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13 things to remember about the 2010 Hall of Fame induction ceremony

The Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony is for the true diehards; those who really love the game.  For that reason, it’s one of the most underrated football nights of the year.

Here are 13 moments I’ll remember from this year’s festivities, in chronological order.

1. The entire Steelers team showed up to watch defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau get inducted.  “That’s about the highest compliment I’ve ever had paid to me in my life,” LeBeau said.

2. LeBeau, at 72, is a complex guy. That came across during a warm, laid-back speech.  But he ended it with a message that will ring true to my parents, about to hit their seventies.

“Life is for living folks,” LeBeau said.  “Don’t let a number be anything other than a number.  Don’t let anyone tell you you’re too old to this or too old to do that. Stay in life.  Life is a gift.  It’s a joy.  Don’t drop out of it.  Don’t let someone else tell you, don’t let your mind tell you.”

Since LeBeau turned 65, he’s won two Super Bowls, which helped push him into the Hall of Fame.

3. Vikings defensive tackle John Randle was known for his big mouth on the field, but he had the shortest acceptance speech in memory.  It was heartfelt, effective, and four minutes long. 

That’s only 24 minutes less than Chris Berman’s speech on Friday when Berman accepted the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award on Friday night.

4.  The original hog Russ Grimm talked about he was convinced to play on the offensive line.  “There’s no greater feeling than moving a man from point A to point B against his will.

5. Some of the Steelers offensive lineman in attendance hung around after LeBeau’s speech to put on Grimm’s jersey.  Grimm was their offensive line coach before he moved with Ken Whisenhunt to Arizona. 

6. Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson got inspiration from a surprising source.

“What enticed me to really try to play football was you come to Pahokee,
they have on the sign, Welcome to the home of Mel Tillis. He was a
country singer. . . .  I wanted my name on that sign. I tell
you what, I wasn’t going to do nothing to try to mess my career up to
keep my name off of that sign.”

7. Jackson also had a timely warning to NFL owners and players. 

“We need to keep football going. Can’t let football get away. I mean
you can get where the product can be so good, you can lose sight and let
it get away.”

8. Jerry Rice struggled with some of his speech, but he was the most revealing of any speaker.  He said the fear of failure fueled his career.  That fear, insecurity, and not wanting to disappoint his coaches pushed him.  He said he always focused on the one pass he didn’t catch.  He was obsessed with perfection.
9. Rice said: “If I have a single regret, I never
took the time to enjoy it.”

To end his speech, with no touchdowns left to catch, he took a moment to inhale and take it all in.  In typical fashion, the moment was brief.

10. Vice President Joe Biden, of all people, helped to introduce Broncos running back Floyd Little.  They both went to Syracuse and Biden has always been a big supporter.

11. Little was sandwiched between Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith, but his speech was the most passionate of the night.

12. Amazingly, Smith topped Little’s performance.  The author of “Debacled” and “Blowed up” delivered a stirring speech.  It was 24 minutes long, easily the longest of the night, but didn’t drag on at all.

13. Emmitt was the only player to cry, starting when he talked to his former fullback to Daryl “Moose” Johnston. 

“You took care of me — like you were taking care of your little
brother. Without you, I know today would not have been possible,” Smith said. 

Smith had Johnston stand, like his other teammates.  It was an affecting gesture, as was Smith’s long list of offensive lineman.  (Although he didn’t mention the Arizona Cardinals once.)

The 2011 class has a tough act to follow.

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66 Responses to “13 things to remember about the 2010 Hall of Fame induction ceremony”
  1. MrHumble says: Aug 7, 2010 11:26 PM

    Did anyone expect Smith not to talk the longest……his ego is as big as jerry jones’s. I really liked the rest of the speeches otherwise.

  2. Igottz5onit says: Aug 7, 2010 11:27 PM

    Amen.if it was just lebeau it would be A tough act to follow.

  3. BeaverThomas says: Aug 7, 2010 11:34 PM

    I had a buddy from WI up there in Canton. He was sitting on the floor under the podium. He himself was getting pretty emotional in his FB posts regarding Emmit. Man Crush is an understatement.

  4. $MurfMoney$ says: Aug 7, 2010 11:35 PM

    Emmitt stole the show……without a doubt!!!! His speech was by-far the best. Jerry Rice needs to get hooked on Phonics . Flyod Little was well spoken…….but really…..who the hell is Floyd Little ……if he was truly a Hall of Famer he would have made it 60 yrs ago…..i don’t think anyone knew who this guy was . Rickey Jackson’s speech was horrible…..and he is not Hall worthy! If he can make it….anyone can make it !

  5. TheOne says: Aug 7, 2010 11:35 PM

    They all did great!! I love Emmitt Smith!! I love the Cowboys!! Emitt is number 1!!!

  6. danielcp0303 says: Aug 7, 2010 11:37 PM

    Great speech by Emmitt to close it out. Really passionate and hopefully he can help get “Moose” in the Hall Of Fame. Most players can’t handle the pressure and the greatness it takes to put on a Cowboys jersey and have a star on your helmet. Emmitt Smith is a Hall Of Famer…Congrats!

  7. BCGreg says: Aug 7, 2010 11:40 PM

    “Biden has always been a big supporter”
    Well, he’s had practice for 2 years now.

  8. humptyfratz says: Aug 7, 2010 11:42 PM

    Three most memorable things about the speeches:
    1. Never thought I’d see Rickey Jackson defending Tom Benson and slamming Bob Irsay in the same breath. Thank you Rickey!
    2. Floyd Little’s entire speech. I’m so glad Floyd finally got in.
    3. The emotion from Emmitt Smith when he was thanking Moose Johnston. Something the fans don’t often get to see.
    Thanks to this year’s class for all the memories!

  9. Indyeagle says: Aug 7, 2010 11:43 PM

    As a Eagles fan, I can’t stand the Cowboys. However, I respect the hell out of Emmitt, Troy and Michael. Emmitt’s speech was great and I liked to see his pride in being a Cowboy. ALL players should have as much pride as he does.
    Best hof class ever.

  10. agenice says: Aug 7, 2010 11:53 PM

    Smith got in? when did this happen?
    Seemed to me it was all over when Little finished.

  11. brasho says: Aug 7, 2010 11:54 PM

    $MurfMoney$ says:
    August 7, 2010 11:35 PM
    Emmitt stole the show……without a doubt!!!! His speech was by-far the best. Jerry Rice needs to get hooked on Phonics . Flyod Little was well spoken…….but really…..who the hell is Floyd Little ……if he was truly a Hall of Famer he would have made it 60 yrs ago…..i don’t think anyone knew who this guy was . Rickey Jackson’s speech was horrible…..and he is not Hall worthy! If he can make it….anyone can make it !
    If you don’t know who Floyd Little is or think Rickey Jackson belongs in the Hall-of-Fame, then what is your dumb ass doing reading a pro football blog? Shouldn’t you be reading a tennis blog with all the other numbskulls? Rickey Jackson was probably the 2nd best OLB of the 80’s (tied with Andre Tippett)… you’re a big enough idiot that you probably don’t even know the best of the 80’s was.

  12. NFC North Resident says: Aug 8, 2010 12:04 AM

    it should be remembered that Richard Dent is still getting stiffed.

  13. i'm president charlie! says: Aug 8, 2010 12:11 AM

    Class as usual from the Steelers organization.

  14. Drafty says: Aug 8, 2010 12:11 AM

    Brasho, I second the motion. $MurfMoney$ is an imbecile.

  15. salty says: Aug 8, 2010 12:12 AM

    Good thing Big Ben didn’t attend… He probably would have had to take a public wizz while waiting for Emmitt to finish…

  16. $MurfMoney$ says: Aug 8, 2010 12:16 AM

    @brasho…….I know who Floyd little is…..I am a Syracuse fan . Thanks buddy……I just dont think he is a Hall of Famer…….It shouldn’t take a Vice President screaming your name to get you in . If he is a Hall of Famer now….then he should have been 20-25 yrs ago . His career as a pro was average at best……this is the hall of fame….not the hall of average . And Rickey was a very good linebacker…..but again…..not a hof’er….you idiot!!!!

  17. robert ethen says: Aug 8, 2010 12:28 AM

    Go easy on Berman. 300 pounds of noxious gas takes a long time to expel.

  18. HomoforRomo says: Aug 8, 2010 12:34 AM

    I wondered why Jerry Rice never tried to get into broadcasting, now its obvious- he can’t read.

  19. robert ethen says: Aug 8, 2010 12:36 AM

    Yeah, you guys are all over LeBeau for the HOF now, but wait until he wrecks a brand new Maserati heading to Nevada with his star player’s wife, while stoned on cocaine.

  20. pghguyy33 says: Aug 8, 2010 12:42 AM

    was glad to see coach lebeau give a shout out to all the great players from western pa.

  21. davisjosh20 says: Aug 8, 2010 12:49 AM

    an Eagles fan as well, and while I believe Smith, Irvin and Troy belong in the HoF, I do NOT think either of the 3 would have been the players they were without each other. Because of that, I think they should’ve been enshrined together.
    Jerry Rice. Love the guy one of the all-time greatest, obviously, and I know he was nervous, but his entire career, he has been one of the poster boys for why it should be mandatory to take a communications class in college. Especially if you are a star on the team. it not only keeps you from sounding like an idiot, but it also helps to ensure a career after sports, in some sort of broadcasting.
    I agree with Florio about LeBeau. For sure deserves to be in the HoF, but as a coach. Obviously it influenced the voters this year, still should have waited until his coaching career was over. Should have used that slot for someone like Cris Carter. Or Ray Guy.

  22. R.A.K. says: Aug 8, 2010 1:06 AM

    Congrat’s, $MurphMoney$…you’ve just won dumbass of the night! Any true football fan knows who Floyd Little is…and how his induction into the HOF is long overdue. What a complete idiot. I’m almost embarrassed for you…but not quite.

  23. Occam says: Aug 8, 2010 1:10 AM

    Since I’m quick to criticize, I should also be quick to compliment: That was a really well written article, Gregg with an extra ‘g.’

  24. Kay Bee says: Aug 8, 2010 1:25 AM

    Yep…I can tell who the real idiots are on this site. Check Rickey Jackson’s numbers and then report your findings.

  25. Michael says: Aug 8, 2010 1:34 AM

    …….but really…..who the hell is Floyd Little ……
    pssst, hey buddy, your ignorance is showing…

  26. Gatorgabe says: Aug 8, 2010 1:39 AM

    Smith was the only player not to mention his college – he is, eh, was a Florida Gator. Kinda rude, in my opinion, especially considering the Gators in attendance at the ceremony: Urban Meyer, Max Starks, Maurkice Pouncey, Andre Caldwell, Terry Jackson, and a fairly large contingent of Gator boosters and officials. Meyer has made a big effort to bring Smith back into the fold at Florida, and even invited him to stand on the sidelines during the 2006 and 2008 BCS Championship games. For Smith not to at least acknowledge his alma mater will forever be remembered by all of Gator Nation as an unnecessary – and unfortunate – snub.

  27. RichattheLake says: Aug 8, 2010 1:56 AM

    Did anyone else notice Emmitt never mentioned anything about his college experience? Must have killed the Gators watching.

  28. rovibe says: Aug 8, 2010 2:06 AM

    So when Biden introduced Little, did he say anything stupid like, “He talks pretty good for a Negro…”?

  29. SoupSandwich says: Aug 8, 2010 3:12 AM

    I want to hear Jerry Kramer’s speech. Hopefully next year. He deserves it.

  30. loumann says: Aug 8, 2010 3:54 AM

    I was a season ticket holder for the Hall of Fame and a member for over 10 years. They moved the induction from the hallowed ground of the Hall ( on the steps) to the uncovered, sterile, hot, boring stadium for the almighty dollar.
    The game moved to Sunday night from Saturday, making travel back home to make work ( we are not all rich like the NFL ) impossible.
    Florio…..why don’t you talk about how the NFL wrecked the greatest weekend of all ????
    I have given up my tickets and will not return, at least not until Ray Guy gets in !

  31. traevin says: Aug 8, 2010 4:55 AM

    you’re a big enough idiot that you probably don’t even know the best of the 80’s was.
    A coke fiend rapist, right?
    Or is that answer not specific enough?

  32. chrisritch says: Aug 8, 2010 5:12 AM

    Thank god Florio wont make the Hall, his speech would be 24 minutes longer than Bermans.

  33. Robski says: Aug 8, 2010 6:15 AM

    I bet the Steelers wish Grimm was their head coach. As much as I hate the Redskins, he was an amazing player and even better coach. Only the liberal hypocracy of the Rooney family prevented it. As much as it would pain me at first, I’d love to see Grimm be the next Cowboys coach.

  34. jasar13 says: Aug 8, 2010 6:44 AM

    $MurfMoney$ you are truly ignorant of NFL history.

  35. fan62 says: Aug 8, 2010 7:20 AM

    Are you kidding me – Floyd Little?? If he deserved to be in the HOF, it should have been long before Elway. This was just a pacifier for Denver fans, because they can’t get the number of players in the HOF that other teams do. Little might have been big in Denver, but to the rest of the country – who…???

  36. The Tire Slasher says: Aug 8, 2010 7:29 AM

    Jerry Rice was just awful. Watching him stumble and stutter through that long-winded speech of his was painful to watch.

  37. Mr. Lagoo says: Aug 8, 2010 7:32 AM

    Rickey Jackson needed to rehearse his speech a few times…it was painful.
    Also, was the rapist in attendance for Dick LeBeau?? Look out Canton.

  38. aj says: Aug 8, 2010 7:33 AM

    $MurfMoney$, It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.

  39. Coach says: Aug 8, 2010 8:18 AM

    $MurfMoney$ says:
    August 7, 2010 11:35 PM
    Emmitt stole the show……without a doubt!!!! His speech was by-far the best. Jerry Rice needs to get hooked on Phonics . Flyod Little was well spoken…….but really…..who the hell is Floyd Little ……if he was truly a Hall of Famer he would have made it 60 yrs ago…..i don’t think anyone knew who this guy was . Rickey Jackson’s speech was horrible…..and he is not Hall worthy! If he can make it….anyone can make it !
    Thank you for proving your age and ignorance. You obviously do not know anything about the game or its history. Before showing your ignorance you may want to do a little research. Try reading the recent article in SI about Little .
    John Elway called Floyd “the greatest Bronco player ever”. But then again you will probably have to look up who Elway is.
    By your own, lousy math…if Little wasn’t good enough to get in 60 years ago (when he was 8 yo), then Smith doesn’t deserve to be in if he wasn’t inducted 33 years ago. Sometimes it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.
    Jackson and Little were great players stuck on very bad teams. They did not get the limelight that other, less capable players recieved. I am glad they are both in the Hall, where they both belong.

  40. SKINSFANTOM says: Aug 8, 2010 8:21 AM

    MURFMONEY you sir, are a DILDO

  41. steelerfan9598 says: Aug 8, 2010 8:46 AM

    I’m a Cowboy hater and fully expected Emmitt to ‘Debacle’ his speech but, it was fantastic. Jerry Rice on the other hand was hard to listen to.

  42. ejtowne says: Aug 8, 2010 8:56 AM

    I’m sorry, but I cannot stand Emmitt Smith. I know he was a big part of the Cowboys and their superbowl run but, the guy would not have been that successful without the best offensive line in the history of the NFL. Had he been behind the Dolphins, the 49ers or even the Browns we would not be talking HOF.

  43. BCEDGE says: Aug 8, 2010 8:57 AM

    I thought from start to finish it was a great ceremony.

  44. onlymyopinionmatters says: Aug 8, 2010 8:58 AM

    Little sounded like a preacher.
    LeBeau rambled like a the senile old man he is.
    Jackson was just odd.
    Rice was too busy promoting himself.
    Randle kept it short a classy.
    Emmitt showed emtion and was definitly in the moment.
    Grimm was too robotic.

  45. john pileggi says: Aug 8, 2010 9:00 AM

    Emmitt Smith was as warm, heartfelt and introspective as any pro athlete I have heard heard. His tribute to his team mates was touching. The words he spoke to his former blocker were especially memorable and unlike most Hall of Fame speeches. Rare is it for someone being inducted to look out at a guy who spent his career throwing himself at linemen to open a path and say “thank you”.

  46. tv says: Aug 8, 2010 9:11 AM

    Obviously you don’t watch real football – probably just the highlights on ESPN. Jackson was a beast – he actually has more sacks than LT (his 8.5 sacks in his rookie year were not counted because the NFL didn’t have that as an “official stat” until his second year – and his “official sacks” total just 4 less than LT) and ALL of his other stats are better than LTs – more tackles, NFL record for fumbles caused and fumbles recovered, etc. etc.). He was a machine who controlled one side of the field, and opposing Os, for every one of his 15 yrs. If he isn’t a Hall of Famer, then no one is.
    So get your head out of your ass.

  47. OldIrishBones says: Aug 8, 2010 9:26 AM

    Long time reader, first time posting.
    : The Triplets deserve to be in the HOF. Their support and appreciation for one another is in sharp contrast to the “ME FIRST” attitudes of many of today’s stars.
    : Russ Grimm’s quote “Moving a man from Point A to Point B against his will” will go down as an all time classic. Now that the first Hog is in, when does Joe Jacoby follow?

  48. Pack_Attack says: Aug 8, 2010 9:28 AM

    emmitt smith still bugs me, that smug grin. Im not a fan. (although he ran over our defensive line for YEARS!)

  49. Dryheave says: Aug 8, 2010 9:51 AM

    yeah, I’ll second that… $MurfMoney$ sounds like he doesn’t know if a football is blown or stuffed…….the dude is dumber than a bag of doorknobs

  50. Skins1970 says: Aug 8, 2010 10:21 AM

    How can anyone say they don’t know who Floyd Little is? He is only one of the greatest RBs of all time and this day was long overdue for him.

  51. Corey says: Aug 8, 2010 10:24 AM

    7. Jackson also had a timely warning to NFL owners and players.
    “We need to keep football going. Can’t let football get away. I mean you can get where the product can be so good, you can lose sight and let it get away.”
    that was the most important thing that happened all night.

  52. Zane says: Aug 8, 2010 10:42 AM

    @ Gatorgabe:
    “For Smith not to at least acknowledge his alma mater will forever be remembered by all of Gator Nation as an unnecessary – and unfortunate – snub.”
    Psst… it’s the “pro football” Hall of Fame. And please, don’t act like Emmitt was somehow obligated to mention the Gators, just because a few guys that came 20 years later than him were there.

  53. $MurfMoney$ says: Aug 8, 2010 10:55 AM

    I’m so glad my opinion matters so much to you losers! Don’t get your thongs in a wad!!!

  54. Raj says: Aug 8, 2010 11:14 AM

    All these people jumping on guys back over football history. I’ve seem vintage tapes and I think the league is changing. There is a doubt within me that those athletes with all due respect could not compete with the superstar athletes of today. Yess they had skill but you have to consider the entire scenario. I doubt vintage teams( I’m talking bout 40’s 50’s etc) had capable defenses to slow these guys. Btw that guy is a complete retard on SI who wrote about Jerry not being the greatest WR.

  55. Robski says: Aug 8, 2010 11:16 AM

    Anybody that say Emmitt was only great due to his surrounding cast, ask yourself this: Would Jerry Rice have been as great without that offensive system and two HOF QBs throwing to him? The 49ers were an offensive powerhouse before he got there. Every great player needs talent around him, except for Barry Sanders.

  56. purpleguy says: Aug 8, 2010 11:31 AM

    Little’s speech was humble, informative, thankful, intelligent and inspiring. The guy should be a motivational speaker. I expected more from Rice, loved Randle’s short speech, and actually liked Smith’s speech much, much more than expected. And Ricky Jackson should show some respect and stand straight — it was like he was leaning on a bar for cripes sake.

  57. contraryguy says: Aug 8, 2010 11:32 AM

    PFT in the HOF? That’d be a great speech… the biggest choice would be who to thank first, Favre, T.O., Big Ben or the entire Bengals organization? “And a special shout-out to Dookie Davenport…”

  58. BlueStars2010 says: Aug 8, 2010 12:11 PM

    I guess Emmitt had the greatest offensive lines in high school & college, too. How many of those Cowboys linemen are in the HOF? (Hint: 0, though to be fair Larry Allen probably will be, but Emmitt already had 2 rushing titles & 2 rings by the time he showed up).

  59. Staubach_Aikman_? says: Aug 8, 2010 12:31 PM

    My thoughts:
    As crazy as he was on the field, I expected a little more from Randle
    I thought LeBeau’s speech was interesting, since you rarely get the opportunity to see the man behind the great Steeler Defenses.
    As much as I hate all things redskin, I thought Grimm had an impressive delivery. He will be a head coach in the NFL one day.
    As ill prepared as Jackson seemed to be for his speech, I thought his message to the NFL was dead on.
    I listened to Rice on Sat. Radio on the NFL channel and he really needs a speech coach. Greatest receiver of all time, not the greatest speaker.
    I remember watching Little when I was a kid, and I am glad that the seniors committee is recognizing some of these guys that built the NFL into what it is today. Good speech.
    Emmitt: even as a cowboy fan I thought the speech was a little long. The moments where he acknowledged his teammates was well done. He probably could have skipped the preaching about how to set goals, etc. I was impressed with the amount of preparation he obviously did for the speech because he spoke clearly (for the most part) and strongly.

  60. NOwillrepeat says: Aug 8, 2010 12:55 PM

    Rickey Jackson more than deserves to be in the Hall. He was the heart and soul of the greatest linebacking corps in history, the “Dome Patrol”. He had only 4 less sacks than LT and played on the strong side. He didn’t have the pleasure of attacking the QB from the blindside, as LT did. He was a force that terrified opposing offense’s for 15 years, only missing two games. A man who defines the word “tough”. Congrats to you, Mr. Jackson and the entire New Orleans Saints organization

  61. NOwillrepeat says: Aug 8, 2010 1:00 PM

    The great Sam ” The field Mouse” Mills needs to be next. And panther fans, he belongs to us!!

  62. detnflfan says: Aug 8, 2010 1:08 PM

    Emmitt Smith’s speech was heartfelt and made me tear up a little too. Great class and look forward to the greats that go in next year.

  63. braintape says: Aug 8, 2010 1:18 PM

    If Shannon Sharpe makes it into the 2011 class, he will be setting a new standard for “acts to follow”.

  64. florio4prez says: Aug 8, 2010 1:40 PM

    Little wonder that yet another Cryboy rambled on-and-on at the podium, in order to keep the spot lights shining on him, while attempting to satisfy his immense ego.
    Little wonder that the Steelers organization did not hesitate driving six buses, three hours out and three hours back, sat relatively quiet off to the side, in tribute to one of their own.
    Yet another reminder why I am eternally grateful I was born with Black and Gold inside of me instead of with a star plastered on my brain.

  65. steeler560 says: Aug 8, 2010 1:59 PM

    The retards with the Big Ben rapist jokes. Yes he was there in attendance. He kept a low profile but everyone, including fans of other teams cheered him warmly as he walked into Faucett Stadium. Not one person made a derogatory comment.
    Hmmmm is it because they’re smart enough to take the time to watch the video of the accuser and realize he never raped anyone?
    It’s been confirmed that so settlement was paid out to either gold digger. The first whack job’s civil suit is going nowhere and the second girl’s parents refused to file civil suit knowing he didn’t do anything.
    Time to move on…

  66. BigMikeSkinsFan says: Aug 11, 2010 1:21 PM

    I was just shocked that Emmitt didnt mess up his speech and make up random words.
    not bad for a punch drunk dancer.
    hate hate…hate hate hate.

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