Highlights from Russ Grimm's induction
Top five moments from Russ Grimm's induction into the Hall of Fame, on the loveliest Ohio night for an induction ceremony you'd ever want to see.
5. Ode to Beathard
Joe Gibbs was interviewed inside the stadium just before Grimm's turn in the proceedings. Gibbs had offered some positive words during Friday night's video tribute -- even calling Grimm "super smart" -- but here, his words were pure music to the ears of Redskins fans. He saluted the architect of the Super Bowl teams, Bobby Beathard.
"Bobby did a great job of getting us players," Gibbs said.
As Grimm narrated a brief history of his football playing life, he got to his high school graduating class.
"The class of '77," he said. "We graduated singing Freebird. If I leave here tomorrow, would you still remember me."
The fact that the entire audience did not immediately break out lighters and start swaying back and forth is to their eternal discredit.
The Hogs were here, and there, and everywhere. I still haven't gotten an exact count, but at least seven Redskins offensive linemen watched from the floor of the stadium as Grimm made his speech. Grimm thanked them, mostly by name. Then he made a promise.
"Your names are gonna be embroidered on the inside of this jacket so I'll always remember the things we went through, the tough times we had and the good times we celebrated," he said.
2) "Pain and torture"
Grimm was introduced by Joe Bugel, who was so beloved by players and media members for his filthy mouth. There are certain constraints when making a speech on national television, so Buges had to make do with some tasty, non-profane adjectives.
"When we went to training camp, I told the whole group, there's gonna be a lot of pain and torture, because we're gonna start four rookies," Bugel said. "We never accepted mediocrity. It was gonna be physical, tough, nasty, smart and violent. That group was rare. That group made me a better football coach. I loved 'em and worked 'em to death."
Bugel also narrated the NFC Championship game "50 Gut" sequence, which Mike Wise wrote so nicely about.
Then he got to Grimm.
"He was legit," Bugel said. "Nothing phony about the guy. He could play with pain and injury. I love and respect the young man, and I'll go to my grave saying that. It's like I had a son, and my son was inducted into the Hall of Fame."
1) "We Want Dallas"
Grimm kept his speech to a tidy nine minutes or so, and he closed it with the clear highlight: his salute to Redskins fans. Redskins fans were severely outnumbered by Cowboys and 49ers folks in Canton this weekend, but you're not gonna get a better tribute than this.
"You burgundy and gold fans, there's many a time when I close my eyes and I picture myself putting on those pads at old RFK Stadium, and those stands are rocking up and down with 50-some thousand chanting 'We Want Dallas,' " Grimm said. "I can hear the diesel horns blowing when 44 was carrying the football, and I remember standing there in the pouring rain when everybody was throwing the seat cushions down on the field in the playoff game versus Atlanta.
"You provided a lot of memories for me and my teammates. You made playing for the Redskins special. You created an atmosphere on game day that was second to none. The support you showed, the enthusiasm you had, the love you displayed for those teams will always be remembered."
(There was also a part about how Grimm didn't want to switch from linebacker to offensive line in college, and how he was told that he didn't have a choice, and that he didn't play a specific position, and that he was a football player, which made me think of a certain....no, no, no, I can't go there anymore.)
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