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Memo to Michael Jordan: That’s how you do a Hall of Fame induction speech.
Granted Richard Dent’s soliloquy may have dragged on a bit but how can you wrap up a 15-year career in 6-8 minutes? The "Sackman" helped us live the dream of hoisting a Super Bowl Trophy in the Windy City where it belongs. Whether it was his sack and forced a fumble that Wilbur Marshall returned for a TD in the NFC Championship game in ’85 or his 4 ½ sacks against the Raiders, twice, or his Super Bowl MVP performance against the Patriots, the number of memories are as numerous as his stats.
But Dent’s story is special because it goes way beyond the numbers. His success is proof that it takes a village. If not for the unselfishness of his high school football coach who personally took him to Tennessee State or his college coach who put him on defense and gave him a chance even if he was undersized or the Chicago Bears who bought him new dental work so he could put on weight, Dent wouldn’t be here today.
And to his credit, he knows it.
In this reporter’s opinion, by virtue of posting the greatest NFL season in history (they would have beaten the Dolphins for the perfect record if Jim McMahon had played that game) every member of the ’85 Bears should be in the Hall of Fame. But for now, we’ll laud Sweetness, Samarai Mike, Ditka, Hampton and now the Sackman. Just like it took a village to get Dent to where he was it took that whole team to achieve that greatness and memories that will last a lifetime.
And with Dent’s bust on display at George Halas Drive in Canton we can be sure of it.