|This weekend may bring us the anarchy of the first sloppy, penalty-ridden
preseason football game, but thanks to the glory of the NFL's Hall of Fame
induction ceremony, it shouldn't be that hard to take.
Much is made of how the toughest men melt and watch their salty tears drip on
their Canton blazers until they bleed yellow, but not enough is made of the
speeches, which, despite their sincerity, tend to be more formulaic than
Spielberg when he's out to build a blockbuster.
For those inductees who may have procrastinated writing a Hall of Fame
speech, we humbly offer what we at Team Bakay Inc. call, "The All-Purpose
Hall of Fame Speech Template.
Normally, we charge enormous consulting fees for this service, but it's time
to move these babies, so we can clear our inventory until next August.
We went with the short form, because brevity is the soul of wit, your memory
ain't what it used to be, and studies have shown that weepy interludes are
guaranteed to tack an extra 10 minutes on to your prepared materials. Just
customize wherever indicated, and take that podium for the ride of its life:
Then walk off like the legend you are. Great speeches, like championships,
are built in your preparation. Do your homework, write extra large on index cards, and for God's sake, bring a hanky.
Humorist Nick Bakay, currently a writer for the CBS sitcom "King of Queens," is a regular contributor to ESPN The Magazine and Page 2. He has a website at http://nickbakay.com.
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Your customizable Pro Football Hall of Fame speech
I'd like to thank my __1__ for presenting me. That was a __2__ introduction,
and a reminder to us all why they called you __3__.
It's an honor to stand here beside my fellow inductees. What great men, what
__4__! In particular, it means so much to be entering the Hall with __5__ --
I'll never forget __6__.
__7__, I was a __8__ fresh out of __9__, Standing at this podium today, I
realize I've come a long way from __10__.
I see a lot of smiling faces out there. Former teammates, family, and the
fans -- especially those of you who drove all the way from __11__. I've
always said __12__ fans are the best fans in the world!
(Wait for applause, start to get weepy.)
Come on, __13__ . I promised myself I wouldn't __14__.
(Long pause to regain composure. Blow nose.)
No one gets here __15___. The game of football __16___. Thank you for making
all of my ___17___.
uncle who's never had nothin'
sister who don't get out much
shrink -- without these meds, Doc ...
anger management counselor
last year's reigning Miss Universe
Hail Mary of an
long-winded and self-congratulatory
surreal and confusing
the best in the game
the man who defined the essence of squatting low and firing off the line
Ol' Puke Breath
a supplement-fueled psychopath
beautiful slabs of man-meat
(name of older player/contemporary you admired)
(name of opponent you never really liked but made your life hell on the field)
(name of teammate who split your votes, thereby keeping both of you out of the Hall for years)
that Super Bowl -- it's a shame someone had to lose that day
the God-awful things you used to yell at me before the snap
the way your eyes glazed over when your amphetamines kicked in
the way you snapped my femur
the way you ran for the sidelines to avoid getting hit
More summers/battles/wars/years/lawsuits ago than I care to remember
Back when I could still put my own pants on in the morning
rookie with a $10 million signing bonus
an unaccredited JUCO
the state pen
the cornfield's of Nebraska
the South Side of Chicago
the mean streets of Grosse Point, Mich.
(your team's hometown)
just to avoid quality time with your families
(your team's name)
(your first name)
(your jersey number -- as in "Old Number 99!")
blow an emotional snot-bubbler
choke on my own sense of unworthiness
is like life
is why I'm rich
dreams come true
nightmares become realities
lame restaurants succeed, just because they have a lot of team banners and stuff