Harold Carmichael

Hall of Fame reveals lame plan for Harold Carmichael induction

Hall of Fame reveals lame plan for Harold Carmichael induction

Harold Carmichael and the other Centennial inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be enshrined on Sept. 18, the Hall of Fame announced on Tuesday.

That's six weeks after the traditional Hall of Fame summer festivities.

The modern-era players will be enshrined on the usual first preseason weekend, which this summer is Aug. 8, in conjunction with the Hall of Fame Game.

The Centennial enshrinees, unfortunately, will be relegated to a Friday evening two weeks into the regular season and won’t be part of the annual Hall of Fame festivities that honor the greatest players in football history.

The Hall of Fame hasn’t specifically announced the schedule for that evening but according to a press release issued on Tuesday morning, the festivities will include “world-class performances from a variety of music icons.”

Oh boy.

The press release said ticket information to attend the induction of Carmichael and the other all-time greats was not available yet.

Carmichael is only the 7th player who spent more than half his career with the Eagles to make it to Canton. The others are Steve Van Buren (1965), Chuck Bednarik (1967), Pete Pihos (1970), Tommy McDonald (1998), Reggie White (2006) and Brian Dawkins (2018).

Carmichael spent the 1971 through 1983 seasons with the Eagles after getting drafted in the 7th round out of Southern University. He was named a wide receiver on the NFL’s 1980s all-decade team and is also on the Eagles' 75th anniversary team named in 2007.

During his 12 seasons with the Eagles, he caught 589 passes for 8,978 yards and 79 touchdowns -- all still franchise records. He led the NFL in catches and yards in 1973 and made four Pro Bowls.

The other centennial inductees are Jimbo Covert, Bobby Dillon, Cliff Harris, Winston Hill, Alex Karras, Donnie Shell, Duke Slater, Mac Speedie and Ed Sprinkle.

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Hall of Famer Harold Carmichael: 'I didn't know if I was good enough'

Hall of Famer Harold Carmichael: 'I didn't know if I was good enough'

Harold Carmichael learned back on Monday that he had finally made it into the Hall of Fame, but for logistical reasons he wasn’t allowed to tell anybody until after the official announcement on Wednesday.
 
As it happened, on Tuesday night, Harold found himself sitting next to his close friend and long-time coach Dick Vermeil at a dinner at NaBrasa Brazlian Steakhouse in Horsham.
 
For three hours.

Vermeil had just learned he didn't make it into the Hall of Fame. Carmichael had just learned he had.

And he couldn't say a word.
 
“It was killing me,” Carmichael said. “We talked about being disappointed that he didn’t get in, but I couldn’t say anything to him. He was promoting Dick Vermeil wines and we had about 160 people and they were asking me if I’d heard anything yet and I would just get off the subject. I really didn’t want to lie to anybody. I just couldn’t say anything about it. It was very, very tough for me. It’s still tough for me right now because I’m still trying to answer a lot of the texts. Got over 400 just in the past 24 hours and phone messages. My mailbox is full. They just gotta have patience. Like I did for 36 years.”
 
Carmichael’s wait is over.
 
This fall, he’ll be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame alongside more than 300 other all-time greats.
 
Carmichael retired after the 1984 season, so he’s been eligible since 1989. Despite ranking 5th in NFL history in receptions when he retired, he was never even a finalist until this year.
 
“I didn’t know if I deserved to be in there,” Carmichael said Thursday. “I’ve been hearing I should be in there for the past 30-some years. It was not a lock for me. I didn’t know if I was good enough. I tried to do my best, but it was not for me to say I should be in the Hall of Fame. It was for me to try to put the numbers up and try to be the type of person they would want to represent the Hall of Fame.”
 
From 1973 through 1983, Carmichael led the NFL in yards (8,414), touchdowns (77) and catches (549). 
 
When he retired after playing two games with the Cowboys in 1984, Carmichael ranked 5th in NFL history in catches, 7th in yards and 7th in TD catches.
 
Today, 36 years after his last touchdown, Carmichael still ranks 24th in NFL history in TD catches.
 
This is all from a kid who didn’t get recruited to play major-college football, was a walk-on at Southern University in Baton Rouge and was drafted in the 7th round.
 
“When I got here, Harold Jackson and Ben Hawkins were the starting receivers,” Carmichael said. “They were veterans and I was trying to learn how to be a football player and questioning whether I could play in the National Football League.”
 
Now, nearly half a century later, Carmichael has been recognized as one of the greatest of all time. 
 
He’s only the 8th receiver drafted in the 7th round or later to make it into the Hall of Fame and the first whose career began in the 1970s or later.
 
Carmichael, 70, said the last 24 hours have been a whirlwind as congratulations have come in from 50 years worth of friends, teammates, coaches and associates.
 
“My son said to my wife, ‘Mom, I didn’t know so many people loved dad like this,’” Carmichael said.

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The numbers that make Harold Carmichael a Hall of Famer

The numbers that make Harold Carmichael a Hall of Famer

What makes Harold Carmichael a Hall of Famer?

Unprecedented production. Remarkable consistency. Incredible durability.

Carmichael spent the 1971 through 1983 seasons with the Eagles, and for much of that period he was the best receiver in football.

Despite playing before the advent of the high-octane passing game, Carmichael caught nearly 600 passes for nearly 9,000 yards and 79 touchdowns.

During the 10 years from 1973 through 1982, no wide receiver had more catches, more yards or more touchdowns or played more games.

This fall, Carmichael will formally be enshrined alongside the greatest players in NFL history at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

He is one of the best of all-time. And here are the numbers to prove it:

DRAFTED IN WHAT ROUND? Some 35 years after he retired, Carmichael’s 79 TD catches are 4th-most in NFL history by a player drafted in the 7th round or later, behind only Don Maynard (88), Mark Clayton (84) and Art Powell (81). His 590 catches are 10th-most ever by a player drafted in the 7th round or later, and his 8,985 yards are 9th-most.

GOOD LUCK CATCHING HAROLD TODAY: To put Carmichael’s 79 TD catches in perspective, the only active player who has more is Larry Fitzgerald.

5TH-MOST CATCHES IN HISTORY: At the time he retired in 1984, Carmichael had the 5th-most catches in NFL history, behind Hall of Famers Charlie Joiner (657), Charley Taylor (659) and Maynard (631). As recently as 1992 he was still in the all-time top 10.

35 YEARS LATER, HE’S WHERE? Carmichael is still 24th in NFL history with his 79 TD catches. Since Carmichael played his final game in an Eagles uniform in 1983, only Mike Quick (47) has even half as many among Eagles receivers. Jeremy Maclin is next with 36.

CRAZY STREAK: Carmichael was one of only four NFL players with 11 straight 500-yard receiving seasons up through 1983. That streak remains 15th-longest in NFL history.

HISTORIC STREAK: Carmichael had 10 straight seasons with at least 5 touchdown catches, something only Don Hutson and Maynard already did in the first 70 years of the NFL’s existence. The next player to do it was Jerry Rice from 1986 through 1996.

BEST IN THE LEAGUE: During the 11-year span from 1973 through 1983, Carmichael led the NFL in yards (8,414), touchdowns (77) and catches (549). No other WR was within 10 TDs of Carmichael during that 11-year period.

PLAYOFF STUD: The most under-rated aspect of Carmichael’s career was his postseason performance. Carmichael had 29 catches for 465 yards and six TDs in seven postseason games. He caught TD passes in four straight playoff games, tying Lynn Swann’s NFL record, and to this day only nine players have had longer streaks.

ELITE COMPANY: Carmichael’s 66.4 yards per game in the postseason was 13th-highest at the point he retired. He had four postseason games with at least 80 receiving yards. Nobody else in Eagles history has more than two (Fred Barnett, DeSean Jackson, Keith Jackson, Alshon Jeffery, Todd Pinkston).

ONE OF THE BEST EVER: Carmichael is one of only 13 players in NFL history with at least 400 postseason yards, six or more TD catches and 16 yards per catch. Among the others are Randy Moss, James Lofton, Larry Fitzgerald and Drew Pearson.

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