Steve McMichael isn't left speechless often, but he met his match on Saturday when he was one of 24 former players and coaches inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind.
The former defensive tackle played for Texas from 1976-79 and was one of many Longhorns defensive players to go on to pro football.
"All you can do in an 11-man sport is thank all the people that were there with you while you were getting what you did," McMichael said. "The teammates I had at Texas, eight of that starting 11 went on to play pro football. We were the No. 1 defense in America because of that. It wasn't just me, and that's the biggest thing I said all week. I found out in my career if you are the only one out on the field they will stop you."
McMichael was drafted by the New England Patriots in the third round (73rd overall pick) of the 1980 NFL draft. He struggled in defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur's scheme, and the Patriots released him after one season. The Bears signed him as a free agent and he spent the next 13 seasons in Chicago, making two Pro Bowls and teaming with Dan Hampton and Richard Dent to form one of the league's most dominant defensive lines.
McMichael set a Bears' record by playing in 191 consecutive games, and during his career he registered 95 sacks and played in 213 NFL games.
"The defensive coordinator, Fritz Shurmur, didn't think I could play because I wasn't a two-technique nose guard, and that's what [the Patriots] were running at the time. I was a three-technique and [I] rush the passer. He didn't think I was going to be a pro football player. A couple years later, he's the coordinator for the Los Angeles Rams. I'm on the field, and we're beating them up pretty good, and I look over at the sideline and he's over there waving at me like 'Hey, Steve, how are you doing?' He got the middle finger."
McMichael has coached the Independent Football League's Chicago Slaughter for the past three seasons.