(Brett Favre photo courtesy of Green Bay Packers)
(Mike Holmgren photo courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks)
Talk of Fame Network
Last weekend was the annual Hall-of-Fame induction ceremony, and the guys are back from Canton and wondering if Brett Favre is still talking.
What a speech.
As expected, Favre’s 36-minute delivery was the highlight of a weekend in which Kevin Greene, Tony Dungy, Marvin Harrison, Eddie DeBartolo and Orlando Pace spoke eloquently about what the Hall of Fame and the game of football meant to them. Sadly, Ken Stabler and Dick Stanfel, who were the two senior inductees, reached the Hall posthumously … but others spoke for them.
None, however, could top Favre, whose emotional tribute to his high-school coach — his father, Irv — moved everyone who heard it and made his former pro coach, Mike Holmgren, a few bucks, too.
“I was sitting next to Matt Hasselbeck, and I asked did he think he’ll break down,’’ Holmgren said on the Talk of Fame Network’s latest broadcast . “I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘No way.’ I had five bucks in my pocket in five minutes.’’
Holmgren discusses the career of Favre with the Talk of Fame guys and explains when he first saw him he thought, “I had this wild stallion on my hands. I’ve got to change somewhat the way he plays and we’ll have something special … but this is going to be a challenge.’’
What was most special to Holmgren, however, wasn’t the obvious playing skills or the gunslinger approach to the game Favre possessed. It was Favre’s light-hearted touch.
“His ability to make me smile in the toughest, most heated section of a game,’’ Holmgren said of Favre’s greatest trait. “I just loved him for that. He had more fun than 10 guys playing this game.’’
So did five-time All-Pro safety Donnie Shell, who was Dungy’s first roommate when Dungy was a rookie quarterback trying to make the transition to playing defense on the great Steelers’ teams of the 1970s. Later, Dungy would return to coach Shell under Chuck Noll, becoming one of only 10 African-American assistant coaches in the NFL at the time.
“He was a great teacher,’’ Shell said. “If you couldn’t teach, Chuck Noll wouldn’t put you on the staff.’’
Former St. Louis Rams’ head coach Mike Martz also dropped by this week to talk to our hosts – Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge – about not only Pace but also the Hall-of-Fame candidacies of wide receivers Isaac Bruce, Torry Holt and Kurt Warner. He believes all three are Hall of Fame worthy, pointing out that Bruce was one of the game’s most productive big game players while “Torry’s first 10 years were the best of any in history of pro football. How does that not get you in?’’
The guys recap the festivities in Canton, criticize the NFL’s poor handling of stadium preparations which caused the Hall of Fame game to be cancelled and handicap the likely Class of 2017, including who may emerge next week from the senior and contributor committee meetings in Canton.
You can hear that and more on 80 radio stations from coast-to-coast or by going to the TuneIn Radio app, downloading the free weekly podcast on iTunes or by going to the show’s website at talkoffamenetwork.com and clicking on the microphone icon.