From the outset of his NFL Hall of Fame Speech, Shannon Sharpe told everyone that he couldn't fit his entire speech into an 8-10 minute span. "No chance," he said. Proud and excited of his NFL career, this was the "culmination" of that career.
Sharpe wanted everyone to know why he succeeded from such an obscure background: determination, dedication, discipline. He never listened to those who said he couldn't make it, because he believed he could do it.
Sharpe had a litany of thank yous to hand out. The first person he thanked was his remedial reading and Spanish teacher and then followed that with his high school teacher. He went on to single out Hall of Fame Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway before segueing to his family. He apparently embarrassed his mother when he mentioned the white suits she bought for he and his brother Sterling.
Acknowledging his brother, Shannon said he was the only Hall of Famer who was the second-best football player in his family. Had a neck injury not ended Sterling's career, they could have been the first brothers elected into the Hall of Fame. "You are my hero, my father, my role model," Shannon said of Sterling.
Sharpe became emotional when he spoke about Mary Porter, his grandmother. His grandmother raised Shannon and his brothers and sisters. She laid a foundation in him to want to improve his life. "You need to walk 20 years of my life" to learn how much Sharpe wanted to leave his hometown.
It was a "five-alarm fire" inside of him to want to be the best and improve his lot in life. And he ignored people and hurt relationships along the way to reach this point in his life, but he wasn't here to apologize for it. He was able to give his family a life they never would have if not for his unrelenting drive to succeed.
He closed his speech with this: "I know my grandmother's proud. I know my family's proud."
Congratulations, Shannon Sharpe, you are an NFL immortal now!