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That’s how they grow’ em in Western PA

Jan 31, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Buffalo Bill former quarterback Jim Kelly on the red carpet prior to the NFL Honors award ceremony at Symphony Hall. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Western Pennsylvania has been the birth place of some of the greatest quarterbacks to ever touch a football. Of the 23 quarterbacks in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, six of them were born and raised in Western PA. The four surviving HOF QB’s were in Pittsburgh over the weekend to be honored by Gridiron Gold.

Joe Namath (Beaver Falls, PA), Jim Kelly (Pittsburgh/East Brady, PA), Joe Montana (New Eagle, PA) and Dan Marino (Pittsburgh) were honored along with the late George Blanda (Youngwood, PA) and Johnny Unitas (Pittsburgh). No area in the country has produced more greatness in terms of football than this area.

"“Without a doubt it’s the work ethic our parents instilled in us. There is no doubt our parents instilled that work ethic in us.” – Jim Kelly"

Steelers President Art Rooney II presided over the event to bring the great quarterbacks together to honor their hometowns.

"“It’s great. When Art Rooney called me about doing this I thought it was a great idea. Pittsburgh is my home. I love coming back here. It’s special. There are so many great players from this area. I was always a Steelers fan growing up, watching the Steelers of the 70s.” – Dan Marino “When I was a kid, I was Terry Bradshaw when I was playing offense in my backyard. When I was on defense I was Jack Ham and Jack Lambert.” – Jim Kelly “I get goose bumps thinking about it. It’s a great honor. It’s our people. The people that were ahead of us, our work ethic. When we are talking about the six quarterbacks from Western Pennsylvania in the Hall we didn’t do it by ourselves. It’s in our blood, the hard working ethic and the appreciation for others.” – Joe Namath"

What an event! One can only imagine the stories that could be swapped by these four greats, and then again, if you grew up here as well there’s a very good chance that either you or your parents and grandparents have some of the same stories.

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