TAMPA, Fla. -- On Pro Football Hall of Fame induction day in August, Derrick Brooks might not be the member of his family that's most in the spotlight.
Instead, it might be his 15-year-old son, Decalon. Brooks said Friday that he has chosen Decalon to give his introductory speech.
"I campaigned to get all four of my kids," Brooks said. "But unfortunately I couldn't pull it off. He's my oldest son. He's playing football now and it's a special time when you think about that relationship with him. He's not a young man that really steps up and strives for attention. He has to step out of his shell a little bit in order to do this. His brother and sisters are going to help him prepare for it. It's neat to see them all working on it."
The children aren't the only ones working toward August. Brooks was busy hosting a breakfast to raise money for athletic facilities at Brooks-DeBartolo Collegiate High School (the school he founded with former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo) on Friday. But Brooks, who also works as president of the Arena League's Tampa Bay Storm, said he's soaking up as much of the prelude to his induction as possible.
"You only go through this once," Brooks said. "I want to learn about the city of Canton, how 3,000 to 5,000 people volunteer their time to make sure everybody is having the best possible time, how they embrace the city of football and how it started there. Just the Hall of Fame itself. I've learned so many things since February that I didn't know before. That's because I'm going through this process. I'm the type of guy to try to appreciate the trees despite the forest. I look forward to learning more. In between all this education, I've got to write a speech."