Tom Nalen to be inducted to Broncos Ring of Fame

Legendary center Tom Nalen will be inducted to Denver's Ring of Fame, the team announced on Wednesday.

The induction ceremony will take place on September 29, at halftime of Denver's Week 4 game versus the Eagles. As for why this isn't taking place Week 8, when Mike Shanahan is in town, is beyond us (we hope it's not due to some sort of bad blood between Pat Bowlen, John Elway, and Shanahan).

Nalen was the Broncos' pivot for 14 seasons (1994-2007), playing in 194 regular-season games (188 starts), plus 13 playoff starts.

Nails played a key role in helping Terrell Davis, Olandis Gary, Mike Anderson, Clinton Portis, Reuben Droughns, and Tatum Bell to 1,000-yard seasons.

Chosen in the seventh round of the 1994 Draft out of Boston College, Nalen started his Denver career on the practice squad, but became their starting center for good at the start of the 1995 season.

Nalen would go on to win two Super Bowls, make five Pro Bowls, and two All-Pro teams, before announcing his retirement in January of 2009.

The Foxborough, MA native, who turned 42 just last week, will be Denver's 24th Ring of Famer; Nalen's practice squad teammate Rod Smith was inducted in 2012.

Nalen first became eligibile for the Pro Football HOF in 2012, but did not reach the semifinals.


Broncos Ring of Fame Inductees

  • 1984: Floyd "The Franchise" Little, Rich "Tombstone" Jackson, Lionel Taylor, Austin "Goose" Gonsoulin
  • 1985: Gerald Phipps
  • 1986: Frank Tripucka, Charley Johnson, Paul Smith
  • 1987: Billy Thompson
  • 1988: Craig Morton, Haven Moses, Jim Turner
  • 1989: Randy Gradishar
  • 1992: Tom Jackson (the patron saint of IAOFM)
  • 1993: Louis Wright
  • 1999: John Elway
  • 2001: Karl "Snow Goose" Mecklenburg, Dennis Smith
  • 2003: Gary Zimmerman
  • 2005: Steve "The Smiling Assassin" Atwater
  • 2007: Terrell Davis
  • 2009: Shannon Sharpe
  • 2012: Rod Smith
  • 2013: Tom Nalen

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM