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Derrick Brooks vows to make Hall of Fame “a better team”


In the video that played before the bust of Derrick Brooks was unveiled, his son Decalon said that Brooks wanted to be an insurance salesman when he was growing up because he wanted to wear a suit and collect money.

He ended up wearing a different uniform, pocketed plenty of cash, a Super Bowl win, and now a bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

And as Brooks joined the football immortals in Canton, Brooks vowed to do what he can to elevate the group.

“Now that I’m part of this team, it’s gonna be a better team,” Brooks said.  “Because I’m gonna work my butt off to make the Pro Football Hall of Fame a better team.”

Brooks thanked an exhaustive and comprehensive list of those who helped him, from his youth through college through adulthood.  He also thanked the entire state of Florida, given that he spent his full football career, from pee-wee through pro, in the Sunshine State.

One of the most unlikely expresses of appreciation went to kicker Martin Gramatica, who Brooks said helped deliver victory in plenty of close, low-scoring games with the three-pointers from his right foot.

The long list of players who received a mention from Brooks included defensive end Simeon Rice, whose career numbers and achievements suggest that he should get more serious consideration for a spot in Canton.

“You’re one of the best if not the best pass rushers of my generation,” Brooks said of Rice.

That’s a far more diplomatic way of saying what teammate Warren Sapp has said in the past — that Rice is more worthy of being in the Hall of Fame than Michael Strahan.

It was a long speech, and Brooks acknowledged it; “When you go first you can take your time.”

Brooks deserves to take as much time as he wants, doing whatever he wants and however he wants.

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37 Responses to “Derrick Brooks vows to make Hall of Fame “a better team””
  1. avo15 says: Aug 2, 2014 8:06 PM

    Brooks deserves every ounce of happiness in his life. Grats and Thank You #GOAT!!!!!

  2. thestrategyexpert says: Aug 2, 2014 8:16 PM

    Hey the insurance business is still around and it’s very exciting.

  3. 941bucs says: Aug 2, 2014 8:21 PM

    The pro teams here might be garbage, but the sunshine state does produce and pump out some football beast! Could have alot to do with training your whole life in this un matched humitity..

  4. mdd913 says: Aug 2, 2014 8:28 PM

    Simeon Rice was a one-trick pony. He’s not Super Bowl material. Every single player above him on the career sack list is a complete player.

  5. thelegendofkikoalonso says: Aug 2, 2014 8:30 PM

    Loved Derrick brooks, but, zzz. Was a little to long. Can’t wait for Andre Reed and #BillsMafia. If you think buffalo should leave.. Look at the crowd. We bleed this sh*#

  6. coloradobuc says: Aug 2, 2014 8:30 PM

    Derrick, You were Great my Man. Thanks.

  7. vietnambob2473 says: Aug 2, 2014 8:31 PM

    I have to disagree with most of these Bucs defensive players going into the HoF. They were good as a collective group but none were that special as an individual. Sure it is a tam game, teams win super bowls, individuals go into the Hall though. Anyone watching Brooks and Rice in the second half of their careers would know that they are not HoF caliber players. Sapp didn’t do a whole lot in Oakland either. The only one to do much of anything after their Bucs career was John Lynch who made Pro Bowls and was a perennial playoff participant with the Broncos. And yet he is the one on the outside looking in.

  8. buffaloisadumpsterandtheirfansaremorons says: Aug 2, 2014 8:33 PM

    Overrated player who was able to play better than his talent level in the gimmicky “Tamp 2” system.

  9. squashstroup says: Aug 2, 2014 8:51 PM

    At the rate they are going it will take 6 hours and the NFL want two add two more next year. They ether need music to play them off the stage or to induct them one per night for a whole week.
    Maybe they could have text alerts for when the speech you want to here will start.
    Maybe they do, I will check.

  10. militantgod says: Aug 2, 2014 8:53 PM

    John Lynch was a good player surrounded by a stacked D. He was nothing more. HOF talk is laughable at best. Put him on an average D and he would be a forgotten man. Atwater and Butler were twice the safety’s as him, and they can’t even make it to the final cut down list.

  11. avo15 says: Aug 2, 2014 8:57 PM

    @vietnambob2473 really? so the superbowl didn’t count in the second half of his career. not the mention the 11 probowls and 9 all pros in his 14 year career that he had never missed a game. I’ve watched every game he has ever played only missed a step in his last couple of seasons. Don’t speak on stuff you know nothing about.

  12. numberoneinthehoodg says: Aug 2, 2014 9:03 PM

    Hate Derrick Brooks, absolute hate, he tore my team up. That’s on the field. Admiration, respect, and awe, that’s on the field and off. Kudos to him. He EARNED this.

  13. thegregwitul says: Aug 2, 2014 9:06 PM

    The Tampa 2 system redefined the game, it’s a stone cold fact. Brooks, Sapp, Barber, Lynch and Rice are HOF worthy. They were very good players for a very long time.

    For those ignorant posters spouting off nonsense, go educate yourself. A defensive system that is influential and productive cheapens nothing. It’s not like the Tampa 2 had 12 men on the field. It was 11 on 11 and the Bucs fielded one of the best defensive units of all time.

    As for Rice, he belongs in the hall of fame, but he’ll be on the ballot for a while. Kinda like Andre Reed who took several years to make it in, Rice was an underrated player and should have been the MVP of the Bucs Super Bowl win, as he was the most dominant player on the field in the blowout victory. I have no issue with Strahan making it in first over Rice, but let’s not pretend that Rice isn’t worthy of enshrinement, because he is.

  14. tooz72 says: Aug 2, 2014 9:07 PM


  15. jmurph024 says: Aug 2, 2014 9:13 PM

    Those who call Brooks overrated or say that he only played well in a scheme are ignorant fools. How did the Cowboys do last year trying to run that scheme? They were a joke. Brooks and his teammates were brilliant at it.

    Brooks played WLB and never missed a game. Including playoffs, he scored 5 defensive touchdowns in 2002. FIVE. Who else has done that from that position? That’s HOF stuff. There was a sustained period in time he was the best defensive player in the NFL. An NFL that included the likes of Ray Lewis and Ed Reed.

    Brooks would be standing on that stage tonight no matter what team or scheme he played. He was that good. remember only him and Walter Jones are 1st ballot.

    And who is the idiot who said neither Sapp or Brooks played well in the second half of their careers? Sapp had 10 sacks one year playing the 3-4 for an awful Raiders team.

  16. pksoze says: Aug 2, 2014 9:15 PM

    One I don’t think Brooks was ripping Strahan just acknowledging his teammate. Also to those saying Brooks was a system player that is a joke; he was definitely the best defensive player on that team. If you want a system player; that was his teammate Sapp who was garbage outside of the 3 technique.

  17. raidersfourlife says: Aug 2, 2014 9:19 PM

    Wow, thats Derrick Brooks son now. I remember playing against him in pop warner 5 years back. Both grown alot lol.

  18. gurnblanstonreturns says: Aug 2, 2014 9:20 PM

    Derrick Brooks is gonna make the Hall of Fame better? Can he remove cris carter? That would do it.

  19. sdsmooth says: Aug 2, 2014 9:25 PM

    Simeon Rice is a bum. I hope he never sniffs the HOF. If you don’t know what he said about Pat Tillman … google what he said on the Jim Rome show about 10 or 12 years ago. Pathetic human being.

  20. blackcatnfl says: Aug 2, 2014 9:32 PM

    The dude knows the Hall of Fame team doesn’t actually play any games, right?

  21. realitycheckbaby says: Aug 2, 2014 9:34 PM

    John Lynch was a good player surrounded by a stacked D. He was nothing more. HOF talk is laughable at best. Put him on an average D and he would be a forgotten man. Atwater and Butler were twice the safety’s as him, and they can’t even make it to the final cut down list



    But true.

  22. skolvikesskol says: Aug 2, 2014 9:47 PM

    I am…. Speechless that anyone…. ANYONE would question Brooks greatness. We should be arguing if he is the greatest LB… EVER!!!

  23. harperj29 says: Aug 2, 2014 9:56 PM

    Congrats Derrick Brooks! I enjoyed watching that dominant defense from the late 90’s until Super Bowl year specially the whopping of the 49ers I witnesses in person in the 02 playoffs. Flags were flying like crazy that day.

  24. phonesringingdude1 says: Aug 2, 2014 10:19 PM

    As a Bucs fan, I loved watching Lynch play but I agree that he is not a HOF candidate. Simeon Rice is not an HOFer either. Barber? I think so but we will see. Anyone who says Brooks was gimmicky? You know nothing of football. As for the Tampa 2? Changed the game.

  25. ernwop64 says: Aug 2, 2014 10:50 PM

    The greatest tackler i ever seen.Great job Brooks.

  26. Most of you would be rapturous if your team won just one measly Super Bowl. We won it once, then again, and again, and again, yet again, oh, look, another one. You shrivel in our shadow. We define greatness. We built the NFL. We are the Steelers. says: Aug 2, 2014 10:56 PM

    What a joke the Hall of Fame has become. It used to be prestigious. Now we’re stuck with leftovers like this bum.

  27. AKA Slow Joe (Bucs fan) says: Aug 2, 2014 11:01 PM

    Relentless on the field and a tireless ambassador of the game and all of humanity off of it.

    Congrats, Mr. Brooks.

  28. themagicfanguy says: Aug 2, 2014 11:08 PM

    Steelers fan is just mad that Brooks is better than any Pitt LB in the last 30 years, bitter loser. Simeon rice may have said dumb stuff about Tillman, but that doesn’t change the fact that he deserves to be a HOFr and was one of the best at his role in his era.

  29. largent80100 says: Aug 2, 2014 11:22 PM

    Congratulations to Brooks.

    Tampa 2002 was one of the best defenses in the history of football, now its two anchors are HOFers.

  30. bassplucker says: Aug 3, 2014 12:21 AM

    Decent speech but way too long.

  31. jjrs89 says: Aug 3, 2014 12:50 AM

    he does realize they dont actually play though, right?

  32. Mr. Wright 212 says: Aug 3, 2014 1:00 AM

    Florida State.

  33. vietnambob2473 says: Aug 3, 2014 2:34 AM

    Wow. A lot of hurt feelings around here. The tampa defense was great as a group but the individual players were good. All of them together made a great defense, you all saw what happened after they parted ways. I know the truth hurts but try to see things as they actually are, not as you see them as a Bucs fan.

  34. wyrdawg says: Aug 3, 2014 2:45 AM

    The long list of players who received a mention from Brooks included defensive end Simeon Rice, whose career numbers and achievements suggest that he should get more serious consideration for a spot in Canton.

    Eh, I dunno. Simeon is Julius Peppers really. Never realized his “potential” (aka, everyone’s expectations for them).

    Simeon never had a better season than this one year in Tampa Bay.

    Great teammate? Sure. HOF candidate? Probably not.

  35. kmgpop says: Aug 3, 2014 6:02 AM

    The reason Brooks, Sapp, and eventually Lynch are HOF worthy is that they were a big part of eradicating a losing culture that permeated the Bucs for many years.

    Brooks made that whole engine move. He deserves every honor the football world can bestow upon him. Thank you for all you do for the game of football.

  36. stopthemadness101 says: Aug 3, 2014 9:13 AM

    Lynch and Barber will make it into the HOF ad well.

  37. mysterytonite says: Aug 3, 2014 4:04 PM

    Brooks and Sapp were the two best defensive players on that team. Barber was a great player too and may one day get in. I don’t see Lynch getting in though. I don’t even think the 85′ Bears have 4 HOF’ers. That was a fun team to watch and looking back on it, I’m glad they won the Super Bowl. It’s just sad that Dungy wasn’t the one to take them there.

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