Jimmy Conzelman Enshrinement speech

Jimmy Conzelman Enshrinement Speech 1964

Presenter: Mr. Justice William O. Douglas

Mr. Chairman and friends. It is a high honor and a great privilege to present this award to James Conzelman. Jimmy was a player of distinction and renown, he was a coach of great ability, he was owner of a major football franchise, and he has been a football protagonist par excellence. Jimmy is, I think, our fore most after dinner speaker the country over. And he has used that platform to tell the story of football to millions of people. And Jimmy is a citizen of distinction contributing greatly to civic and state affairs. And he is an old, old friend and to be here and take part in this ceremony is a highlight of my life. I am bursting with pride Jimmy, as I give you this award.

Jimmy Conzelman

Mr. Justice Douglas, ladies and gentlemen. This is a happy fulfillment after our years in the National Professional Football League, and certainly to those of us who love the game and date back to its origin, or close to it. This has to be the greatest thrill we have ever experienced. Now football is a body contact game, requiring no more courage, no more deftness, no more expenditure of physical exertion than many other sports. Still it has certain special demands, which those who played were happy to meet. My one regret is that so many of those who starred in the game and built the game in those difficult early years are no longer with us. Jim Thorpe, Pete Henry, Steve Owen, and many, many more. Those of us who are being inducted today are deeply grateful to the people of Canton, Ohio who made possible The Professional Football Hall of Fame, and who are giving us a day to remember. Thank you.