For most Hall of Famers, the enshrinement speech has no real impact on a player’s legacy. Few completely blow their final moments in the sun (or, as the case may be, debacle it). Every once in a while, a failed broadcasting career becomes partially resurrected with a memorable performance. (See Michael Irvin and, possibly, Emmitt Smith.)
On Saturday night, Cardinals assistant coach Russ Grimm moved back to the A list for any and all head-coaching vacancies.
Largely forgotten since missing out on the Steelers’ job three years in a haze of ambiguity and/or the Rooney Rule, Grimm used his speech as an open audition for his ability to communicate to a team, a fan base, and a media corps.
And he nailed it.
Confirming our belief in this regard is the fact that the transcript of Grimm’s words, as prepared by the fine folks at ProFootballhof.com and distributed in the press box in Canton, contains no catch phrases, pearls of wisdom, or memorable passages. Great communicators communicate any content great; they can make you want to run through a wall without ever asking. It’s a quality that oozes through the speaker’s presence, demeanor, and delivery.
Grimm made his case on Saturday night. Surely, he’s smart enough to know that it was his only chance to speak directly to an audience consisting of the entire football-watching world, including most if not all owners, team presidents, and/or General Managers.
And, again, he nailed it. He nailed it so well that we’re prepared to predict that, if there’s football in 2011, Grimm will be coaching one of the league’s 32 teams.