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'The wait is torture': Wife and kids of Tony Boselli reveal the surprise from behind the scenes

Tony Boselli himself didn't know he'd made it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. But his family did. And they pulled off quite the surprise.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Count 'em.

One. Two. Three. Four. Five.

Five years Tony Boselli got the call he didn't want. Once again, he was not voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"When you get that phone call, it was heartbreaking," his son, Andrew, says. "We were all devastated, but my mom and Mr. Brunell, mostly. There's a lot of tears."

"The process is torture," Angi says. "You fly your whole family to where the Super Bowl is. Everybody gets dressed for black tie and red carpet. And you wait."

He's talking about Boselli's good friend and teammate, Jags quarterback, Mark Brunell.

"Watching grown men cry on behalf of your husband, that is horrible,"  Angi Boselli says. Tony and Angi have been married 27 years.

But this year, everything changed. 

The Hall of Fame folks contacted Angi and let the family plan a big surprise announcement for Tony. "It was me, my mother, and my grandmother," Andrew says.

First, Angi calls her two oldest girls, Alexis and Ashli, on the campus of the University of Florida. The girls say they thought something bad had happened at first.  But then they booked flights to California, the site of the Super Bowl, where the Hall of Fame announcement would be made.

"We staged a business meeting," Andrew explains. Tony had no idea his family was coming to surprise him. "We were all hiding in the garage."

Credit: Jacksonville Jaguars historical photos

Then came, as the  NFL calls it, "the knock."   It was Pro Football Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz, Tony's hero in the football world.  Munoz, considered one of the greatest offensive linemen in NFL history, knocked on the door and Tony almost froze for a second.

"You could just see in his face. He wasn't expecting it," Andrew says. 

"I was so happy," Angi says, still with tears in her eyes, even months after that event.

His daughters say their dad wanted to be "the best of the best."

Credit: Tony Boselli with his two oldest daughters

And Angi says, "This isn't just for us. This is for ALL of us."  

"Al of us" meaning the DUUUUVAL fans faithful to the Jaguars for years now. 

Tony Boselli, the first Jacksonville Jaguar to be chosen for the NFL Pro Football Hall of Fame.


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