Marvin Harrison has been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Colts great was introduced in Canton by team owner and CEO Jim Irsay.
“I’ll tell you this,” said Irsay in a taped message, “I mean this when I say about Marvin, I don’t think I know a fiercer competitor. This guy, his fire that burned in him was so hot, it burned you if you got anywhere close. This guy had something in him that drove him.”
“Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is not something that happens overnight,” added Harrison in his enshrinement speech.
Harrison was drafted by the Colts with the 19th overall pick in the first round in 1996 out of Syracuse University. Over the next 13 seasons, he re-wrote the franchise record books and set his name up among the best to every play the game. Harrison holds multiple NFL records including most catches in a season (143) and most receiving touchdowns between a quarterback and a receiver, shared with Peyton Manning (112).
In an 11-minute speech, Harrison thanked multiple people from his life who had helped him along the way, from high school and college teachers to his head coach and fellow Hall of Fame class member Tony Dungy.
“You taught us how to be teammates,” Harrison said to Dungy, “how to be men. The most important thing you taught us was about fatherhood, and I want to thank you for that.”
Harrison spent most of his Indianapolis career alongside another great wideout in Reggie Wayne, whom he addressed as well.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better partner than you,” said Harrison. “If i had to go across the middle and Reggie had to clear it out, I knew he would. Reggie, there isn’t a receiver in the game I’d rather have on the other side of the field than you.”
Harrison was the first of an eight-member Hall of Fame class to give a speech at the enshrinement ceremony. Tony Dungy will go second-to-last, before Brett Favre wraps up the evening.
“Marvin is so pleased, so happy to be entering the Hall of Fame,” said Irsay. “It means so much to him. It’s the final chapter. It’s so deserving.”