The Pro Football Hall of Fame formally enshrined Charles Haley this weekend, and we got a fantastic acceptance speech from the pass rushing legend. He thanked numerous people, and had plenty of jokes to tell. I have embedded the speech below, although you might be redirected to the NFL's YouTube page from it. I also managed to transcribe it with a little help from Haley's Hall of Fame page.
The stories were pretty great, but the best one might have been in the open in discussing Eddie DeBartolo. You can watch the video above, and read the transcription below. The whole speech is worth a read. Here's the transcript:
Thank you. I'd like to thank God for making this moment, making this a special moment for me. I'd like to also thank the class of 2015. You know, Mr. D., we were talking in the back, and I had this written down to tell that story that he just told, so now I got to change it, you know?
But I'd like to thank Mr. D. for these kind words, for stepping up to be the greatest owner that I ever played for. He's passionate. He's very passionate about his team. He's done so many great things for me, and I want to tell you one of the greatest things he did for me. He took me down to Pebble Beach, guys, to play golf. You know I don't know how to play golf.
So I'm driving the golf cart around, and I drive the golf cart up on the green, okay? Eddie, Ronnie, Joe, all them, guys are laughing at me. Some guy's flying behind us going like, "get off the green." I'm going what is he talking about?
So I go to the next hole, and I drive up on the green. So then I said if this guy comes and opens his mouth again, I'm going to knock him out. Hey, so I started to turn around, and Eddie and them go, hey, you can't drive up on the green. I said all this shit is green!
Well, you know, also the thing about when you're thinking about Hall of Famers, you're thinking about winning. Mr. D, he won five Super Bowls. He presented five players. I won five. If the standard is winning, why is he not here? You know? I pray that Mr. D. becomes in the Hall of Fame sooner than later, guys.
I'd like to thank my ex wife, my four beautiful kids, Madison, CJ, Brianna, and Princess. Karen, in 1988 she diagnosed me with manic depression, and I thought she was just like the group of guys that wanted to always put me in this box. So we had problems after that, and I never really listened, nor did I step up to the plate and do something about it. My life spiraled out of control for years, for years, but today, guys, I am getting back into the locker room, to my teammates, and tell them guys the mistakes that I've made, and that the only way that you can grow is that you've got to ask for help.
I walked into the league a 22 year old man with a 16 year old inside of me screaming for help, and I would not ask for it. I would not ask for that help. But today, guys, I take my medicine every day, and I try to inspire others to do the same, and that's because I finally listened and thank you.
My mom, Virginia Haley, she's here. Mom, would you stand up? Hey, guys, she's smiling over there, but she's mean. I'm telling you that. I tell guys all the time, "I said the reason I've got quick feet is she put that switch back on my legs, you know." My mom, she's my best friend, guys. She knows everything, she knows everything. She prayed me into heaven. She taught me how to get on my knees, how to pray; and guys, I love her to death.
My dad, my dad is, my dad had both his legs amputated, guys, and he couldn't make it here today. But he's always set an example for me and my family because he doesn't let that hold him back. He's a true champion, a true warrior.
And I'd like to thank my four brothers, George, Lawrence, David and James. The reason why I'm thanking these guys is because they beat me up all the time. They would not pick me to play in any of their games, so they would always call me clumsy and big foot, and, guys, I used to go to church praying that they'd get hurt, fall out. It never happened, so I changed my prayer. I said, God, give me something to be great at, and it was football. Then you know what? The rabbit got the gun then.
My second great owner, Jerry Jones. I know he had hip replacement. I don't know if he's here or not, but I saw his beautiful daughter, Charlotte over there. You know what, guys, Jerry's done so many great things. My daughter, Brianna, she had leukemia, and Jerry opened up Cowboy Stadium to do the biggest bone marrow drive in the history to try to help me save my daughter's life.
Jerry, when I got traded to the Cowboys, the first handshake I received was Jerry Jones. I got off the plane with eight cameras looking. I couldn't see nothing. And a hand stuck out (imitation), "Hi, I'm Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys. Welcome to Dallas."
Guys, it was a five-minute ride to the hotel. It took an hour and a half, I know everything he's ever done in his whole life! Part of the Cowboys, the equipment guys. I love you. You know, and now, guys, my teammates. Well, I've got a lot of teammates. Carol Roberts, thank you so much. You're a special friend with a heart of gold. My best friend Andrew, hey, you pulled me out of depression a lot of times, man. I love you, man, and your sweet daughter, Mia. My head coach in college, Charles and his wife is there. Stand up, Coach. Guys, he should have took me home the day I walked in. I was hell on wheels.
I'd like to also thank the Wendorfs. The Wendorf brothers, you're greatest friends. And guys, I had the greatest coach ever, Bill Walsh. He's a Hall of Famer, but, guys, he was more to me. He followed me my whole career. I used to go to Stanford while he was the head coach. He would stop and come over to listen to me whine, and, guys, at that moment where I didn't know whether to stay or go, he would not help me make that decision. I'm still mad at him about that, but I'm going to get over that.
But two days before he died he called me still asking me what can I do to help you? And I will always love him with all my heart. He was really special to me.
George Seifert, a great coach, Jimmy Johnson, a warrior, Zulu, and then the best player/coach ever, Barry Switzer, my God, guys, he's a hoot. I really loved him, man. And my position coaches, Bill McPherson and Coach Hart. Coach Hart took me out on the field, guys, the first day I got in camp, and he kept me out there hours. He taught me how to be a pass rusher. He slapped me upside the head too a couple of times, guys. But Coach Hart is right here. Guys, because of him, I'm here today. It's because of Tommy Hart I'm here today.
I'd like to thank some of my teammates. Tony Tolbert, Leon Lett, Darren Woodson, Russell Maryland, Michael, Troy, and Emmitt. Ronnie, Joe, and Jerry, E-Wright, KT, and Guy McIntyre. Guys, I am truly blessed, guys. I've played with some of the greatest players ever in the history of football, and I've learned a lot. And the one thing that I learned from all these guys is unselfish play, team matters. We need to go back to that. It's not about individuals, it's about team. That's the only way we can have success.
In closing, guys, I'd like to say one thing. I used to read two books of the Bible all the time, it was Psalms. Because King David, when he said, "I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I should fear no evil", I always thought everybody was against me, so that was, he was the first warrior in the Bible too, so I used that.
And then Job, Conviction. Hey, he was a rock, he would not be moved. And that's the way I feel about football, guys. When I step out on that field, guys, I was determined to be the best every play, not some plays, but every play. Guys, thank you so much.