The Pro- Football Hall of Fame ceremony took place on Saturday night in Canton, Ohio. Deion Sanders joined Marshall Faulk in entering the hall in their first year of eligibility. Shannon Sharpe, Richard Dent, Chris Hanburger, Les Richter, and Ed Sabol also were enshrined.
For me, the two speeches that stood out the most were those of Shannon Sharpe and Deion Sanders.
Shannon mentioned his brother Sterling (who also played in the NFL., Seven seasons with the Packers) and the fact that he was a better player than Shannon. That he wanted to be so much like his brother in college, his first girlfriend looked exactly like Sterling’s.
“I am the only player who has been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and am the second-best player in my family.” – Shannon Sharpe
Deion gave you every bit of Prime Time. Each of his children wore a jersey from each of the teams he played for. He thanked everyone who contributed to his career, even the equipment managers from every team he played on. And really, any Hall of fame speech that mentions Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube has automatically labeled a classic, right? Here are a few highlights from his speech with the entire speech below:
“This game,” Sanders repeated dozens of times, “this game taught me how to be a man. This game taught me if I get knocked down, I got to get my butt back up.
“I always had a rule in life that I would never love anything that couldn’t love me back. It taught me how to be a man, how to get up, how to live in pain. Taught me so much about people, timing, focus, dedication, submitting oneself, sacrificing.
“If your dream ain’t bigger than you, there’s a problem with your dream.”
Deion Sanders 2011 Hall of Fame Speech by BlackSportsOnline
Adding the bandana was a nice touch!
A few nice moments from Marshall Faulk’s speech:
“Boy this is pretty special. … I am glad to be a part of it. This is football heaven.
“I am a football fan just like all of you,” Faulk told the crowd. “I have always, always been a fan and had an abiding passion and love and respect for this game of football, even when I was a kid selling popcorn in the Superdome because I couldn’t afford a ticket.
“It’s tough going from the projects to the penthouse.”
So yes it’s cliche to say there’s so much more going on beneath the surface but, listening to these two speeches. How can you not be inspired?