Curley Culp is the second of two players this year to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame via the senior committee, after Dave Robinson. Culp took the stage in Canton, Ohio, on Saturday to give his speech.
Culp started with a simple, "This is quite something," and went on to thank the Hall of Fame committee, saying it has made his and his family's dreams a reality, and that he long-hoped this day would come.
When he got around to talking about his playing career, Culp was quick to talk about his belief in teamwork as the primary lesson in football. He said that teamwork and the people around him got him to where he is.
"Football is not just a sport, but a life lesson on what it means to be a team player," Culp said.
His speech wasn't as long as the rest, but Culp wrapped it up by saying that it is a "great honor to be among these great Hall of Famers," and that he is "honored and humbled to wear the Hall of Fame gold," in addition to the colors he wore with the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Oilers.
Culp was drafted by Denver, but never played a regular-season snap for the Broncos. Denver tried him at guard during training camp and after he failed to adjust, traded him to Kansas City. With the Chiefs, Culp played defensive tackle and made an impact early. He started the AFL Championship Game in his second season and was named to the Pro Bowl for the first of six times.
He enjoyed some of the best years of his career in Houston following a 1974 trade to the Oilers. He made four Pro Bowls with the Oilers and was named an Associated Press first-team All-Pro in 1975. That season was arguably the best of his career, as he finished with 11.5 sacks and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year by the Newspaper Enterprise Association.