The Best Quotes from the 2019 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony

By Evan Chronis

Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Week Powered by Johnson Controls is full of memorable moments, but few stick out quite like the words of newly minted Gold Jackets as they take the stage for the first time as Hall of Famers. 

Players will reflect on their careers, telling stories of how they conquered adversity and pay tribute to the family, friends, teammates and coaches who helped them pave their path to Canton. 

Tears are often shed and passion rings throughout the crowd as each Enshrinee uses their words, rather than their playing ability, to put the final stamp on a Hall of Fame career.

The 2019 Enshrinement Ceremony was a night filled with emotion and several epic tales of what life looks like during a career on the gridiron. 

Here are our favorite quotes from some of the biggest names who took the stage and entered into football immortality. 

Quotes from 2019 Enshrinement Week

Tony Gonzalez

On his return to Kansas City:

"After I had gotten traded to Atlanta, I came back to Kansas City to play a football game. I was on the other side of the ball and I wasn't sure how the fans were going to treat me. So I was worried about it all week long. Then during the pregame they introduced me, which I thought was very special. Then something happened that was one of the greatest moments of my career. The Chiefs fans started yelling at the top of their lungs. And I remember I looked over at my teammate Sam Baker and he looks at me and goes 'Wow, that is really special.' So you Kansas City Chiefs fans, know how much I appreciated you."

Advice to his Children:

"You will get knocked down, you will fail and you will doubt yourself. But that is a good thing. That, my sweet children, is where the gold is. That is where you will come face to face with who you really are and find out what you are truly made of. Be fearless and go there. The fight you have with inner fear is the most worthwhile fight you will ever have. Life takes off on the other side of fear."

Tony Gonzalez Full Speech:

Champ Bailey

On his Mother:

"My mother is the one who named me Champ. Thank you mom for all that pressure."

On former Broncos owner Pat Bowlen:

"There are a few things I learned to appreciate from a good leader. They lead by example, they're accountable, they're competitive and they know how to win. That is what I learned and loved about Mr. B.... Mr. B was a great man and a great leader. He'll be surely missed, but he'll forever be my teammate. 

Champ Bailey Full Speech:

Ed Reed

On Baltimore:

"Baltimore... I love that city. Y'all are the reason why I did it so hard. The reason why I gave so much on that football field. I'm just happy to be here y'all."

On his Hall of Fame Career:

"It wasn't about me. That guy just played football just like a kid did. It's a kids game we play. It truly is, it don't change. That's why I made the plays I did... because it was just that simple. All I really wanted to do was provide for my family because we didn't have the structure or environment. I was able to do that. Thank God for the NFL. Thank God for this game. Thank God for my parents, my mother who holds us down."

Ed Reed Full Speech:

Ty Law

On New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick:

"Coach Bill Belichick... the GOAT. Thank you so much for believing in me. Thank you for not trying to change who I was. You gave me the opportunity to try things my way first, but you always reminded me that if I messed up that we'd go back to doing it your way."

On his Patriots teammates:

"I'm not on this stage alone. I'm not here because of statistical reasons. I'm up here because I was a part of something special. We created a culture -- a brotherhood. An unselfishness that we displayed as we won three Super Bowl titles. Let's keep it real... we started this! They gave what we created a name -- the Patriot Way. But we know where it started fellas. Together, we are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame."

Ty Law Full Speech:

Kevin Mawae

On his Hall of Fame Career:

"The game of football taught me accountability, discipline, sacrifice and selflessness. It developed in me grit, tenacity and confidence. It challenged my faith, it grew my loyalty and it sealed my legacy. That journey that started 40 years ago on a European continent and took me to the deep south and the northern corners of this great country... a journey that encompassed many miles, many friends, many lessons and a lifetime of memories. Today that journey finally ends. Today I stand at the footstep of football immortality. I knock on this door and I tell all of you that I am home!"

Kevin Mawae Full Speech:

Get an Official Ticket Package for 2020 Enshrinement Week

Be in Canton next year when the Class of 2020 is enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. With an Official Ticket Package from HOF Experiences, you can attend the 2020 Enshrinement Ceremony and get other exclusive access to the many events taking place over the week. 

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