Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve Its History, Promote Its Values & Celebrate Excellence Everywhere
"You got to perform to be a leader. You have to. You can't really say much when you're not really doing it yourself. You got to pull your own weight and show what you're willing to do to get others to follow."
(Louisiana State)...6'4'', 322...Steelers’ first round draft pick (26th player overall) in 1998 … Earned All-Rookie acclaim … Key leader of Steelers team that captured four division titles, post 10-plus wins five times … Veteran leadership integral to Jets playoff run to reach AFC championship, 2009 … All-Pro six times … All-AFC seven straight seasons … Nine Pro Bowls … NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s … Born December 7, 1976 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Alan Faneca, a 6’4”, 322-pound guard out of LSU, was drafted in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. After seeing limited action in his first game, the left guard’s playing time increased over the next several games. He was inserted into the starting lineup in Week 6 against the Cincinnati Bengals and helped the Steelers offense compile 257 yards on the ground that day. He missed only two starts for the remainder of his 206-game career.
Faneca earned All-Rookie acclaim that season after he opened many running lanes for future Hall of Fame running back Jerome Bettis who ran for 1,185 yards.
In 2001, Faneca’s skills helped the Steelers’ produce the 3rd ranked total offense, a 13-3 record and their first division title in four years. He helped the Steelers post 10-plus wins five times including regular season records of 13-3 (2001) and 15-1 (2004).
In all, Faneca won four division titles and earned one Wild Card berth with the Steelers and added a sixth career playoff appearance with the New York Jets in 2009.
Faneca started 14 playoff games including four AFC championship games and a Steelers victory in Super Bowl XL.
He earned his first Pro Bowl honor following the 2001 season which began a string of nine straight Pro Bowl nominations (2002-2010). Faneca was named first- or second-team All-Pro eight straight times and was named All-AFC seven times (2001-07).
Faneca was a mauler in the run game and he helped his team secure 11 top 10 rankings in run offense during his 13 seasons in the NFL. He blocked for nine 1,000-yard rushers, five 3,000-yard passers and is a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 2000s.
2001 AFC – New England Patriots 24, Pittsburgh Steelers 17
Faneca started at left guard.
2004 AFC – New England Patriots 41, Pittsburgh Steelers 27
2005 AFC – Pittsburgh Steelers 34, Denver Broncos 17
2009 AFC – Indianapolis Colts 30, New York Jets 17
Super Bowl XL – Pittsburgh Steelers 21, Seattle Seahawks 10
All-Pro: 2001 (AP, PFWA, SN) · 2002 (AP, PFWA, SN) · 2004 (AP, PFWA, SN) · 2005 (AP, PFWA, SN) · 2006 (AP, PFWA) · 2007 (AP)
All-Pro Second Team: 2003 (AP) · 2008 (AP)
All-AFC: 2001 (PW) · 2002 (PW) · 2003 (PW) · 2004 (PW) · 2005(PW) · 2006 (PW) · 2007 (PW)
(9) – 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010
Awards and Honors
Year-by-Year Team Records
1998 Pittsburgh Steelers.................... 7-9-0 (3rd)
1999 Pittsburgh Steelers.................. 6-10-0 (4th)
2000 Pittsburgh Steelers.................... 9-7-0 (3rd)
2001 Pittsburgh Steelers............... 13-3-0 (1st)
2002 Pittsburgh Steelers............... 10-5-1 (1st)
2003 Pittsburgh Steelers.................. 6-10-0 (3rd)
2004 Pittsburgh Steelers............... 15-1-0 (1st)
2005 Pittsburgh Steelers............... 11-5-0 (2nd)
2006 Pittsburgh Steelers.................... 8-8-0 (3rd)
2007 Pittsburgh Steelers............... 10-6-0 (1st)
2008 N.Y. Jets.................................... 9-7-0 (3rd)
2009 N.Y. Jets................................... 9-7-0 (2nd)
2010 Arizona Cardinals.................... 5-11-0 (4th)
(Division Finish in Parentheses)
Qualified for Postseason in Bold
Full Name: Alan Joseph Faneca, Jr.
Birthdate: December 7, 1976
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana
High School: Lamar (Houston, TX)
Pro Career: 13 seasons, 206 games
Drafted: 1st round (26th player overall) in 1998 by Pittsburgh Steelers
ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, presenting Alan Faneca for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Hines Ward. (Applause.)
ALAN FANECA: Thank you. Thank you to all of you. My family, friends, and to the entire Hall of Fame team, my 2021 classmates, and to my friend, teammate, presenter and one day taking his rightful place up on this stage, Hines Ward. (Applause.)
The thunderous knock on my door came Saturday, January 23rd at 11:36 a.m. The fact that I was actually being invited to become a member of this extraordinary football fraternity is hard to put into words. Perhaps the best word is simply gratitude.
There are thousands of young boys around the country who dream of playing in the NFL. I was one of them. My dream was awakened in high school at the age of 15. One day we were pushing the five-man sled up and down the field when one of my coaches, Don Carter, noticed me working extremely hard and said, “Alan here is going to be playing on Sundays.”
This was the beginning of his pep talk to the guys to do better, because he saw that I was always working harder to be better. When I heard this my eyes got big and I couldn't tell you the rest of what he said, but that's when my dream to play in the NFL began.
Thank you, Coach, for that and so much more. (Applause.)
Fifteen was a transformative year for me. My dream of playing in the NFL was awakened, and I was diagnosed with epilepsy. I instinctively knew I was not going to let anything prevent me from fulfilling this dream. I knew as long as I listened to my doctors and followed their guidance, along with a strong support system, I would be fine.
I have always told myself and spoken about the fact that epilepsy is part of me, but it does not define me. (Applause.) We are in charge of our destiny. I never want any health challenges to define us. We must define ourselves.
Whatever one's challenge in this life, disability or not, my message is always to maintain an integral commitment to not let anything stop us from fulfilling our vision.
Be resilient. We all get knocked down in life. But it's how we get up that matters. (Applause.)
Now, to the Tigers. I've always strived to embody the spirit of LSU. Love purple; live gold. The memories and lessons learned in my time with you are forever engrained in my character. Go, Tigers! (Applause.)
To the Jets and Cardinals, where I was privileged to complete my career, and to everyone in these organizations: It was an honor.
Now, on to the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Applause.)
I want to thank the late Ambassador Rooney and Art Rooney for cultivating a culture where teammates become true brothers, and your benchmarks for success are relentlessly high. We inspire a city, and Steeler Nation, you inspire us.
Many people helped me throughout my career. None more impactful than the coaches I learned from who shared their wisdom both on and off the field. To my off-field wellness team and to the team doctors and trainers who kept me in one piece, taped me and up stitched me back together, tolerated me yelling, “Hurry up” so I could get back out on the field, the men in the equipment room who took care of every detail so all I had to do is think about playing, and to the support staff, the unsung heroes.
Without your efforts and dedication, so much would be lost. As I stand up here this evening, I do not stand alone. Without my teammates, all of you, I would not be here today. We laughed, we cried, we celebrated. And through it all, we leaned on each other.
We genuinely care for each other, and through football, we grow as men. My brothers, I love you guys. You are all standing with me tonight. (Applause.)
Now, my other teammates, my pal and father Alan Senior and my devoted mother, LeAnne. I love you. (Applause.)
Without your support and the values that you instilled in me I would not have found my way up here. Thank you for everything you sacrificed to help this kid make his dreams come true. Thank you. (Applause.)
My children, Anabelle, Burton and Penelope. Words alone cannot effectively express how much love your mother and I have for you. It is such a joy to watch the three of you grow. Your strength, courage and bright outlook on life provide both of us with a true sense of wonderment for what lies ahead.
Our message to you going forward: Through kindness, understanding and integrity you will overcome anything. Be true to yourself. Know anything is possible. Follow this path and you will be fulfilled. (Applause.)
I may have been able to play as a champion on the field, but my beautiful wife, Julie, you are my champion. And as I push myself and my teammates to achieve, your belief in me fueled my desire to believe in myself. Sweetheart, I'm in awe of your love and unwavering dedication to our family.
Without your support I definitely would not be the man I am. I appreciate everything you did, everything you sacrificed, for this. (Applause.)
I enjoy every second of our journey together. I love you with all I know. (Applause.)
In closing, there are choices, decisions and sacrifices that each of us as athletes who play this great game must make every day. The choices we make outside of football are even greater, because they aren't simply game choices; they're life choices. The sacrifice and discipline to chose to be the best kinds of fathers, husbands and respected leaders we can be is greater than any responsibility we ever had to deal with in football.
These values are foundational. I know I would not have this amazing life if God had not given me the opportunity to choose football. (Applause.)
Thank you very much. (Applause.)