Herb Adderley Enshrinement speech

Herb Adderley Enshrinement Speech 1980

Presenter: Willie Davis

Thank you, thank you very much. An occasion like this there is truly a drain on your adrenaline.  To the mayor, chairman and trustees of the Hall of Fame, you the fans of the NFL, I and flattered to present a man that I truly respect and admire. Herb Adderley had a typical High School success enjoyed by many athletics. He earned all-big 10 efforts in Michigan State and at Green Bay he quickly became a fixture at left cornerback during the Packer glory years of the 60's. He was known as the big play man at Gree11 Bay on our defense. He was one of the most versatile players that the Packers ever had. Herb came as an offensive player how he taught it in terms of a wide receiver or possibly a running back. But he truly made his mark on defense. His records of accomplishments, five time all NFL honors; interceptions- 48 career interceptions for 1046 yards and seven for touchdowns; kickoffs- Herb Adderely averaged 25.7 yards including returns of 103 and 98 yards against the Baltimore Colts and Los Angeles Rams respectfully. Seven times Herb Adderley participated in championship games including four of the first six Super Bowls. He earned three Super Bowl rings, two with the Green Bay Packers and one with the Dallas cowboys. Selected five times for All-Star game participation.

But I remember Herb best for nine years we played on the same side of the field. I saw Herb make some of the greatest plays ever among the defensive team at Green Bay along with teammate Dave Robinson, we truly controlled the left side of the Packer defense. He always played well in the big game. His 60-yard return for a touchdown in Super Bowl II is one of only two touchdowns in 13 years in the Super Bowl from interceptions. Herb was committed to being the best cornerback in the NFL and somehow today most of us who played and most of us who saw him play realized that he accomplished his commitment. His personal pride and dedication to high standards was a true inspiration to every Green Bay Packer. Herb was a competitor with unusual ability to make the big effort. It is with great pleasure that I present to you for enshrinement, my friend, my former teammate, Herb Adderley.

Herb Adderley

Thank you, thank you very much. I appreciate it, Mr. Willie Davis and I want to thank you for the kind words and without you and big Dave Robinson, Ray Nitschke, Willie wood, Tom Brown, Henry Jordan, Lynal Aldridge, Leroy Cathy, Bob Geiter, Ron Costelnick, I wouldn't be here. So, there is a beginning and everything. I have to go back to the beginning. The beginning is God and I I would like to take time to acknowledge God in my spiritual beliefs because without my health and strength I wouldn't have been able to participate in football and it wouldn't be here.

So, I want to thank God for number one, making everything possible. And next I would like to thank my brother and father because without them I would not be here mom I appreciate you taking care of me, leading me on the right road with your guidance because I think in order to make it you have to have self-guidance, you have to have courage and guidance and a certain amount of spiritual guidance and I had the three and it was the praise and it was difficult for me to miss, so mom I appreciate it And I love you and my daughter Toni and wife, Barbara, I appreciate it and thank you for being here. I would like to take this time to thank the two people responsible for my football career.

Number one would be my high school coach, Mr. Charles Martin, who is deceased and I can honestly say that if it wasn't for Mr. Charles Martin back in Philadelphia in 1955 when I started playing in high school there is no way I would be here because I thought that I was a basketball player in fact, I would have bet that I was a basketball player, but this man saw something in me that I didn't see you're realizing myself, he said “I think you could play football and you can play it well.” I said well I don't know because I never played football, just around the streets. You here Bill Cosby who is a good friend, you hear him talking about playing touch football and running behind the bus in the alley, and the cans and stuff and we were involved in that and I didn't play organized football until high school so this Mr. Charles Martin, I will always remember him and his spirit will live within me. He helped me get to Michigan State. I had several offers, scholarship offers, and he asked me he said, ''listen I am setting this up for you, what do you want to do?'' So I said I would like to go to Michigan State University and he said why, Well ·, there is a fellow there that is ,wearing #26, Clarence Peaks, I said I don't know the man, never seen him except for on television never meant him, but he is the kind of guy that I would like to be like and I would like to go there and see what happens.

She made a phone call to Duffy Dougherty two days later I was on a plane to Lansing Michigan. Clarence Peaks Met me at the airport and from there it was history. Clarence Peaks started off with number 26, that is where it originated, and I told Clarence that I was going to take this number 26 and take it as far as I can and hopefully to the top. And I would like to say that Clarence Peaks is not here, but I did see him last week and I did thank him for the inspiration that he gave me and helped me to be someone.

I have to talk about coach Vince Lombardi because coach Vince Lombardi reminds me so much of my high school coach. Those two people had more to do with me playing football and being successful than anybody in the world. I feel a certain sadness in my heart, but I can feel happy and feel good because the spirit of high school coach and coach Vince Lombardi is within me. Coach Lombardi saw something in me also that I didn't realize because during my senior year at Michigan State, while I was benched halfway through the season for reasons, well Duffy said he wanted to play his younger players he said he waited to have a shot at the big 10, he said he wanted to play a sophomore and juniors . I couldn't understand it at the time, but I do now. But coach Lombardi saw something to me the year before, so he was a little ahead of his time, but he I did see something that I didn't see in myself. He had the nerve to draft me number one in 1961 and that was probably the biggest thrill of my entire career, being drafted number one and I said I have to repay this man by having enough nerve to draft me number one.

On to Green Bay as a running back and wide receiver. Well it was difficult with Paul Hornung and Jimmy Taylor. I was happy to play with Ray Nitschke. It was difficult to break in there as a rookie. As a matter of fact, I broke my collar bone trying to break in there against the Chicago Bears. I will never forget that, and I decided right then and there, I said the best thing for me is to go defense and I started thinking defense. Emlen Tunnell, also a Hall of Famer, a great person, great defensive back was a big inspiration to me also. Emlen talked to me and went to Coach Lombardi and said listen Give her a shot on defense and let him get out there and practice and do something to see what he can do. And he did an I think back to 1961 by rookie year in Detroit, Milt Blum was the quarterback, Jim Ninowski quarterback, Terry Barr covering,  Hank Gremminger, defensive back, he was injured I had to go in, I never played defense, I was able and lucky enough thank God, to come up with a big play interception that turned the game around and from then on I was the defensive cornerback of the Green Bay Packers and I can't say enough about my teammates in high school, college, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys.

I appreciate it and I want everyone to know that football is a team game and without your teammates and without their help it is impossible to make it such tremendous amount of credit goes to my teammates and also my friends who are here today with the inspiration you have given me. I appreciate it so much and I want to say God bless you all and I would like to say to coach Tom Landry I appreciate the opportunity to have played in Dallas for those three years. Mr. Gil Brandt, I appreciate your kindness when you were there and Mr. Bob Lilly “Dooms Day” if I had to pick an All-Star team, you would be one of the tackles. Secretary of Defense Deacon Jones, I don't know what I can say except I am happy to be on the same team with you. Jim auto, you proved that 15 years the only all AFL all pro center in history of the League. So I think without me being included with these three guys back here, it would be a great class and if I had to look in the paper or television and see these three guys, I would stand up and tip my hat and give them the whole works. To be included with these guys is more than a pleasure and everybody that is here today especially the people from Green Bay with number 26 up there I appreciate it very much taking the time to come out here and look at us and God bless you all. Thank you very much.