Legendary defensive tackle Cortez Kennedy has added one more bit to his story. Not only is he just the second Seattle Seahawk to make the NFL Hall of Fame, but he’s managed to join the rare cast of players who’s hall of fame induction speeches are actually worthy of remembrance.
Kennedy was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame Saturday and his speech was hailed as a snapshot of who he was as a player and a person.
Steve Largent, the Seahawks all-time leading receiver, is the only other person to play their entire career with the Seattle franchise and make the hall. The News-Tribune reported that Largent had high praise for the speech.
“Cortez did a great job. It was just him,” Largent said. “If you know Cortez, it was totally his personality. He’s very kind of ad-lib and funny, yet meaningful. So I thought he did a great job.”
Seattle SB Nation reports that Kennedy’s speech was much about giving thanks to those who helped him to the pinnacle of his trade. He thanked his mother and father. Specifically thanking his mom for grounding him from football when he got bad grades. When his team then went to the state championship, his mom sent him a postcard saying “Wish you were here.”
He had a tale about his father too.
“I can remember not doing my chores right, cutting the yard,” Kennedy said. “I didn’t cut the yard right, and you made me cut the grass at 5 a.m., in the dark. You said, ‘Do it right the first time and you won’t have to do it again.’ I got the point. Don’t take the shortcut.
Cortez Kennedy’s speech mentioned or thanked 54 people, from NFL coaches to his pediatrician. Last he thanked Seattle fans, his 12th man, insisting that his induction was their induction too.
Cortez Kennedy will be remembered as a great defensive tackle, a legendary Seahawk, and now as on of the few pros to make a Hall of Fame speech that left the people wanting more.