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Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Sharpe explains Shanahan speech snub

By Bill Williamson

Shannon Sharpe spent more than 26 minutes on the podium when he delivered his memorable acceptance speech into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night.

The Hall of Fame wants the inductees to speak for about 10 minutes. The loquacious Sharpe blew past that barrier as he thanked countless people who helped him along the way. Sharpe, however, didn’t mention Mike Shanahan, who Sharpe won two Super Bowls under in Denver. It was noticed.

Sharpe addressed it in a radio interview with a Denver station. He said there were weren’t any sinister reasons for not mentioning his former coach.

“I was already up there 26 minutes. You know what I am saying?,” Sharpe said. “Next thing you know it’s 40 minutes. Look I have a great relationship with Mike. Did it start out like that? No. because he perceived me a certain way. He let the persona overshadow the person. That bothered me, but as I got older as he got an opportunity to see … I think it took me leaving and going to Baltimore for Mike to finally have an appreciation of what I did and how hard I worked … To this day, Mike Shanahan and I have a great relationship. Look, I didn’t mention my college coach. I forgot. I forgot my agent. Look, the two people I knew who were going to be in there were my brother and my grandmother.

I knew that was going to happen. I was talking to my girlfriend as I was driving. We were driving back home I was like there are some people that I forgot and I automatically said the fact that I didn’t mention Mike [Shanahan] people are going to think well Shannon Sharpe doesn’t like Mike. I won two Super Bowls under Mike. I became a much better tight end. I became a much more disciplined tight end. I paid more attention to detail under Mike … I’ll let the naysayers and all the people that want to speculate on what my relationship is with the people I didn’t mention and that’s fine, but I know where I stand and they know where they stand.”