Jerry Rice And Emmitt Smith Lead 2010 NFL Hal of Fame Class

August 8, 2010 – By Scott

Two of the greatest players ever to play in the NFL lead the Class of 2010 that were inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame on Saturday night. Both Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith have now realized that their destinies have now been fulfilled as they spoke to the audience in Canton, Ohio.

“This is finally it,” Rice said. “There are no more routes to run, no more touchdowns to score, no more records to set. That young boy from Mississippi has finally stopped running.

“Let me stand here and catch my breath.”

Rice was one of the most electrifying wide receivers to ever play the game. In his 20-year career, Rice broke every important pass-catching record and was a huge gamebreaer for the San Francisco 49ers. He had 22,895 yards which is more than 7,600 ahead of second place. He also had 208 touchdowns, made 10 All-Pro teams, chosen for 13 Pro Bowls and had a reception in an unbelievable 274 consecutive games. He accomplished so much during his career, but wishes he could have done on thing different.

“My single regret about my career is I never took the time to enjoy it,” he said. “I was always working.

“I was afraid to fail. The fear of failure is the engine that has driven me my entire life. The reason they never caught me from behind is because I ran scared. People always are surprised how insecure I was. The doubts, the struggles, is who I am. I wonder if I would have been as successful without them.”

Smith followed Rice in the induction ceremony and displayed much emotion as he fought back tears during his acceptance speech. After a one-minute standing ovation, Smith began to acknowledge those who had played such an important role in getting him to achieve all his accomplishments. He thanked many individuals, but he did not downplay the importance of his family.

“When I go into the hall today, I am not going in alone,” Smith said. “I am carrying my grandfather, I’m carrying my father and I’m carrying my son along with me because I bear all their names. Now I can say to my dad and my son, EJ, our name will be forever enshrined in the history of football.”

Smith’s career in the NFL was just as spectacular as the one lived by Rice. The former Dallas Cowboy running back is the all-time lading rusher in the NFL after breaking the previous mark held by Walter Payton. In his career, he rushed for 18,355 yards with 164 touchdowns. He also had 11 seasons in which he rushed for over 1,000 yards and had 78 games with 110 yards rushing. All of his hard work has finally paid off as he was inducted Saturday night.

“Most people only dream,” Smith said. “I not only had my childhood dream, I did everything I could to fulfill it.

“You know what, I am now the all-time leading rusher. Wow. What an honor.”

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