A four-time finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Isaac Bruce carried strong feelings into Saturday.
The previous three Selection Saturdays – when the committee gathers and presents those finalists for consideration – came and went without him getting the famous knock at the door from hall of fame president and CEO David Baker notifying him had been elected.
This year, though, was different. Five distinct knocks from Baker on his door at his hotel in Miami let the Rams legend know the long-awaited moment had arrived.
No more waiting – well, sort of.
"For me, my knock experience was – I wanted Mr. Baker to wait just a little while, I wanted him to knock two rounds of knocks, just to let him feel what I've been feeling the last couple of years," Bruce said during a panel appearance with the other inductees Saturday night at NFL Honors. "I wanted to keep my power in my control, so after the first knock, I went and told my family, 'Yo, this is the knock, so gather around, let's answer the door.' Shook his hand and answered the door, and it was a great handshake."
And with that, Bruce can now call himself a Hall of Famer. He will officially be enshrined Aug. 8 during a ceremony at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
When Bruce first heard that knock on the door, he immediately thought of his Rams 1994 draft class – players like offensive tackle Wayne Gandy, safety Keith Lyle, running back James Bostic and wide receiver Chris Brantley, who came in with him as rookies.
"I was excited man," Bruce said. "I thought it was a great moment and I was excited about the whole situation."
Once word got out, he received many congratulatory phone calls and text messages from former Rams teammates, former Rams owners and St. Louis media members who covered his decorated NFL career.
Current Rams head coach Sean McVay even stepped aside from his guest analyst duties with ESPN's postseason NFL Countdown pregame show at the Super Bowl to do the same.
"So deserving of this honor," McVay said. "Represents everything that's right about what we want Rams to epitomize – the consistency, the competitiveness. One of the greatest separators of all time."
By Sunday morning, Bruce was getting measured for his Bronze Bust which will be placed on display in the Hall of Fame gallery alongside 345 other greats.
Eventually, he will be getting fitted for his gold jacket, preparing his speech for the official enshrinement ceremony itself and receive more anticipated well-wishes from St. Louis to Los Angeles.
Beyond that, the only waiting left for Bruce will be in the car ride home. He received the news in a city roughly 35 minutes from his hometown of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
"The frustration is gone, man. The anger, the bitterness, it's totally eliminated," Bruce said. "I plan on going home and rejoicing and just having a great time."