HC / U / HC/T
Class of 1966
"Teaching and coaching football has been my life for a long time. If I can be instrumental in the development of even one boy that satisfaction is my reward.”
|1927||New York Giants||
|1928||New York Giants||
Full Name: Stephen Joseph Owen
Birthdate: April 21, 1898
Birthplace: Cleo Springs, Okla.
Died: May 17, 1964
High School: Aline
Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: Sept. 17, 1966
Steve Owen Enshrinement Speech 1966
Presenter: Mel Hein
Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen, I'm very pleased to be here today to present this award to my old teammate, and good friend Jim Lee Howell who is accepting for our very beloved, former Giants football coach, Steve Owen. I probably knew Steve better than any former New York Giant football player for two reasons; I played longer than any Giant player, and my first year as a player was Steve Owen's last year as a player and I got to know Steve Owen not only as a great coach, but a great man in every respect. In describing Steve you might say that very few of our first year men on the Giants team got to know Steve very well he was he was a task master and rode herd on the first year men pretty good, until they proved that they were the type of player that he wanted on his New York Giant football squad. The older boys got to know Steve as a great coach - a man that they would play their heart out for. Steve was very human in every respect. He was a kindly man, he had a heart of gold, he would do anything to slow down to help his football players and believe me we respected him. We have very fond memories of Steve. I know that his wife Mrs. Owen is sitting here in the front row, and his brother Bill Owen sitting down here are very proud of Steve this day receiving this honor, and I feel it to be an honor just to be here in this ceremony that's honoring Steve Owen and I also know that Jim Lee Howell does too. So, Jim, if you will step up here please.
Jim Lee Howell on behalf of Steve Owen
Thank you, Mel. On behalf of Steve Owen I want to thank the selection committee for picking him to this wonderful honor. I'm sure that his wife and brother Bill join me in that thanks. I'm sure that Steve, if he were here, I wish he could be here, would thank so many of his great players he had with that Giant organization like Mel, Ken Strong, Ed Denausky, Tuffy, Lemans, Tom Landry, Emlen Tunnell and you could go on and on. It was 35 years ago or more that Steve came from Oklahoma to New York and captured the hearts of the people there. He won a hundred and fifty games, he had only one assistant for most of this time and he can take the full credit for all of those victories. I won't burden you with statistics, but they were great games with the Bears, the Packers, the Redskins and later here in Ohio with the Browns. It is entirely fitting that he should be so honored here at this time. Wellington Mara, the president of the Giants, sends his greetings to you and is sorry that he couldn't be here today. I want to say in my own heart that it was a real pleasure and a privilege to know Steve to play under him and to coach for him. Less we forget that 1953, his last year, which has been some time, but the defense that is used as a center defense in all tl1e pro football leagues today by nearly all of the teams is the defensive setup, that Steve introduced several years ago. There's just one little human incident I want to bring to your attention. We were playing the Browns in one of the crucial games and his team had been very stingy in giving up touchdowns to the Browns and here this particular day just before we went in for the half, one of the boys that is now one of the leading coaches in the country, led the kickoff, rolled down to the goal line where it was recovered by the Browns, they scored and we went in at the half. In came this huge 300lb. man and we thought here he would tear this young fell a apart. He walked up to him looked him in his eye and then bent over him and put his arms around him and said "Jimmy, we'll get that one back for you.'' That is a great coach and I want to thank you in his behalf. Thank you very much.