NEW ORLEANS (AP) — When La' Roi Glover first joined the Saints in 1997, Mike Ditka was the coach and constantly mispronounced his name.
Glover tried to correct him, only to have Ditka fire back that he would continue calling the defensive tackle "LEE-roy" until he accomplished something.
As Glover stood in front of the Saints Hall of Fame museum on Friday, when his selection for the Hall's 2013 class was announced, he figured he must have done enough to have his name pronounced the right way.
Glover averaged 10 sacks during five seasons in New Orleans from 1997 to 2001, and is the lone player being inducted this year — an honor he did not see coming.
"I was at a loss for words. I thought it really was a joke," Glover said of the moment he was informed of his impending induction. "It was kind of a surreal moment. It does bring back a lot of good memories, a lot of fun times."
Long-time sports writer and columnist Peter Finney Sr. of the Times-Picayune has been chosen to receive the Hall's Joe Gemelli Fleur de Lis award, presented to a person who has contributed to the betterment of the franchise during many years. Finney, 85, began his sports writing career 22 years before the Saints' very first game in 1967 and continues to write part-time. The induction will be held at a date to be determined during the 2013 season.
Glover amassed 50 sacks and forced 10 fumbles while he was with the Saints. In 2000, Glover had a league-high 17 sacks, was named Associated Press All-Pro and earned a Pro Bowl invitation while helping the Saints to a division championship and first-ever playoff victory over the St. Louis Rams in the Superdome.
Glover, who now works for the Rams as director of player engagement, said being a part of the Saints' emotional first playoff triumph, some 34 seasons into the franchise's existence, is his favorite memory of his playing days in New Orleans.
"It was crazy. I mean, it was bananas. People were screaming, crying. Every emotion you can imagine, you saw it all in that moment," Glover said. "That's what you love about not only football, but the fan base here in New Orleans as well. They really do care."
When asked what it took for Glover to amass 17 sacks in 2000, he deflected credit to his teammates on the defensive line — nose tackle Norman Hand and defensive ends Joe Johnson and Darren Howard.