Talamini to be Inducted to Kentucky NFL Hall of Fame
June 23, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Former Kentucky Wildcat Bob Talamini will be inducted into the Kentucky Chapter of the National Football League Players Association Hall of Fame Friday, June 24 at the Lexington Opera House.
Talamini will be one of six players inducted into the Hall of Fame, which recognizes pro football standouts who played their college football in the commonwealth of Kentucky. Joining Talamini in the class are Dale Lindsey (Western Kentucky/Cleveland Browns), Rod Hill (Kentucky State/Dallas Cowboys), Phil Simms (Morehead/New York Giants) and Kerry Rhodes (Louisville/Arizona Cardinals).
Talamini, a native of Louisville, Ky., was an offensive lineman at UK from 1957-59 under Coach Blanton Collier. He helped lead the Wildcats to a 5-4-1 record during his junior season and earned third-team All-SEC honors as a senior in 1959.
He was selected by the Houston Oilers in the second round of the 1960 American Football League draft. Talamini went on to play in the AFL for nine seasons and participated in 126 games at left guard, never missing a game. He spent eight years with the Oilers (1960-67) and the '68 campaign with the New York Jets.
Hall of Famers George Blanda and Billy Cannon benefited from Talamini's blocking as the Oilers won the first two AFL Championships. Talamini made first-team All-AFL in 1962 and was a regular at American Football League All-Star games, selected to six straight through 1967. He anchored an offensive line that gave Blanda time to set passing records that would last for decades and opened holes for standout backs such as Cannon, Charlie Tolar, Sid Blanks and Hoyle Granger. In his only season with the Jets, Talamini helped protect quarterback Joe Namath while providing rushing lanes for running back Matt Snell.
Having begun as a professional with the AFL's first training camp in 1960, Talamini capped his career on the greatest day in AFL history - January 12, 1969, when the New York Jets stunned the NFL's Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, a game some consider the greatest upset in the history of the pro football.
Eight Kentucky players also will be honored by the Kentucky chapter of the NFL Alumni Association in the inaugural "All-Commonwealth Team."
The "All-Commonwealth Team" recognizes players from every college football team in Kentucky, including all classifications. In addition to UK, this year's team features players from Murray State, Louisville, Union, Western Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky, Georgetown and Campbellsville.
UK was represented by wide receiver Randall Cobb, tailback Derrick Locke, quarterback Mike Hartline, offensive guard Larry Warford, linebacker Danny Trevathan, safety Winston Guy and punter Ryan Tydlacka. Wide receiver Chris Matthews was an honorable-mention selection.
The selection committee included representatives from the Kentucky NFL Alumni and Kentucky media.