I thought the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s induction speeches this past weekend were terrific.  The HOF inducted Jerry Rice, Emmitt Smith, Russ Grimm, Dick LeBeau, John Randle, Floyd Little and Rickey Jackson.   I was most impressed with some of the key points that these great players were speaking about … the importance of teamwork, mentoring, working hard and not giving up.

I was fortunate enough to be a guest of the Washington Redskins’ Darrell Green when he was inducted, along with teammate, Art Monk, in the 2008 Pro Football Hall of Fame.  That was a special and memorable weekend.  I loved the importance that both Darrell and Art spoke about in regard to family and doing things the right way in life.

This past weekend’s speeches were quite emotional.  I hope the current players as well as future players (and fans) understand the messages that were being spelled out:

– It’s a privilege to play in the NFL.  Respect the game and respect the veterans who laid the foundation.

– Embrace mentors, teachers and coaches.  These people can have such a strong and positive influence in your life.  Floyd Little provided the perfect example of not giving up … take on life’s challenges and prove to yourself that one can change and become a positive force.

– Practice, practice, practice.  Regardless of what you do in life, it’s important to practice and work hard to hone your skills.

– Teammates.  It’s important to work and support one another … on and off the field.  Emmitt’s strong respect for his fullback, Darryl Johnston, and his offensive line was quite moving.

– Never give up.  Do things the right way and good can indeed come your way.   Floyd Little is a great example — so is Dick LeBeau.  It was fantastic to see this honorable and highly respected player and coach deservedly make it into the HOF.  And, how cool to have his entire Steelers squad, including coaches and owners, there for his induction ceremony.

The NFL is a great sport.  It is indeed the most powerful and popular sport in America.  Let’s hope the league and players can come up with an amicable agreement before the start of the 2011 season.  Looking forward to the kick-off to the new season!