Philadelphia Eagles: Harold Carmichael takes a Hall of Fame bow (video)

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Before there was Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholor, and Arrelious Benn, Freddie Solomon, Lonny Calicchio, and even Mitch Berger, there was Harold Carmichael, one of the tallest wide receivers in NFL history and unquestionably the best player to ever wear the number 17 in Philadelphia Eagles‘ history.

Sidebar: How in the Sam Heck did no one get around to retiring Carmichael’s number after a 13-year career on the field and 17 more off of it? Because he played two games for Dallas in 1984 when I was -9 years old? Ridiculous.

Carmichael hails from Jacksonville, walked on at Southern University, and was drafted by the Eagles all the way back in 1971, back when the draft was 17 rounds long, and the NFL had 26 teams.

His stats? Impressive. We’re talking 8,978 yards and 79 touchdowns over 182 regular season games, plus an additional 465 yards and seven more touchdowns in seven playoff games. His achievements in the community? Equally so. The Eagles hired Carmichael as their “Director of Player and Community Relations” back in 1998, and he’s remained employed by the team ever since, even after formally retiring back in 2015.

And now? Now, Harold Carmichael is the latest member of the Philadelphia Eagles to join the Hall of Fame in Canton, and you’d best believe he gave a wonderful speech that should make anyone who calls the City of Brotherly Love home proud.

Carmichael further proved why he’s a Philadelphia Eagles’ all-timer in Canton.

Opening a star-studded evening filled with NFL all-timers young and old, Harold Carmichael took the stage sporting a very dashing gold blazer and the almost completely grayed hair of a former star who has cleared every hurdle one could dream of during his NFL career sans a Super Bowl Trophy.

After sitting through a very Philadelphia Eagles-centric video package filled with highlights that still impress to this day, Carmichael took the stage and delivered a fantastic speech that clocked in at six minutes and 14-seconds, which you can watch in its entirety here.

Don’t feel like watching the whole thing? Well, fear not, for the official @Eagles account on Twitter secured the best 51 seconds of the speech and shared it in embeddable form to maximize interactions.

See what I mean? Even at 71, Carmichael is still a certified gamer.

If Carmichael’s accomplishments were only on the field, he’d be an Eagles all-timer. Even 30-plus years later, the supersized receiver still holds the franchise records for catches, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns, with his name in the top-10 of a number of other categories like touchdowns in a single season and yards in a game. But for Carmichael, it was never about just football.

No, as his speech so eloquently points out, Carmichael wouldn’t have had the career he had without the friends, coaches, and family that stood by him along the way. No wonder he still serves as an ambassador for the team despite having retired a half-decade ago; there isn’t a player who better exemplifies what it means to be a member of the Philadelphia Eagles than Harold Carmichael.

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So Harold Carmichael, enjoy the weekend. You are undoubtedly one of the best Philadelphia Eagles players of all time, and if the franchise is wise, we’ll never see another player rock the number 17 around these parts again.