INDIANAPOLIS – John Omohundro thought he was just jumping on a Zoom call to walk down memory lane with some of his former cohorts in the NFL athletic training world.
But the pretense to get the longtime St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals athletic trainer on the line held only long enough to deliver the news that Omohundro would be one of the five inaugural members of the Pro Football Athletic Trainers Society's Hall of Fame.
"I thought they were just fluffing my feathers – 'Ha, got you' – like a joke," Omohundro said.
When he was told by PFATS president Reggie Scott that, no, he was truly a Hall of Famer, "I became befuddled."
"A million things went through my mind, and one of them was, 'Why me?' "
Omohundro, who joined Cardinals as an assistant athletic trainer in 1967 before being promoted to head athletic trainer and working for the team from 1971-2008, was officially inducted at a ceremony Tuesday during the annual PFATS meeting at the NFL Scouting Combine.
Omohundro was working at his alma mater the University of Wyoming when the Cardinals initially hired him. He followed the team in their move from St. Louis to Arizona in 1988.
"They have dedicated most of their lives to the profession of athletic training and the organizations that they worked for," Scott said. "They are among the most recognized and respected members of our professional society and we consider them members of our family. Now, we are excited to recognize them as Hall of Famers."
Omohundro's son, Jim, attended Tuesday's ceremony. Jim Omohundro also has been a longtime employee of the Cardinals, currently the senior manager/producer, broadcasting. The rest of the family and friends watched via Zoom.
John Omohundro, who turns 79 in April, was able to walk off his career after the 2008 season with a Super Bowl appearance.
Now his career has been immortalized by his peers.
"It really struck me with a lot of emotion that I didn't know that I would have," Omohundro said. "I never gave any thought about being in that kind of situation. Heck, I was out watering the lawn."