Emmitt Smith’s Hall of Fame speech was one of the most anticipated last night. But the Emmitt Smith Hall of Fame speech soon eclipsed the others, as the Emmitt Smith Hall of Fame induction became the most emotional. The Pro Football Hall of Fame 2010 class was jam packed with seven well known players, and headlined by two legends. Going into last night’s ceremonies, Smith and Jerry Rice garnered the most attention, as they usually did on the field. Yet the Emmitt Smith Hall of Fame speech made the Cowboys’ running back the No. 1 headliner of the night.
When it came time for Smith’s induction, the stage was set up by a video montage of his famed career, narrated by Jerry Jones. Once it was time for the speech, Smith went up and won everyone over for 22 minutes.
The Emmitt Smith Hall of Fame speech became particularly memorable when he got to thanking his teammates from the 1990’s. After he thanked Troy Aikman and Michael Irvin, the crowd in Canton chanted the nickname ‘Moose’ of another Cowboys’ offensive star.
Daryl ‘Moose’ Johnston, who now works for FOX Sports, was Dallas’s star fullback before suffering a neck injury. Smith asked Johnston to stand, acknowledging the sacrifices he made to do his job and protect him on the field. As he explained that Johnston took care of him like a little brother he began to tear up.
This part of Emmitt Smith’s speech also made others tear up. But Smith composed himself and went on for another 10 minutes, thanking more Cowboys’ linemen, and family members.
The success of the Smith’s Hall of Fame speech was ironic, given past complaints about his speaking style and mangled words. But there was no stumbling on this big stage, especially since he had months to work the speech out.
With a Hall of Fame class such as this, it would take a lot to stand out. Smith shared the spotlight going into the week with Rice, as they both broke records in their positions and won multiple Super Bowls. Yet the Emmitt Smith Hall of Fame speech was the big talking point of the evening, and reminded everyone of his abilities on and off the field.
While there may not be much doubt about Rice being the greatest wide receiver ever, Cowboys’ columnist Mickey Spagnola claims that some don’t even rank Smith among the five greatest running backs. This is despite his rushing yardage record, and his three Super Bowl rings.
Yet if some had forgotten about his achievements, or ranked them a bit low, the Emmitt Smith Hall of Fame speech helped put them back in the limelight, in more ways than one.
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