During and after his eight-year NFL career, Boselli felt an obligation to give back to his Jacksonville, Florida, community
It is not often that offensive linemen — even the great ones — get treated as if they were a quarterback … or some other type of big shot.
Tony Boselli, who was the Jacksonville Jaguars' first-ever draft choice in 1995, received a taste of that celebrity treatment last week.
Boselli was presented with the key to the city of Jacksonville on Oct. 6. He was the first member of the Jaguars organization to receive the honor.
On Saturday, Oct. 8, he and 100 other Jaguars alumni, who were in town for Homecoming Weekend, attended the premier of a documentary simply entitled "71." That is 71 as in the Pro Football Hall of Famer Boselli’s uniform number. That number was retired by the Jaguars organization the next day, when the former left tackle received his official Pro Football Hall of Fame ring at halftime of the Jaguars game against the Texans.
Not a bad week of celebrity for a quiet offensive lineman, who retired after an eight-year NFL career in 2002. He has been involved in broadcasting and been busy working in the Jacksonville community thru his family foundation since that time.
"While I was playing and especially after I retired," says Boselli, a California native, "my wife Angi and I wanted to make a positive impact on this Jacksonville community. To be honored by Mayor (Lenny) Curry and the city last week and to get a key to the city, it’s really cool.
"I know it’s partly to do with me making the Hall of Fame this year but hopefully a little bit is for what my wife and I and our family have tried to do to contribute this great community. These are special moments and something I’ll always remember and treasure."
Boselli’s enshrinement into the Canton, Ohio, Hall of Fame last summer was not a sure thing. He was a finalist for the honor five times before finally hearing the news that he was inducted.
"I love this game," said Boselli in August during the Hall of Fame ceremony. "I love its history and I think it is the greatest game ever. What it teaches young people is invaluable. I think our world needs more of what it teaches. To be immortalized as one of the all-time greats is truly humbling."
This interview originally appeared on NFLAlumni.org.
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