This was the first time I can recall recording or watching the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremonies. I tuned in mainly to see Thurman Thomas, who delivered a great speech, but also watched the activity surrounding the induction of Bruce Matthews and Michael Irvin, other players I’ve seen in my time. I wasn’t planning on watching Irvin’s speech, but after Jerry Jones’ introduction I was going to. Ironically, just as Irvin was coming up to speak, the end of the three-hour ESPN recording on my DVR was reached. I read the speech and I have to say that I liked it.

I got the fuzzies when Thomas expressed his love for the legions of Bills fans. I was in Buffalo for all the Super Bowls, and while I didn’t go to many games, I was a pretty big fan.

Another irony: the year I watch my first induction ceremony is the first year I’m unable to easily watch the Hall of Fame preseason kickoff game tonight, exclusively (let that word ring around a bit) on the NFL Network, which Comcast moved to a sports tier I’m not paying for. To honor the NFL Network’s decision to raise its carriage rate and Comcast’s decision to remove the channel from regular digital cable, I’m going to say something special during every BDFL podcast where we cover a game that was exclusively on the NFL Network:

The NFL Network kept this game a secret: good thing we have the stats!