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Hall of Fame speeches don't exhibit Hall of Fame quality

In previewing with Steve Duemig of WDAE earlier today some of my thoughts for improving the annual Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony, I explained that my goal would be to raise the points delicately and diplomatically.

But then I realized that I never do things that way.  So why try now?

The ceremony in its current form stinks, and it needs to change.

Case in point — when I returned to the hotel room Saturday night after attending the ceremony, my wife asked why NBC doesn’t televise it.

My response:  “Did you watch it?  Then there’s your answer.”

Before I go any farther, let me be clear.  I don’t fault the folks who run the Hall of Fame for choosing to exhibit respect and deference to the newest members of the club.  The Hall of Fame exists to celebrate these folks; it would be impossible for the Hall of Fame to dictate in conjunction with their entry terms and conditions regarding the content and duration of their acceptance speeches.

And I don’t advocate impinging upon the moment in the sun of a person who is commencing football immortality.  Instead, the goal should be to help make it even better.

The Hall of Fame entrance speech represents, for most enshrinees, the last official act of their pro football careers.  Shouldn’t they want to give speeches that are truly memorable, speeches that entertain and/or move and/or inspire the audience?

Sure they should, and surely they do.  But most of them are apparently left to their own devices when it comes to preparing the speech.

Politicians, who talk for a living, don’t write their own speeches.  So why should people who played football for a living be expected to write a speech without help?  (In the event any of the new members who gave speeches on Saturday night actually had help, someone owes each of them a huge apology.  And perhaps a refund.)

Think of it this way.  Writers determine who’ll get into the Hall of Fame.  Some of those same writers likely would be thrilled to have a chance to help craft the speeches.

Still, to make something like that happen, the league will need to intervene, and to take over the entire operation.

It’s not as if the league hasn’t tried.  We’re told that the NFL Films-style introductory videos were aimed at cutting down on the duration of the remarks given by the persons introducing the new members.  But, as we hear it, the folks who run the Hall of Fame didn’t have the heart to break the news to the new members and the folks introducing them.

In the case of Hall of Fame speeches, memorable moments are rare, which is why the periodic speaker who nails it (e.g., Michael Irvin in 2007) is never forgotten.

Ideally, every speaker should fall into this category.  Though that goal might be unattainable, the outcome would be something much better than what we witnessed on Saturday night.

Again, I’m not knocking the event.  I’m just trying to get it to reflect the same degree of excellence exhibited by the persons whose careers have qualified them from the award they are receiving.

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52 Responses to “Hall of Fame speeches don't exhibit Hall of Fame quality”
  1. Abe Froeman says: Aug 10, 2009 11:59 PM

    I agree wholeheartedly.
    Although, the entertainment of the live blog will be greatly diminished if the speeches are good.
    I gotta say, that was probably the greatest live blog ever to happen at PFT. I didn’t stop cracking up.

  2. darlak says: Aug 11, 2009 12:00 AM

    what? who are you again? why am i here? what’s this red button for????

  3. Michael says: Aug 11, 2009 12:06 AM

    I guarantee The Playmaker had a speech writer. Never before, or since, was he so eloquent. It changed everyone’s perception about him, which pretty much makes Florio’s point.
    Damn, I hate it when I agree with him…

  4. bbq says: Aug 11, 2009 12:06 AM

    Actually, I’d rather hear the inductees speak from the heart.

  5. idio says: Aug 11, 2009 12:09 AM

    To be honest, I don’t hate your points, but come on man. These guys aren’t scholars, but let them say what they want to say for goodness sakes! These men have literally destroyed their bodies for their profession. True l, nobody watches the speeches, but seriously, even if they get strippers and speechwriters nobody will really care too much. It’s important for the players and their familys and everyone in the organizations. Hardcore fans even.
    I say give them their due and let them speak as long as they want.

  6. mborz says: Aug 11, 2009 12:10 AM

    It’s fine the way it is. I’d much rather hear them say something they prepared themselves, even if it’s not perfect.
    By the way, how can you say “I’m not knocking the event” at the end of the article when at the beginning you say “The ceremony in its current form stinks”? Didn’t similar behavior cause you to call Cutler a pussy?

  7. Hillbilly Coach says: Aug 11, 2009 12:13 AM

    Sports writers doing a little pro bono speech writin’ on the side, once a year? Bwahhhaaaahhaaa!
    You guys aren’t speech writers! No thanks.
    I like the ceremony the way it is. I enjoy the simple, human thoughts and even the sometimes awkward manner in which they are delivered. It’s real, dude!
    The sportswritin’ dudes would turn it into some sort of a competition and eventually start giving each other awards for best speechwritin’ and crap. Once again. I understand where you’re comin’ from but no thanks.

  8. rufknkidnme says: Aug 11, 2009 12:15 AM

    You want political speeches? Go watch C-SPAN. You want flash? Go watch the MTV Music Awards. This is football guys talking about their lives and families. It’s their moment, articulated in their words.
    Good job, HOF, NFL, and NFLN! You put on the best HOF enshrinement presentation in all of sports and it provides the perfect backdrop to kickoff the season each year.
    Florio…sorry, brother, you’re missing the boat on this one.

  9. umcouldbe says: Aug 11, 2009 12:18 AM

    Everything doesn’t have to be a ratings winning performance and to get writers for new Hall members would make it feel contrived. Who can convey what they feel better than the players in their own words. What comes from the heart isn’t always eloquence.
    Go get some sleep, Mike.

  10. ryanmc says: Aug 11, 2009 12:21 AM

    “Politicians, who talk for a living, don’t write their own speeches. So why should people who played football for a living be expected to write a speech without help?”
    Politicians speeches are carefully crafted to manipulate people into supporting them. Hall of Fame inductees are simply speaking from the heart about their lives and careers and the people who helped them. They’re not trying to sell anything. I hope most people understand that they are professional athletes, not professional speakers, and listen in that context. Personally, I love the induction ceremony, always make a point to watch, and would actually stop watching it if they made it more phony, which is what would happen if they followed your advice. It is not a performance for people’s amusement, but a tribute to successful careers. Feel free to do something else on induction Saturdays if the event doesn’t get your adrenaline pumping sufficiently.

  11. SpartaChris says: Aug 11, 2009 12:21 AM

    I’ll admit I too was underwhelmed by the speeches I saw. After seeing Michael Irvin’s speech over and over again during NFLN’s coverage, this year’s speeches left me feeling like something was missing.

  12. hollywoodeggers says: Aug 11, 2009 12:22 AM

    i’m sorry, i stopped reading at “why should people who played football for a living be expected to write a speech without help?”
    why do they need help? these guys were obviously one of if not the leader of their respected team. one of the best of the best or THE best of the best. even if their speech is awful, even the youngest kid to the oldest man who loves the game despite if only the only part they play in it was listening to the games on the radio should be inspired and pleased. every HOF speech i’ve heard i took in as if it was (but not nearly compared to) a vet talking about their time in vietnam.
    there will always be guys that will argue whether some should or should not be in the hall. the fact that matters is that the people that matter voted them in, and they are in the hall, and will be forever immortalized in football history. if the speech is nothing but “thanks” everyone witnessing it should be pleased because you know what??? what they did on the field is more than enough of their speech, more than enough proof.
    its the nfl’s reponsibility to give people the opportunity to witness why these guys make it, whether it be a highlight reel or even make every game available they played a part in for the masses to see why. sure its a spectacle for people who couldn’t do what they could, but why try to make it bigger than the inductee may or may not want it to be. they are being respected for their achievements. so respect them. don’t ask for more than they want to give. like you said, their nfl lives as they know it end with this, despite the immortality part, in which there will be some little fact that you could find on the back of any nfl sports collecter’s card.

  13. GreeneBlitz says: Aug 11, 2009 12:22 AM

    Your missing the whole point of the hall of fame and induction ceremony, its not for the public and media, its not meant to be an event like a NFL game or even the draft, its meant to be for the enshrines and their family and friends.

  14. Cobra Commander says: Aug 11, 2009 12:29 AM

    As disappointing as that was generally speaking you’re asking for way too much. Someone co-writing the speeches is not inherently better. It’s just as easy to argue your approach is artificial and commercial.
    Think of it this way: journalists are privileged to be responsible for voting in the first place. Many of you writers would have a wet dream to do this, yes – but more likely to live vicariously.
    That’s the end of MY diplomatic and delicate approach.
    So to be blunt, WHO ARE YOU KIDDING?!?! “Writing” sports blogs and sports columns is qualification to *write* probably the most important speech in these men’s careers?
    WHAT A JOKE!!!

  15. xqr4 says: Aug 11, 2009 12:31 AM

    You’re absolutely right–the ceremony is awful. I could only watch a couple moments of Ralph Wilson. What’s sad is these inductees have incredible life experiences which would be interesting to hear.
    The Hall of Fame needs Hollywood award ceremony dramatics and good speech coaches like Patricia Fripp.
    Heck, if the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame can lasso the egos of their inductees, pro football can do the same.

  16. Ashley Schaeffer BMW says: Aug 11, 2009 12:38 AM

    Florio, while I agree that a speech writer may give an entree a cleaner crisper monologue, one thing you have to appreciate is that this is how the players choose to articulate themselves, however raw and unrefined it may be.
    I think the last thing this league needs is a page out a politician handbook, in this case, a head writer.
    Just because Illinois’ governor had a speech writer, it didn’t make him come across any less retarded. So why taint the whole process with a phoney nature that would have Holden Caufield stab himself in the chest?
    If the answer is that it will create jobs for American citizens then maybe your right… but any answer otherwise is trash, TRASH I SAY.
    U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

  17. fishfan39 says: Aug 11, 2009 12:48 AM

    You’re right about that. Members of such an elite group (as well as their families) should never look back at the ceremony and have any regrets about what was or wasn’t said or done. They deserve it! If that means that the league has to step in and prepare the enshrinees so be it. Rehearse it if need be. This is a day when their carreers are celebrated. Make it a lifelong memory void of regrets. The league owes them that much.

  18. ☻☼CBS, FOX, ESPN, NFLN nbc says: Aug 11, 2009 1:04 AM

    Just like the National Anthem before games and the halftime show @ the super bowls, The HOF speeches and ceremonies are painstakingly overkill.

  19. BuckyBadger says: Aug 11, 2009 1:34 AM

    I too think the current ceremony is far too boring. I don’t even really watch it unless its a player I was a huge fan of. To me its unwatchable.
    On the other hand I do love the sincerity of the speeches when it is a player I am a huge fan of. Not saying most of these guys don’t need the coaching but I cringe at the thought of ghost writers.
    Do the Hall of Fame inductions in any sport really get watched? I mean I didn’t watch Jordan’s or many people’s for any sport. I consider my self a more than just a pretty big sports fan but these things are suppose to be special for the fans and their player getting inducted.
    Not everything needs flash and glitter. Somethings should be left to be honest, for better or for worse.
    Bit of a time limit should be given, not a hard one but some sort of understanding. Some go on too long and its never the good ones. Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address isn’t so famous because he rambled.

  20. robert1 says: Aug 11, 2009 1:46 AM

    Speeches are about them, not you Florio! If they want to convey whatever message they want to the fans then it is their right. I thought Woodson’s speech was inspiring. So now Florio wants non-enshrinees to speak for an enshrined player. Wow, do you want to ration health care also?

  21. Trust Doesnt Rust says: Aug 11, 2009 2:00 AM

    come on florio! seeing dumb jocks overcome with emotion and pride putting cut blocks on the english language is what makes the hall of fame ceremony so awesome. if these guys had professionally prepared or even short speeches it would completely ruin the experience and turn it into just another artificial, made for tv event.

  22. Raider Pride says: Aug 11, 2009 2:12 AM

    Mr. Florio.
    You just lost me, and I was one of your biggest fans. Oh the grief I got from regular posters in the comment section when I started every comment I posted with “Mr. Florio” before any person addressed you “Mr. Florio.”
    Are you seriously suggesting that Hall Of Fame Speech be choreographed and written by professional writers for the entertainment value of the event?
    You wrote: “Again, I’m not knocking the event. I’m just trying to get it to reflect the same degree of excellence exhibited by the persons whose careers have qualified them from the award they are receiving.”
    You wrote that? What is behind this concept? Is it an opportunity for freaking journalists to sit around a “Sports Journalist Conference” and brag about how they wrote the speech for a Hall Of Fame Inductee? I thought that was why inductees got to choose their own presenters?
    Or was this a slight dig that NBC ( The man on the end of your new dog color who is now pulling you left, pulling you right, pulling you back, and most importantly pulling you forward to a place you do not want to go..) should be broadcasting the Hall Of Fame inductions in the future?
    No journalist or speech writer in the world has the right to put words in the mouth of a man who is entering The Hall Of Fame, unless that journalist or speech writer himself is in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame as a player.
    On induction day, I want to see for myself the slurred thoughts, misdirection of sentences, and the punch drunk appearance of a man who has spent a career of Sunday’s being hit by a NFL truck more times than the entire population of possum in North America have been hit by a UPS truck.
    I want to see them for who they are today, entertaining or not.
    Florio. You yourself have stated, here on P.F.T. that it does not do a NFL player who has been arrested any good to read a prepared statement written for him, as It does, not show sincere remorse.
    I ask you… How the Hell does a prepared statement at the Hall Of Fame show the opposite of sincere remorse, which is sincere happiness and satisfaction?
    There is nothing worse than a man who is in the profession of writing another man’s words to convey how that man truly feels. The hell with the ratings, or entertainment value.
    You blew it with this editorial Florio, but that is because NBC is pulling the dog chain they snapped around your neck when you sold out a great thing.

  23. downsouth49er says: Aug 11, 2009 2:20 AM

    “Shouldn’t they want to give speeches that are truly memorable, speeches that entertain and/or move and/or inspire the audience?”
    Florio you are way off base with this one. Their speeches should be about how they managed to become so great and the obsticles that they encountered and overcame to become great. That alone should be memorable and inspiring to the crowd, along with what the player left on the field. It’s up to the audience to take what they can from those speeches and use it however they want. It’s like when Bruce Smith said his father told him to never quit at anything. It’s not his job to tell the audience to never quit, he spoke about what his father told him, and it is up to those in the audience and watching at home to say “hey his dad was right, don’t ever quit.” The inductees earned their say and found inspiration along away, it’s only fitting that when they share those stories it’s instantly inspirational. Don’t look at it as being boring because they didn’t talk about their career on the field, because quite frankly that is already known. What’s inspiring is how they got to the field.

  24. MikaV says: Aug 11, 2009 2:25 AM

    Had to register just to say this. Rod Woodson’s speech was moving and inspiring. Wont say anything about the othersm but dont knock Woodson’s.

  25. VegasChris says: Aug 11, 2009 3:05 AM

    Pretentious? Moi?
    Good luck with your Pulitzer, Mike!

  26. djayjohnso says: Aug 11, 2009 3:11 AM

    This is really self serving. We don’t need writers to write speeches for them. They were football players not great orators. Let them say whatever the hell they want to say. It is their moment. I would rather have them be themselves than to act fake or more “polished” just to be more proper. They are football players. Way, way off base on this one…..

  27. bigjoey46us says: Aug 11, 2009 4:53 AM

    After reading this article im sure all of us would LOVE seeing a Hall of Fame induction speach that Florio writes for someone. (there is a bit of sarcasm there in case if you didnt detect it)

  28. descendency says: Aug 11, 2009 5:10 AM

    I usually don’t watch unless it is someone I enjoyed watching play because they are generally very “meh” in quality.

  29. nflandboobs says: Aug 11, 2009 6:14 AM

    But with speech writers, how would you get the awkward and funny moments, like when Rod told Steelers fans that he remembers when they jeered him and they went from cheering to silent? That was hilarious.

  30. jl says: Aug 11, 2009 6:51 AM

    I keep clicking on the links in your blog, many of them bring up good points but very few are actually well written.

  31. rifraf66 says: Aug 11, 2009 6:57 AM

    Way Way Way off base on this one Florio

  32. xgbx says: Aug 11, 2009 7:24 AM

    Drinking game for next year’s ceremony: every time somebody mentions Jesus, I’m taking a shot. I’ll probably wake up the next day in my front yard with no memory of how bad the speeches were.
    Fixed.

  33. luigiboy says: Aug 11, 2009 7:31 AM

    To further your point… Ricky Henderson’s recent induction speech helped his tarnished image, as he likely sought help from a speech writer/coach to give one of the better baseball hall of fame speeches. He was able to shun that self-serving, third-person referencing image by being humble and likable in front of the microphone. And it seems people ate it up.

  34. realityonetwo says: Aug 11, 2009 7:58 AM

    Worst post ever.

  35. Kidekk says: Aug 11, 2009 8:19 AM

    We need to let these guys live their lives. When they’re playing, the media expects them to act a certain way. Now, when they’re retired, the media wants them to act a certain way? So what you’re basically saying is that since these guys live to entertain us, the only thing they should be concerned with is entertaining us. We shouldn’t care about what these guys want, because we want to remember them how we want to. You basically want to strip these guys of any personality they have and turn them into robots. Who cares if their speeches are boring? Oh, that’s right. The media cares because it may not get ratings. So let’s just make this event like “reality TV.” Scripted. Cut these guys some slack. The hall of fame speech is the chance they get to say what they want. And sportswriters? Give me a break. These are the same guys that will be the first to jump down their throats when they do something bad, and who kept Michael Irvin from being a first ballot hall of famer because of his drug problems. These guys don’t need anymore things to stroke their ego.

  36. leem says: Aug 11, 2009 8:20 AM

    Writers have enough fault already with the Hall.
    These fools, Peter King included, are the ones who determine who gets in and who doesnt.
    I think their record speaks for itself.
    Who amongst us cannot think of 10 deserving players who will never see the door at Canton much less ever get in.
    LESS from these writer types and more from the REAL football experts.

  37. Big Stretch says: Aug 11, 2009 8:27 AM

    whats wrong mike, the lack of brett favre stories leaving you with so much free time you think you should be writing HOF speeches?

  38. smo05d says: Aug 11, 2009 9:37 AM

    So because you were bored, Florio, you think the Hall of Fame coordinators should employ professional speech-writers and should try to be more historically relevant?
    I didn’t realize the Hall of Fame ceremony was about you.
    I thought it was about the men who spent at least half their lives dedicated to football. About those who contributed mightily to the sport and who helped drive it were it is today.
    So you were bored. I’m pretty sure the world does not revolve around you, Florio. As much as it may seem with your website, the world is not here for your entertainment.
    That night was not about your enjoyment, that night was about celebrating those men. Those men in all their glory and all their foibles.
    So they made grammatically incorrect speeches, boring speeches, speeches with no point, speeches that dragged on longer than Sunday semons. They earned that privilege. They paid their dues and it is wonderful that they get a chance to say exactly what they want and what they feel necessary when they finally reach that final pinnacle that is the Hall of Fame.
    So instead of trying to change it, Florio, because it did not fully entertain or impress you, why don’t you just make an excuse up next year and not go?
    Something along the lines of “I need to go wash my hair” should work for you.

  39. SixBurghDude says: Aug 11, 2009 10:28 AM

    Missed the side of the barn with this one Florio!
    First of all, I don’t need a contrite criminal with tears running down his sorry face, to move me. Irvin’s speech was a blatant rip-off of Jimmy V., IMHO, “never give up” coming from him was just more bile spewing from an open sewer…class-less!
    As for the 2009 speeches:
    > Ralph Wilson……what do you expect, the dude’s 90?
    > Carl Peterson……said the right things but is SO full of himself, typical arrogant executive, & in his case one who’s never won anything…sorry, he won a USFL title…LMAO!
    > Rod Woodson……how can you knock the speech of a guy who exhibited all of the following: his spirituality, his humility, his love for his family & his TOTAL praise for ALL who were instrumental in his achieving this ultimate honor…simply put, Rod’s speech was eloquent & inspiring even if it were a bit long!
    > Bruce Smith……biggest surprise for me was Bruce’s speech, if not for Rod’s speech Bruce would’ve stolen the show, well delivered & to the point & not as drawn out as Rod’s…excellent job Bruce!

  40. ZombieRevolution says: Aug 11, 2009 10:38 AM

    Florio writes: “Again, I’m not knocking the event.” Except everyone knows you are.
    I notice that majority of the people writing here take the opposite view of yourself. Was this an opportunity for you to advertise your services to a future HoFer?
    The HoF speech should come from heart, not from some sportswriter brain. In this day of twitter and instant information some people cannot watch the cermony- so what, that day is for the athlete.
    And I find it interesting, one of the sites with the least eloquance, referes to some athletes as turds, posts “humours” pictures of athletes has the nerve to take HoFers to task.

  41. VoxVeritas says: Aug 11, 2009 10:46 AM

    “I guarantee The Playmaker had a speech writer. Never before, or since, was he so eloquent.”
    Maybe, but it’s obvious that the guy wasn’t working from notes or a teleprompter. I’ve seen the guy speak at local events and high schools, he’s pretty well-spoken for a knucklehead.

  42. JayBackInTheBay says: Aug 11, 2009 11:43 AM

    You know what I think? I think you should have hired a book writer for your book! LOLOLOL!
    Ok, I’m not really that much of a clueless douche. I think you make some good points as the introductory speeches often come off as awkward. However, these guys spent their entire life expressing themselves primarily through pain. I want to see these guys speak from the heart and really give us a sense of what makes them tick as human beings. I think this is especially important given the caliber of the individual within the context of such a predominately team sport.

  43. Evil Sean says: Aug 11, 2009 11:58 AM

    Florio,
    I have to agree with the vast majority of the posters: you are way off-base here.
    The Pro Football HOF induction is one of the last surviving sincere, genuine events in sports that hasn’t been completely corrupted with the ESPYs/MTV/Video Game treatment (I’m only 31 and I’m sick of that crap). This event is for football purists: no amount of tweaking is going to make people watch or warrant a broadcast on one of the 4 networks (as a matter of fact, the political conventions you reference have been largely relegated to cable themselves this decade).
    I had no rooting interest in any of the inductees this year, but still enjoyed every one of the speeches because they spoke from the heart about their lives in and out of football. Was Ralph Wilson’s speech a bit slow and meandering? Sure it was, but perhaps everyone could accept the fact that he’s 90 and show some frigging respect for one of the pioneers of the game. Or better yet, maybe the writers you hold in such high regard (many of whom are bitter little men who are jealous of the athletes they cover) could have voted people like Ralph Wilson and Gene Hickerson into the Hall when they deserved it and were capable of giving better speeches (or a speech at all). These are the same nitwits who to date have kept Dick Lebeau out of the Hall – at least he still looks and acts like a man 20 years his junior. Will they make the right decision soon or will Mr. Lebeau be in a wheelchair or sporting an oxygen mask when they do the right thing?
    Florio, we’ll give you one year to have it your way. First off, we’ll have Joan & Melissa Rivers on the Red Carpet down George Halas Drive in Canton. Faith Hill & Pink will kick things off with a train-wreck Joan Jett cover. Michael Buffer will come out and say “Llllllleeeet’s get READY TO INDUCT HALL OF FAMERS!!!!” Cut to: black and white footage of Rachel Nichols, Jeremy Schaap, and the rest of the ESPN sports bullpen sitting around a conference table and discussing the merits of Jerry Rice. Roll footage of Schaap asking Jerry Rice if he would “guarantee” his first ballot enshrinement during the ’09 playoffs. The kid from Twilight introduces Jerry Rice. Peggy Noonan saves Emmitt Smith’s induction from being “debacled.” Buddy Ryan & Denny Green deemed too old to introduce Chris Carter, so actress Jeri Ryan & Brian Austin Green from 90210 do the honors. Caught up in the new spirit, Roger Goodell will invite Janet Jackson and her gender-ambiguous group of bondage-inspired dancers to recreate the most famous moment in Super Bowl history. This will of course be preceded by Kid Rock clad in an American flag poncho and Nelly trying to see who can grab their own junk more times during one song.
    I can’t wait.
    Or these great men could just have their moment in the sun the way it’s been done for 5 decades. It ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  44. Abe Froeman says: Aug 11, 2009 12:02 PM

    You people who are disagreeing do not understand the intent of what Florio is saying, or the impact it would have.
    Florio is saying these people exemplify excellence in the sport, and that their speeches should represent that.
    The impact of these players getting help would not make their speeches any less sincere or from the heart. In fact, getting some help from professional speech coaches would allow the players to be better able to articulate their thoughts, and express themselves with eloquence.
    These players would still be crying in moments of theirs speeches. Assuming that the speeches would become artificial and emotionally void is wrong.
    You guys in disagreement are missing the point. This is about making the players speeches indicative of the greatness with which the players played. Nothing more.

  45. Evil Sean says: Aug 11, 2009 12:08 PM

    Mr. Sausage King of Chicago,
    I’m saying their speeches already are indicative of their greatness – it adds a dimension to see these amazing athletes as human.

  46. mborz says: Aug 11, 2009 12:51 PM

    Abe Froeman said: “You guys in disagreement are missing the point.”
    I see, so everyone who disagrees with you is missing the point. How convenient.
    I’m not going to speak for everyone who is in disagreement (like you did), but I will speak for myself.
    I totally get Florio’s point. But I just happen to be one of those people who doesn’t need to hear someone speak “eloquently” to be moved. It’s not going to add anything for me to have some profession speechwriter (or anyone else) go through and smooth the thing out. If it’s a rough speech, I don’t care. Leave the rough edges on. I like it that way. The NFL is rough anyway.
    The inductee has earned the right to handle this however he wants – this is after all his moment. If he decides to use a speechwriter, I have no problem with that. If he decides not prepare a single word and stand up there and ramble, I have no problem with that either. It’s his moment and his decision. He’s earned it.
    To take that away from them for the purpose of eloquence, in a sport that has absolutely nothing to do with eloquence in the first place, seems a bit silly to me.

  47. RaiderChile says: Aug 11, 2009 1:28 PM

    Why is my comment (the very fist one posted) not here? Did it have something to do with what I stated? I’m putting it back:
    I wanted to see these guys talk about great moments in football but got a preachy jesus thing going on with Woodson’s opening. I don’t want to preached about saviors and god and all that when I’m watching football related activities. Who ever is editing these comments, I have the right to voice my opinion as everyone else. I don’t like politics, military or religion to be part of the game.

  48. Dewey Axewound says: Aug 11, 2009 2:54 PM

    They should be roasted, like the Friars do.
    Now THAT would be entertaining.

  49. SixBurghDude says: Aug 11, 2009 6:10 PM

    VoxVeritas says:
    August 8, 2009 6:24 PM
    “We can argue about off the field stuff all day long, I’m on record as saying that I don’t really have any respect for Irvin as a person, but as a player… he’s beyond reproach.”
    REALLY?
    VoxVeritas says:
    August 11, 2009 10:46 AM
    “I’ve seen the guy speak at local events and high schools, he’s pretty well-spoken for a knucklehead.”
    Seems like a bit of a waste of time attending speaking engagements held by those you have no respect for, No Vox???

  50. SixBurghDude says: Aug 11, 2009 6:11 PM

    VoxVeritas says:
    August 8, 2009 6:24 PM
    “We can argue about off the field stuff all day long, I’m on record as saying that I don’t really have any respect for Irvin as a person, but as a player… he’s beyond reproach.”
    REALLY?
    VoxVeritas says:
    August 11, 2009 10:46 AM
    “I’ve seen the guy speak at local events and high schools, he’s pretty well-spoken for a knucklehead.”
    Seems like a bit of a waste of time attending speaking engagements held by those you have no respect for, No Vox???

  51. SixBurghDude says: Aug 11, 2009 6:12 PM

    VoxVeritas says:
    August 8, 2009 6:24 PM
    “We can argue about off the field stuff all day long, I’m on record as saying that I don’t really have any respect for Irvin as a person, but as a player… he’s beyond reproach.”
    REALLY?
    VoxVeritas says:
    August 11, 2009 10:46 AM
    “I’ve seen the guy speak at local events and high schools, he’s pretty well-spoken for a knucklehead.”
    Seems like a bit of a waste of time attending speaking engagements held by those you have no respect for, No Vox???

  52. SixBurghDude says: Aug 11, 2009 6:13 PM

    VoxVeritas says:
    August 8, 2009 6:24 PM
    “We can argue about off the field stuff all day long, I’m on record as saying that I don’t really have any respect for Irvin as a person, but as a player… he’s beyond reproach.”
    REALLY?
    VoxVeritas says:
    August 11, 2009 10:46 AM
    “I’ve seen the guy speak at local events and high schools, he’s pretty well-spoken for a knucklehead.”
    Seems like a bit of a waste of time attending speaking engagements held by those you have no respect for, No Vox???

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