Kennedy credits parental discipline as “turning point” of his life


At a time when it’s becoming harder and harder for parents to set and enforce limits on the behavior of teenagers, Hall of Fame defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy shared a story during his induction speech that should inspire every mother and father to be willing to take a hard line, when a hard line is required.

In thanking his mother for helping him get to Canton, Kennedy explained that she made him quit football during his sophomore year of high school, because he had bad grades.

Kennedy’s team went to the state championship game without him, and Kennedy’s mother sent him a post card that said, “Wish you were here.”

“That was the turning point of my life,” Kennedy said.

He later landed at the University of Miami and then became the third overall pick in the 1990 draft.  Kennedy also was the Defensive Player of the Year in 1992, when the Seahawks won only two games.

Coincidentally, round one in 1990 also produced future Hall of Famer Junior Seau and current Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith.  Also that year, Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe arrived via round seven, and Hall of Famer John Randle entered the NFL via no round at all.