Hall Of Fame Introduction Speech: Delivered By Larry Bruno
Thank you, Jim. Members of the clergy, Honorable Mayor, newly inducted members of the Hall of Fame, distinguished guests and ladies and gentlemen. I am sure it is the dream of every professional football player to some day be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Today that dream comes true. Gentlemen from the City of Champions, Beaver Falls, PA., let me congratulate all of you. Joe, the people of Beaver Falls and Beaver Valley want you to know they are very proud of you especially for not forgetting where you were born and raised. I am also sure the late Coach Paul Bryant is somewhere up there looking down today wearing his famous hounds tooth hat and if he could send you a message he probably would say in his deep southern voice, "way to go Joe, be brave." Joe, I want to publicly thank you for selecting me to introduce you today. This was one of the greatest events of my life. Again, thanks Joe.
If I had to choose one word to describe the fabulous career of Joe Namath, that word would be confidence. When Joe played football for Beaver Falls High School, the entire football team believed whatever play Joe called it would work, they would make it work because they knew Joe had confidence in them. A few years later, when Joe was playing professional football for the New York Jets, and the Jets were playing the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III, Joe made this statement, "I guarantee we will beat the Colts." This was not a cocky, or brass statement. The Jets were a 17-point underdog, but again, when Joe said we could win, his teammates believed they could win.
Just like in high school. The Jets did win that Super Bowl III and pulled one of the greatest upsets in modern football. Incidentally, the quarterback of the Colts that day was Johnny Unitas, Joe's idol in high school. Joe even wore number 19 in high school and that jersey will be included in the Hall of Fame, thanks to the late Athletic Director, Bill Ross. If Joe continues to have that same kind of confidence in his new field of entertainment, maybe someday we will be watching the Academy Awards program and the emcee will say, "the envelope please and the winner is ladies and gentlemen, Joe Namath."
Source: "Joe's Hall of Fame Speech." Sportsline.com.http://ww1.sportsline.com/u/fans/celebrity/namath/super/hallfame.htm (November 23, 2002).