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Michael Strahan Gives Emotional Hall of Fame Induction Speech

Aug 4 2014, 11:05pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Sports News

Michael Strahan Gives Emotional Hall of Fame Induction Speech
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Former New York Giants defensive end Michael Strahan gave an emotional speech during his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction on Aug. 2.

Michael Strahan gave one emotional speech during his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction on Aug. 2.

Here are some excerpts from the speech from the official Pro Football Hall of Fame website

"Hey, well, you know I've got to say I don't think any of us knew what to expect this weekend, but this has been the best weekend of my life. Thank you. Thank you. I know that all the Hall of Famers, they've been keeping timers on everybody, and they're like, it's really getting late, past our bedtime. I'm a morning guy. It's past mine too. But I promise I'm going to get you out of here, instead of considering the 2014 class, they'll consider it the 2015 class because we've been up here a long time.

"But we're going to get out of here. I got to thank the Hall of Fame. I got to thank the trustees. I've got to thank my classmates. I mean, Derrick (Brooks), Walter (Jones), Aenas (Williams), Claude (Humphrey), Ray (Guy), just absolutely amazing. I'm honored to be in this class where you guys epitomize class, and I think this is right where I belong. I'm so happy to be here with you guys...

"...I know my life now is like teleprompters and scripts and all that stuff. I just wrote some things. This is from the heart. This is not TV Michael. This is football Michael. This is what you saw on that screen. Life is about lessons. Mu life is improbable. I am an absolutely improbable Hall of Famer. I am an improbable football player because I didn't grow up saying, I'm going to do this....

"...Now, I was crazy enough to play 15 years and fortunate enough to play 15 years. Over those 15 years I played over, I feel like three generations of players. The first generation, Ernie Accorsi, George Young, Dan Reeves, Mike Nolan and Earl Leggett. Dan Reeves, the head coach, Mike Nolan was the defensive coordinator, Earl Leggett was my defensive line coach. 

"Earl Leggett was the kind of coach you had, but you wish you had. He would work you so much if you had him, that you wish you were gone so you could say, I had him. He worked you. He said, 'I'm going to test your bloodline. I'm going to test your mama's side of, your grandma, your great grandma, your pappy and everybody else that's going to come after you, son,' and he did it....

"...But one thing I can say about Lawrence Taylor is everyone knows he's a great football player, and everyone knows he's a great athlete because he watched the games. But if you watched the practices, you'd understand why. Take a scout team play, running 100 miles per hour every single play he's on that field, that's how I learned how a real pro practices. That's what I learned from you, Lawrence. But I also learned that it's okay to sleep in meetings sometimes. Even though you did it all the time. Thank you. There you go...

"...It was the generation of head coach Tom Coughlin who is here. There you go. Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, and my defensive line coach, Mike Brothel. And I think it's no secret that Tom Coughlin and I did not see eye to eye when he came to New York, but we finally realized we both had the same goal, and that was to win. It wasn't about ego...

"...But you made me a better man, Coach Coughlin. You gave me a lesson that transcends everything, that I'll carry with me well past my football career, and carry with me every day that I go forward now. I love you and I thank you. Thank you for trusting me to be a leader on your football team...

"...You've got to thank some of your opponents that make you better. I'm going to be honest. There are two guys that made me better. One was the meanest guy I've every played against in my life. I don't think the guy even liked his mama. And that was Erik Williams of the Dallas Cowboys. 

"...The other, may surprise a lot of people, is Jon Runyan, Philadelphia Eagles. And Jon, I know you're here, Congressman Runyan. I know you flew in to support me. There you go, big guy. Why don't you stand up so they can see you. 6,'9", 350 pounds of twisted steel and non-sex appeal...

"...Last but -- mostly -- we're very fortunate to play this game and very fortunate to be up here in front of you. But there is no football, there is no Hall of Fame, there is nothing without the fans. Nothing without you. We have nothing. Got to realize that. I don't care if you're a Giants fan, (Buffalo) Bills fan, a (Oakland) Raiders fan, I don't care what kind of fan you are, you're a football fan, and for that I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say thank you. We appreciate you. We applaud you."

The Pro Football Hall of Fame describes Strahan as "one of the most complete defensive ends" in NFL history: 

"Class of 2014 enshrinee Michael Strahan was one of the most complete defensive ends in the National Football League history. The dominant pass rusher, who retired after a 15-year career as the league's fifth all-time sacker with 141.5 quarterback takedowns, was equally adept at stopping the run. His strong play contributed to eight New York Giants defenses that ranked in the top 15 in total yards allowed and nine that were in the top 15 in stopping the run. 

"Strahan's best year was perhaps in 2001 when he set the NFL record for most sacks in a season (22.5) and earned NFL Defensive Player of the Year honors. It was more than just his pass rushing, however, that helped earn the award. He also had 73 combined tackles to go along with seven forced fumbles, one fumble recovery for a TD, and two passes defensed that season. 

"Being able to play both run and the pass was commonplace for Strahan. Eleven times throughout his career Strahan logged 50 or more combined tackles in (a) season. His career high was 84 in 2003 when he also had 18.5 sacks (his second-highest single-season total). He is also credited with having 84.5 career tackles of running backs behind the line of scrimmage. These kinds of statistics forced many teams to alter their normal game plans to account for Strahan's disruptive play." 

 

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