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Pro Football Hall of Fame notes: Humor highlights speeches


The Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speeches are typically filled with praise and thanks for all of those who helped get the person enshrined in Canton, but some of the more memorable moments each year are the one-liners and humorous stories.

And there were plenty of them Saturday night at Fawcett Stadium.

Here are some of the best:

Green Bay Packers linebacker Dave Robinson: “There’s a lot of people looking down up there, my family and friends. And some of my friends may be looking up at me.”

Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Larry Allen: “I want to thank my heart and soul, my wife, Janelle. On our first date, she cooked for me. She cooked me two chickens, french fries and baked me a cake … and gave me a 40 ounce.”

New York Giants/New England Patriots/New York Jets/Dallas Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells: “When they put my bust in the Hall tomorrow, I’d like to be somewhere near Lawrence Taylor so I can keep an eye on that sucker.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers/Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Warren Sapp, telling the story of how he told University of Miami coach Dennis Erickson how to find his house in rural Plymouth, Fla.: “Get on 441 north and drive until it gets dark, like you’ve gotten lost, then all of a sudden you’ll see the flashing lights that say “Girls, Girls.” It’s a little trucker stop, and I live behind that.”

Record roll call: Tabbed the Golden Anniversary Reunion, the 50th induction class attracted 122 Hall of Famers to Canton this weekend, which is officially a record for the most Hall of Famers from one sport in one place at one time.

Including the seven who were enshrined Saturday night, there are 280 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, 162 of whom are still living.

Braided bust: After 50 years and 280 enshrinements, it’s difficult for new members to be the first at anything, but Sapp found a way.

The former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders defensive tackle is the owner of the first bronze bust featuring braids.

Even though Sapp shaved them off a few years into his 13-season career, he wanted his bust to feature the cornrows, and sculptor Blair Buswell incorporated them into the finished product.

By the numbers: The enshrinement of Allen and Jonathan Ogden brought the number of offensive linemen in the Hall of Fame to 39, the most of any position.

Middletown native Cris Carter became the 22nd wide receiver to join the Hall.

The rest of the positions are broken down as such: Quarterbacks (23), running backs (29), tight ends (7), defensive linemen (33), linebackers (24), defensive backs (23), kickers (3), coaches (22), contributors (19).

There also are 40 members from the pre-modern era, 24 of whom were quarterbacks or running backs and 16 of whom played multiple positions.

Boo birds: Rarely are boos present at Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony, but they are commonplace when the name Art Modell is mentioned.

Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Ogden drew some during his speech when he thanked Modell, who infamously moved the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore to start the Ravens organization in 1996, and he heard even more when he said, “Hopefully one day we can get (Modell) here, too.”

Speech stats: Parcells had the longest speech, coming in at 20 minutes, 15 seconds. Curley Culp was the shortest (10:35). The others were Ogden (13:57), Robinson (14:03), Allen (16:06), Sapp (11:23) and Carter (16:44).


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