Isaac Bruce had a lot of thank yous in his 8-minute induction speech. He might have left someone off considering his iPad containing his speech was removed from the lectern.
“We’re going to roll with it,” Bruce said. “This is coming from the heart.”
He even thanked his doubters, his detractors and the defensive backs he played against.
“To the nameless voice who called me two weeks before the draft in 1994 that let me know that the NFL wasn’t checking for me. They didn’t like me. They liked more of NFL legends Bert Emanuel and Ryan Yarborough,” said Bruce, whom the Rams drafted 33rd overall, eight spots ahead of Yarborough and 12 ahead of Emanuel. “I know you’re alive, and I prayed God would keep you alive for this day. My message to you is rap legend Kool Moe Dee wanted me to ask you: How Ya Like Me Now?”
The star receiver became the fourth member of the Rams’ high-scoring offense to earn enshrinement. He joins running back Marshall Faulk (2011), left tackle Orlando Pace (2016) and quarterback Kurt Warner (2017) in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Bruce caught 1,024 passes for 15,208 yards and 91 touchdowns in 16 NFL seasons, including 14 with the Rams.
“All the defensive backs,” Bruce said. “The ones that baptized me and the ones I baptized, I appreciate you. I love you.”
The enshrinees in the two classes this weekend were limited to 8-minute speeches with a countdown clock in front of them. Bruce noticed.
“They moved my iPad,” Bruce said. “I’ve got one minute, 32 seconds left. I ran a pretty decent 40. I was faster with pads on than I was without pads, so let’s get this. My people, I love you. We’ve got big plans in front of us. They’re supernatural, and I can’t wait, man. Father God is fighting this battle for us. We’re being driven by him, by his justice, by his vision and his recompense. Yes, it’s real. Believe that. The fishes and the hunters have been released, and as one of those fishes, allow me to announce: Blessed by you who comes in the name of the Lord.”