CANTON, Ohio -- There is an old story about how comedian Danny Thomas killed a room for an hour while the other comics cowered in the corner for fear of having to follow him. Nobody wanted to follow a performance like that.
But Joey Bishop volunteered to follow Thomas, staggered on to the stage, draped his coat over his arm with his hat in his hand, walked up to the mic and said, "What he just said goes double for me," leaving to a huge applause.
That is what it must have been like to have followed Shannon Sharpe during the 2011 Pro Football Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Why was this guy placed in the middle?
Deion Sanders and Marshall Faulk did come close. Sanders in particular by throwing it out to Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube.
And without further ado ...
6. Rams back in the promised land?
After Marshall Faulk's nauseating remarks about Georgia Frontiere (seriously, Browns fans who booed Art Modell's mention, you couldn't toss us a bone here?), Faulk did offer some praise for the club's current owner Stan Kroenke, saying that he can't wait for the day he returns the Rams to the promised land. He was talking about Kroenke moving the Rams back to Los Angeles, right?
5. Who wants to buy some time?
Sometimes the senior candidates are less heralded and slotted between the "real stars," but sometimes they rise to the occasion. For instance, how can anybody forget Tommy McDonald's great speech in 1998? Chris Hanburger might not have exceeded McDonald's antics, but he clearly outshined some of his younger inductees with his wit, and his offer to sell the extra time that he would not need. Of course, he explained, Deion Sanders wanted him to talk to his agent. Awesome.
4. What is a decent home?
When Shannon Sharpe made his money, he asked his grandmother what she wanted and she said a decent home. What was a decent home? A house that would not let the rainwater leak through the roof. A very powerful story. No wonder Twitter blew up after Sharpe's speech.
3. Sanders was ashamed
After going through the emotional wringer with Sharpe, it is hard to top that. But Deion's tale of being ashamed of his mother and the creation of "Prime Time" was moving, and gave an intimate look at what made him who he is. And then he capped off his speech with a do-rag over his bust? Classic.
2. Sticking up for his brother
Shannon Sharpe might have delivered the line of the night when he said, "I'm the only pro football player that's in the Hall of Fame and the second-best player in his own family." I have long been on record saying that Sterling Sharpe deserves to be in the Hall of Fame because he was dominant. Shannon Sharpe was expected to give a great speech -- and he delivered.
1. One more film left in me
With all due respect to Sharpe's great speech, it was Ed Sabol who stole the show with not only his speech but his video presentation. ... Although, it is not hard to imagine that the creator of NFL Films would make one last film that reminded all of us why we fell in love with professional football in the first place.