ESPN Network: | | ABCSports | EXPN | FANTASY

Hall of Fame speech

Page2 columnist

This weekend may bring us the anarchy of the first sloppy, penalty-ridden preseason football game, but thanks to the glory of the NFL's Hall of Fame induction ceremony, it shouldn't be that hard to take.

Much is made of how the toughest men melt and watch their salty tears drip on their Canton blazers until they bleed yellow, but not enough is made of the speeches, which, despite their sincerity, tend to be more formulaic than Spielberg when he's out to build a blockbuster.

For those inductees who may have procrastinated writing a Hall of Fame speech, we humbly offer what we at Team Bakay Inc. call, "The All-Purpose Hall of Fame Speech Template.

Normally, we charge enormous consulting fees for this service, but it's time to move these babies, so we can clear our inventory until next August.

We went with the short form, because brevity is the soul of wit, your memory ain't what it used to be, and studies have shown that weepy interludes are guaranteed to tack an extra 10 minutes on to your prepared materials. Just customize wherever indicated, and take that podium for the ride of its life:

Your customizable Pro Football Hall of Fame speech

I'd like to thank my __
1__ for presenting me. That was a __2__ introduction, and a reminder to us all why they called you __3__.

It's an honor to stand here beside my fellow inductees. What great men, what __
4__! In particular, it means so much to be entering the Hall with __5__ -- I'll never forget __6__.

7__, I was a __8__ fresh out of __9__, Standing at this podium today, I realize I've come a long way from __10__.

I see a lot of smiling faces out there. Former teammates, family, and the fans -- especially those of you who drove all the way from __
11__. I've always said __12__ fans are the best fans in the world!

(Wait for applause, start to get weepy.)

Come on, __
13__ . I promised myself I wouldn't __14__.

(Long pause to regain composure. Blow nose.)

No one gets here __
15___. The game of football __16___. Thank you for making all of my ___17___.

  • coach
  • minister
  • uncle who's never had nothin'
  • sister who don't get out much
  • shrink -- without these meds, Doc ...
  • anger management counselor
  • last year's reigning Miss Universe
  • Terry Hatcher
  • Spalding Grey

  • helluva
  • Hail Mary of an
  • brutally honest
  • long-winded and self-congratulatory
  • surreal and confusing

  • the best in the game
  • the man who defined the essence of squatting low and firing off the line
  • Ol' Puke Breath
  • a supplement-fueled psychopath

  • great warriors
  • magnificent bastards
  • blood-lusting mercenaries
  • beautiful slabs of man-meat

  • (name of older player/contemporary you admired)
  • (name of opponent you never really liked but made your life hell on the field)
  • (name of teammate who split your votes, thereby keeping both of you out of the Hall for years)

  • that Super Bowl -- it's a shame someone had to lose that day
  • the God-awful things you used to yell at me before the snap
  • the way your eyes glazed over when your amphetamines kicked in
  • the way you snapped my femur
  • the way you ran for the sidelines to avoid getting hit

  • In 1989
  • More summers/battles/wars/years/lawsuits ago than I care to remember
  • Back when I could still put my own pants on in the morning

  • young kid
  • crazy dreamer
  • rookie with a $10 million signing bonus

  • school
  • an unaccredited JUCO
  • the state pen

  • the cornfield's of Nebraska
  • the South Side of Chicago
  • the mean streets of Grosse Point, Mich.

  • (your team's hometown)
  • just to avoid quality time with your families

  • (your team's name)

  • (your first name)
  • (your jersey number -- as in "Old Number 99!")
  • jackass
  • wussy

  • cry
  • snork
  • blow an emotional snot-bubbler
  • choke on my own sense of unworthiness

  • alone
  • without painkillers

  • is like life
  • is why I'm rich

  • dreams come true
  • nightmares become realities
  • lame restaurants succeed, just because they have a lot of team banners and stuff

  • Then walk off like the legend you are. Great speeches, like championships, are built in your preparation. Do your homework, write extra large on index cards, and for God's sake, bring a hanky.

    Humorist Nick Bakay, currently a writer for the CBS sitcom "King of Queens," is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and Page 2. He has a website at

    Send this story to a friend | Most sent stories

    lecturn assistance 

    Tale of the Tape: Fedorovs vs. Risons

    Tale of the Tape: Deadline pressures

    Tale of the Tape:
    Graduation vs. Ozzfest

    Tale of the Tape:
    Mariners vs. Starbucks

    Bakay's Tale of the Tape: Bill Walton vs. Anne Robinson

    Bakay's Tale of the Tape: Tomb Raider vs. Mr. Raider

    Bakay's Tale of the Tape: Tiger Woods vs. James Bond

    Bakay's Tale of the Tape: L.A. Phil vs. Chicago Phil

    Bakay's Tale of the Tape: Anna vs. No Anna

    Nick Bakay's Tale of the Tape: Wilt vs. Shaq

    Tale of the Tape: Dominator vs. Dominatrix

    Nick Bakay's Tale of the Tape: Michael Vick vs. Mel Kiper Jr.

    Bakay's Tale of the Tape: Tony Soprano vs. Bob Knight

    Bakay's Tale of the Tape: Super Bowl vs. Survivor

    Bakay: Baltimore vs. New York Tale of the Tape

    Bakay: Shaq vs. Kobe Tale of the Tape

    Copyright ©2001 ESPN Internet Ventures. Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and Safety Information are applicable to this site. Employment opportunities at