LOS ANGELES, August 5, 2012—The 2012 National Football League Hall of Fame induction ceremony entered the books, and the next step was to play the very first preseason game. Live football between the Saints and Cardinals represents a new beginning, but before moving on it is necessary to analyze the most recent ending.
The Hall of Fame represents those who were the very best, yet for some the 2012 induction ceremony was unsatisfying. The word “boring” could possibly be used.
This would be a mistake.
The speeches by Cortez Kennedy, Willie Roaf, Chris Doleman, Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, and Curtis Martin all contained meaningful moments.
Yet some will say that there were no moments for the ages. Curtis Martin gave a particularly heavy speech that contained very little football, while admitting he did not particularly even like football.
Topping 2011 would have been impossible. Deion Sanders brought the flash. Shannon Sharpe brought the intensity. Ed Sabol brought the sentimentality. Deion and Shannon were loud during their careers, loud as broadcasters, and loud during their induction ceremonies.
All six 2012 inductees were calm, serene, and downright halcyon. There was not one raised voice from any of them. They were the one thing that society does not expect from football stars. They were quiet.
This brings two words together that should not be seen as an oxymoron: Quiet Passion.
In sports, business, politics, entertainment, and other aspects of life, quiet people are often mistaken for lacking passion. Loudness is rewarded.
Deion Sanders even marketed himself as loud because he played defense in a game where most people only notice the offense. So all of the rap videos, jewelry, and dance moves were a marketing tool. It worked for him.
Yet that way should not be the only way. I personally have met quiet people in my life who have said “I have passion.” Because they are quiet, they often feel compelled to tell people this, lest they be mistaken as not caring.
The six 2012 inductees were all quiet, humble, earnest, sincere men. They did their jobs, and did it well. While they lacked the flash of louder speakers, they were not paid to be speakers. They did not try to be off the field anything that contradicted their personality.
Willie Roaf was an offensive lineman. Linemen are supposed to be unknown cogs. A lineman getting noticed is a lineman being called for a penalty. Chris Doleman could be loud on the field, but compared to his teammate John Randall he (and pretty much everybody else) was very quiet.
The New England Patriots have been the model of excellence in football for the last decade. For the most part, they are a quiet team. Owner William Kraft is a humble, quiet billionaire. Coach Bill Bellichick speaks in a calm voice. His famous expression that he passes on to his players is “do your job.”
There is nothing flashy about that message. Flash may entertain the fans, but it does not always win.
The Dallas Cowboys of the 1990s had plenty of flash, with Michael “The Playmaker” Irvin and Deion “Prime Time” Sanders competing to see who could wear the loudest suits. They did win football games, and won often. They were as entertaining a soap opera as the tv show “Dallas,” but their way was not for everyone.
Prime Time and Playmaker both deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, but it was because of their play on the field, not their entertainment value and sound bites.
That is why the 2012 class is so important. They may be forgotten from a celebrity standpoint, but they showed that people can be the best at what they do without bragging to the world.
After all, they do not need to say much at all. They are in a club of only 273 people on Earth, and their busts in Canton will leave them forever immortalized.
That speaks the loudest of volumes.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian who is obsessed with the National Football League. There is no offseason. Every February he pretends to care about other sports while sobbing uncontrollably each Sunday until September.
Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.” When not watching football, his only other hobby is Republican, Jewish women. Republican, Jewish women, you may contact Eric above.
Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS
Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities. Read more from Eric at his TYGRRRR EXPRESS blog.
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