member of the Chiefs to take home the honor, recognizing on-field excellence and off-the-field outreach through the “Will to Succeed Foundation” that he established in 1993. Through his foundation and its various programs, more than 100,000 individuals have been positively impacted.
Shields was honored as the team’s Mack Lee Hill Award winner in 1993 as the club’s top rookie or first-year player. Shields has also received the Pro Football Weekly Arthur S. Arkush Humanitarian of the Year Award, The Sporting News’ NFL Good Guy of the Year Award, the Ed Block Courage Award, the Kansas City Council on Philanthropy’s Philanthropist of the Year honor and was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.
Shields was a three-time All-Big Eight choice at Nebraska and was honored as the nation’s best interior lineman with the Outland Trophy as a senior in 1992. He was also a finalist for the Lombardi Award that same year. Shields resides in the Kansas City area with his wife, Senia; the couple has three children.
This is the third time Will has been up for the Hall of Fame honor, sharing his experience from the past two decision-making scenarios.
"The first year was the toughest, because they don’t call and tell you if you didn’t make it," Shields said. "Last year, I did get a phone call and they gave me some of the reasons why I wasn't selected."
Everyone in Chiefs Kingdom is pulling for Shields to get the Hall of Fame nod on Saturday and if so, expect a Sea of Red celebration, during his enshrinement in Canton, Ohio in August.
For more Will Shields photos, click here.