The Pro Football Hall of Fame has eight new members after Ray Lewis, Randy Moss, Brian Dawkins, Brian Urlacher, Terrell Owens, Jerry Kramer, Bobby Beathard, and Robert Brazile were inducted Saturday.
While Owens opted not to travel to Canton, and instead gave his speech at his alma mater earlier in the day, seven stood on the stage in front of a stadium of fans, family, and players.
Here we have the highlights from all the speeches of the day:
The former Ravens linebacker says a lot of weird things and before his speech even started, NFL Network pointed out that he was wearing a headset mic. People buckled up, accordingly.
That boy Ray has on a wireless mic…it’s about to get real
— Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) August 5, 2018
Oh no Ray has a wireless mic strapped to his head bye bye podium.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 5, 2018
He was introduced to the crowd by his daughter, Diaymon Lewis.
Lewis is a uniquely polarizing player with many who love his passionate, inspirational speeches. He’s certainly a popular figure among Ravens fans.
There are also many who find his reverend-style of inspirational rambling annoying. His induction speech Saturday night was no different, and he likely didn’t change any minds.
Maybe the biggest revelation from the speech was that Lewis insisted his famous field entrance dance — which he performed on stage with Jonathan Ogden — was to honor the Holy Trinity.
RAY AND JONATHAN OGDEN DID THE DANCE
— Baltimore Beatdown (@BMoreBeatdown) August 5, 2018
The speech, which he estimated Thursday night would come in at about 25 minutes, finished in a little over 33 minutes. He ended the speech pleading for better leadership in the country with prayer back in schools, more action against sex trafficking, and more love nationwide.
A misunderstood person for much of his football career, there was one thing that was understood by everyone who watched Moss on the field: he was the most physically gifted and frequently unstoppable receiver ever.
On Saturday, he was introduced by his son, Thaddeus Moss.
After taking in the moment in silence at the podium for about 20 seconds, Moss talked about how “faith, family, and football” are what his life has been about, but that football doesn’t define him as a person.
“Football is not what I am. Football is what I do.” #ProFootballHOF
— The Daily Norseman, a Minnesota Vikings blog (@DailyNorseman) August 5, 2018
Moss noted the many haters he dealt with over the course of his career, but spent the majority of his speech talking about his family and his life growing up in West Virginia. “Y’all seen the 30 for 30,” Moss said.
He also announced that he’d be back at the town center at his hometown Sunday at 4:30 for any West Virginians that want to see his new gold jacket.
I WILL BE HOME AS SOON AS I’M DONE SO Y’ALL CAN LAY EYES ON THIS GOLD JACKET.
— El Flaco (@bomani_jones) August 5, 2018
Moss also thanked Patriots owner Robert Kraft and coach Bill Belichick for taking a chance on him, to a sparse smattering of boos from the Patriots haters in the crowd. He also thanked the 49ers for giving him a last chance at a Super Bowl ring, but Moss lamented that “Ray took it” from him.
His speech came in at about 17 minutes.
The many Eagles fans in attendance started getting rowdy with Dawkins chants about three seconds after Urlacher’s speech ended. The four-time All-Pro safety was introduced by his former teammate in the Philadelphia secondary, Troy Vincent.
Dawkins was one of the most intense players in the NFL during his 16-year career, so it shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone that his 22-minute speech was filled with intensity and passion. He thanked the many teammates, family members, and friends who helped him to his stage.
But the highlight of his speech came about five minutes in when he spoke about the effect depression had on his life and his fight with suicidal thoughts.
Brian Dawkins: “The majority of the success I have had has come on the back of pain. … I was actually planning the way I would kill myself so my wife would get the money. But what that pain did for me, it increased my faith exponentially.”#Eagles #HOF
— Mike Sielski (@MikeSielski) August 5, 2018
“Don’t get caught up where you are, don’t stay where you are! Keep moving, keep pushing through!”
— BleedingGreenNation (@BleedingGreen) August 5, 2018
Dawkins made sure to give a shout out to the many Philadelphia fans who made the trip.
The first of the modern-era selections to get inducted Saturday night was Urlacher, an eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker who finished his career with the most tackles in Bears history. Introducing him was his long-time linebackers coach and defensive coordinator Bob Babich.
While Urlacher has grown a head of hair since retirement, his bust is fittingly bald:
Urlacher was emotional for parts of his 19-minute speech, particularly when he spoke of the impact his mother and stepfather had on his life.
Urlacher also spoke to his family individually, telling one of his daughters that she’s “the most lit person” he knows. What a dad.
He drew cheers from the many Bears faithful that made the trip when he singled out his former Chicago teammates in the crowd one at a time, and thanked fans for their support through the years.
Fifty years after his last season in the NFL, the 13th member of Vince Lombardi’s Packers enters the Hall of Fame with Kramer’s induction. He was introduced by his daughter, Alicia Kramer.
Kramer’s speech was an entertaining 18 minutes of stories about his football life. Among the highlights were his “Where the hell is Green Bay?” reaction to being drafted by the Packers, his attempt to hardball negotiate with the team for an $8,000 contract and $250 signing bonus, and getting coached up by the great Vince Lombardi.
It was about as fun as Hall of Fame speeches get.
Wow, what a speech by Jerry Kramer! Would’ve loved to have been coached by Vince Lombardi and would’ve loved to have had Jerry Kramer as a teammate! @ProFootballHOF
— Troy Aikman (@TroyAikman) August 5, 2018
Jerry Kramer’s speech has been Gold.
— PCreight (@PCreighton1) August 5, 2018
Jerry Kramer is absolutely knocking this speech out of the park.
— Mike Kaye (@mike_e_kaye) August 5, 2018
Second on the docket was a four-time Super Bowl winning NFL executive. Beathard was introduced by former Washington head coach Joe Gibbs, who won two Super Bowls with the new Hall of Famer as his team’s general manager.
In lieu of a speech in Canton, Beathard’s speech came in a pre-recorded video that was even shorter than Brazile’s abbreviated speech. Beathard, who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, used his time to thank the coaches and players he worked with, as well as his family.
Up first was the long-time Houston Oilers linebacker and five-time All-Pro, introduced by his father Robert Brazile, Sr.:
Brazile’s speech came in at about eight minutes, 30 seconds and was mostly used to express gratitude to his family, teammates, Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams, Houston Chronicle writer John McClain, and the many others who paved his way to Canton.
Yes! That’s the way you do it, Robert Brazile! What a speech.
— Seth Payne (@PayneNFL) August 4, 2018
Terrell Owens did his own thing earlier
Before the official enshrinement ceremony in Canton, Owens spurned the Pro Football Hall of Fame and gave an acceptance speech at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga.
Before the ceremony
Eight former NFL stars will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday evening. The ceremony will take place at the Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio.
This year’s Hall of Fame class will feature Terrell Owens, Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher, Randy Moss, Jerry Kramer, Brian Dawkins, Robert Brazile and Bobby Beathard. Owens, who has the third-most touchdown receptions in NFL history, will not be attending the induction ceremony after it took voters three years to select him.
Owens will be the first living player to not attend the Hall of Fame ceremony. He will instead deliver a Hall of Fame speech at his alma mater, the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, on Saturday night.
The official ceremony will start at 7 p.m. ET and will be televised on ESPN and the NFL Network. The Hall of Fame ceremony can be streamed on WatchESPN and the ESPN App.
NFL Hall of Fame ceremony: Time, TV schedule/live stream
Date: Aug. 4, 2018
Time: 7 p.m. ET
Location: Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium, Canton, Ohio
TV: ESPN and NFL Network
[ktzagcplugin_text source=”bing” number=”4″ related=”true”]