CANTON, OHIO, AUG. 8 -- Miami fullback Larry Csonka considered himself an emotional football player, so he wasn't at all surprised when he had to fight back tears as he was inducted today into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"My family is here, and this is where it gets tough," Csonka said several minutes into his acceptance speech on the front steps of the hall. "It's been a long and costly road, but we're here. I love you, Mom. Just please don't call me 'Gooch' in front of these people."

Csonka, a native of nearby Stow, was one of seven players inducted into the Hall of Fame's 25th class as thousands of spectators jammed the bleachers and hills surrounding the hall for the two-hour ceremony.

Joining Csonka were his teammate from the Dolphins' perfect 1972 season, center Jim Langer; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Len Dawson; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Joe Greene and running back John Henry Johnson; New York Jets receiver Don Maynard, and Oakland Raiders offensive guard Gene Upshaw.

Don Shula, the coach who guided the Dolphins to their 17-0 season in 1972, presented both Csonka and Langer for induction. "Our offense had the keen ability to keep the ball away from opponents with long, time-consuming drives," Shula said. "{Csonka} was simply the best fullback of his time. He was blood and guts and dirt all over him. In his career, high school, college and the pros, he had 12 broken noses."

Langer, who played every down of the Dolphins' perfect season, said the offensive line worked harder for Csonka because of the effect he had on opponents. "He could wear people down. We enjoyed getting him through the secondary so he could wear down the secondary," Langer said.

Dawson, who passed for 28,711 yards and 239 touchdowns, grew up in nearby Alliance and once played a high school game in Fawcett Stadium, where the annual AFC-NFC Hall of Fame game featured the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers today. "For me, this is where it all began," Dawson said. "It's come full cycle."

The biggest cheers during the induction ceremony came from a large section of Pittsburgh rooters who made the two-hour drive to Canton to honor Greene. Greene responded by leading the enthusiastic crowd in a chant of "dee-fense" to wrap up his speech. The Pittsburgh fans also gave appreciative applause to Johnson, a running back who in 1962 became the first Steeler to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

Maynard, who compiled 11,834 receiving yards and 88 touchdown passes, was introduced by former Jets teammate Joe Namath. "Don worked with 25 quarterbacks in his career, and he made most of us better players," Namath said.

Maynard ended his speech with a poem that concluded, "I played the best, I believe I passed the test. I'm glad this is over, because I need the rest."

Upshaw, probably better known today as the director of the players' union than he was in his 15 years with the Oakland Raiders, was one of the most dominant offensive linemen ever to play the game.