Drew Pearson’s Hall of Fame wait ends: It’s a moment of a lifetime for a lifetime
Drew Pearson waited 33 years for this day. It proved worth the wait.
“This confirms it,” Pearson said during his Hall of Fame speech. “It’s over. How about that? The original No. 88 presented for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame by my Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach. Wow! You know they only give me a few minutes to make this acceptance speech, but it only took 32 seconds to catch the Hail Mary from my quarterback Roger Staubach, so this is no big deal.
“You know there were times I remember where I had to fight just to hold my head up. Those times when even my friends tried to make a fool of me. There were things that my heart would attack that they just couldn’t see. Some said I was hopeless, my mind tangled in the night, but guess what? Strong hearts just keep going, and that’s why I’m standing here tonight at the steps of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I seen the light and the sun break through the storm, and I’m standing here as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and I stand here tonight on the shoulders of the 354 Hall of Famers that helped make the NFL and pro football the great game that it is today.”
A day after Troy Polamalu’s long wavy hair was featured on his bust and Edgerrin James’ dreadlocks were celebrated on his, Pearson’s bust had the afro he played with in his 11 seasons.
“I had the biggest afro in NFL history. That’s probably the biggest one that will be in the busts in the Hall of Fame,” Pearson said.
Pearson caught 489 passes for 7,822 yards and 48 touchdowns. He was first-team all-decade in the 1970s, but it still took a long time for Mr. Clutch to get the call from the Hall.
Pearson went over his 8-minute time limit, becoming the first enshrinee to hear the Academy Award-like music informing him it was time to wrap. He did, finally, after 11 minutes, 19 seconds.
“My time has run out,” Pearson said. “I don’t have a Hail Mary in my back pocket, so I’ve got to wrap this up. I just want to thank you all for the moment, for the opportunity to be part of this. You know in life, in this situation, this moment is all there is. This moment has led me to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and it’s a moment of a lifetime for a lifetime. Hail Mary blessings to you all. Hail Mary blessings all around. And let my people say, ‘Hut! Hut!’”