Welcome to the first ever live blog of Tom Brady's birthday. OK, so it is Tom Brady's birthday, but we're not live blogging it because we don't live blog birthdays. Although you might want to check back on Aug. 14 for Tim Tebow's birthday because we might live blog that, but don't hold your breath.
A little joke for Brady on his 36th birthday... http://t.co/3jkGYGTZSk— New England Patriots (@Patriots) August 3, 2013
Anyway, happy birthday Tom Brady!
6:30 p.m.: Now let's get to the real reason why we're here: the 2013 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions. The 2013 class consists of Bill Parcells, Larry Allen, Warren Sapp, Cris Carter, Jonathan Ogden, Curley Culp and Dave Robinson. You can read more about those seven guys by clicking here.
If you'll be watching the entire induction ceremony tonight, here's the order of when each man will be inducted: Jonathan Ogden, Dave Robinson, Larry Allen, Bill Parcells, Curly Culp, Warren Sapp, Cris Carter.
That means Ogden will be enshrined first, followed by Robinson and so on. I'm giving you this list in case you're a Bills fan that's still bitter about Super Bowl XXV. This way, you'll know to change the channel after Larry Allen's enshrinement so you can skip Parcells, who PROBABLY WON'T EVEN THANK Scott Norwood in his speech.
While you're waiting for the induction ceremony to start, be sure to check out our predictions for the 2014 Hall of Fame class here. Here's a few profiles to hold you over too, one on Parcells, one on Sapp and one on Carter.
You can also get a sneak peak of Sapp's Hall of Fame bust here. Sapp's bust will feature a haircut that's never been on a Pro Football Hall of Fame bust before.
You're not giving a speech tonight, but if you were, this is what it would look like from the podium in Canton.
The scene outside the Hall of Fame is nice, if your definition of nice is the Tilted Kilt girls.
One of the more popular attractions among Hall fans outside -- the Tilted Kilt girls— Joe Reedy (@joereedy) August 3, 2013
Super Bowl rings are nice. Wedding rings are nice, but Hall of Fame rings are nicer. Apparently someone raided Titanic and found Rose's lost 'Heart of the Ocean' diamond and made a ring out of it.
We're going to take a quick timeout from the Hall of Fame blog to talk about someone who probably won't be going to the Hall of Fame: Mark Sanchez. Here's a nice summary of Sanchez's practice on Saturday.
To sum up Sanchez's night, he has fallen flat on his butt, thrown an INT, overthrown wide-open Gates at the goal line and been roundly booed— Ben Shpigel (@benshpigel) August 3, 2013
Cris Carter is already getting emotional. In an interview with ESPN, Carter talked about his mom, "I'm just happy for mama," Carter said. "I know she worried that one night someone else was going to call. I just want my mama know that I made it."
Expect to see some tears tonight from Cris Carter: http://t.co/WI8ohGQ6yh— Eye on Football (@EyeOnNFL) August 3, 2013
NFL Commissioners, they're just like us!
Roger Goodell touring HOF with regular fans. Pretty cool— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) August 3, 2013
Bill Parcells' coaching tree looks more like a Redwood Forest.
7:30 p.m.: ESPN's Chris Berman is emceeing the event and just introduced Cris Carter with this line, "His hands alone could be inducted, why not just induct the whole guy?" Inducting the whole guy makes sense because watching just hands being inducted to the Hall of Fame would be weird. Berman's not a popular guy on Twitter, and just to acknowledge that I know that you know that I know that, here's one anti-Berman tweet.
I wish there was a Mute only Chris Berman Button— Greg (@RealistSpeaking) August 3, 2013
The Houston Chronicle's John McClain says the Hall of Fame speech bar was set by Michael Irvin, lets see if anyone tops that tonight. Cris Carter has to be the odds on favorite.
Michael Irvin gave the greatest speech I've heard. Curtis Martin was the most revealing, an incredible speech last year.— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) August 3, 2013
Jonathan Ogden: Ogden is being presented by Baltimore Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome. And now we have our first bust unveiling of the night.
Ogden started off his Baltimore Raven thank you's by thanking now deceased former owner Art Modell. Ogden even made a Hall of Fame pitch for the Ravens former owner. "There's no way you can tell the history of pro football without mentioning Art Modell," Ogden said. "Without a doubt one of the most generous and kindest individuals I have ever met."
Ogden also thanks a couple former teammates that will most likely be joining him in Canton, "To Ray Lewis and Ed Reed who will both be here in five years, Ed, when he retires, thanks," Ogden said.
At 39, Ogden is the youngest Hall of Famer ever and this is how the youngest Hall of Famer ever closed his speech, "I'm so very proud to be the Ravens first ever choice and I am so humbled to be the Ravens first ever Hall of Fame inductee."
The Ravens official Twitter account clocked Ogden's speech in at 13 minutes and 35 seconds.
Jonathan Ogden's speech was 13 minutes, 35 seconds. And no tears from J.O. Well done @jonathanogden75!— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) August 3, 2013
Dave Robinson: Robinson is being presented by his son David Robinson.
It's not just Tom Brady's birthday, Robinson opens up his speech by wishing happy birthday to three of his relatives. "This is the biggest day of teh 21st century for the Robinson family," Dave said. "I live 28 miles from here and it took me 38 years to get here.
Robinson is the really, really, really early leader in the clubhouse for best quote of the night, "When you play football, you have to like the taste of blood and 50 to 70 percent of the time it's your blood."
While thanking people, Robinson noticed that most of the people he was thanking are now dead, not all of them are in heaven, "A lot of famliy and friends looking down on me right now. Some of them might be looking up at me," Robinson said.
"I'm here now, they can't get me out," Robinson said of the Hall of Fame.
Larry Allen: Allen is being presented by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. "Larry Allen in my mind is the greatest interior lineman to ever play the game," Jones said.
Jerry Jones memory: Troy Aikman threw an interception vs the Saints, Allen caught the defender FROM BEHIND to save TD http://t.co/nNpHZBfLlM— Eye on Football (@EyeOnNFL) August 4, 2013
Allen opened his speech with something you don't here too often anymore in Dallas, kind words for Jones, "Jerry Jones has been like a father-figure to me," Jones said. "Whenever I've needed his help, he's been there for me."
If you've ever been on first date, you'll probably be able to appreciate this gem from Allen, describing his first date with his wife, "She made me two chickens, french fries, baked me a cake and gave me a 40 ounce. I knew then that was my wife."
Allen said his career was about earning one thing, "My goal was simple to earn a seven-word letter called respect," he said. "Today, my mission is complete."
Bill Parcells:Parcells is being presented by former New York Giants defensive end George Martin.
Parcells has been thinking a lot about bust location recently. He opened up his speech with a simple request to the Hall of Fame, "When they put my bust in the hall tomorrow, I'd like to be somewhere near Lawrence Taylor so I can keep an eye on that sucker."
Among the people Parcells thanked in his speech was a certain former Raiders owner, "The late Al Davis, I don't know why befriended me." So there you have it, Davis did have friends. Case closed.
Parcells' 92-year-old high school basketball coach Mickey Corcoran made it to Canton, Ohio. Parcells thanked him for coming and told him he wants to get '10 or 15' years out of him. Corcoran gave a look like to Parcells like that might be asking a little much.
The only coach that took four different teams to the playoffs ended his speech with, "I'm honored, I'm grateful and I'm thankful to everyone single one of you out there that had something to do with this."
According to Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, Parcells' speech went a little bit longer than Jonathan Ogden's.
Parcells speech -- 20:13— Rick Gosselin (@RickGosselinDMN) August 4, 2013
Curley Culp: Culp is being presented by his son Chad Culp.
It's fitting that Culp had his son present him, because he took some extra time to thank his own parents, "Two of the most important people in my life, my parents, are not here to celebrate with me," Culp said. "They supported me when I had the oppourtunity to leave home for the big city in Tempe, Arizona. I will always remember, love and appreciate all that they did for me."
Culp's parents weren't the only duo he thanked, he also thanked a pair of owners: Bud Adams and Lamar Hunt. "These are the men that made my professional playing days happen," Culp said. "Lamar Hunt wrote me a hand-written letter that I have to this day. Good owners make great players."
Culp didn't go the Larry Allen route to end his speech, he ended his speech as calmly as he started it, "In life, as in sports, we should play hard and clean. Hopefully our stories, preserved forever in the Hall of Fame will remind others what hard work and team work can produce," he said.
Warren Sapp: Sapp is being presented by his daughter Mercedes Sapp.
It looks like John Gruden picked up a Warren Sapp hat in the Hall of Fame pro shop before tonight's ceremony.
Sapp is definitely planning on tears based on how he started his speech, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me, and I will definitely need him tonight to finish this," he said.
Gruden didn't bother removing the hook on his Warren Sapp hat http://t.co/6uG3AvxprY— Busted Coverage (@bustedcoverage) August 4, 2013
Sapp thanked two former teammates in Derrick Brooks and John Lynch, "We were the front middle and end. My rocks made it possible," Sapp said.
Sapp also thanked someone you might expect -- his mom. And someone you might not expect -- his ex-wife.
"I didn't play this game to get in the Hall of Fame," Sapp said. "I played this game to help my mom retire because she worked to the bone."
Cris Carter: Carter is being presented by his son Duron.
Cris Carter might have a tough time getting through his speech, he's already tearing up and he's not even on stage: http://t.co/0HrGk3ItY4— Eye on Football (@EyeOnNFL) August 4, 2013
One thing's for sure about Carter, he knows how to work a crowd. As soon as he hit the stage the former Ohio State star started one of the state's most famous chants.
"O-H," Carter yelled.
"I-O," the crowd yelled back.
"Welcome to the home of professional football, Canton, Ohio," Carter said. "I'm one of the few people in the Hall of Fame that was born and raised in Ohio."
Carter was raised in Middletown, Ohio and he knows exactly how far that is from Canton, "242 miles from George Halas drive to the housing project I grew up in," he said.
Carter's time in Ohio included three years at Ohio State, that would have been four years, but Carter was ruled ineligible after accepting money from an agent, something he apologized for during his speech, "I sincerely apologize for taking money from an agent and not being able to play my senior year," Carter said. "That's the only regret I have in my athletic career."
That athletic career includes getting cut by Buddy Ryan after three years in the NFL. Carter even found time to thank the former Philadelphia Eagles coach.
Carter's two biggest thank you's of the night went out to his mom, "I'm so sorry for the bumpy flight and the bumpy ride."
And to his brother Butch. "My role model growing up was a guy named Butch Carter," Cris said. "Today as your baby brother goes into the hall, you need to know that you're my hero."
So how did Cris Carter end a speech that left a lot of the people in the audience in tears?
"Buckeye born and bred, now an HOF-er, even after I'm dead."
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