He made the Hall of Fame.
I looked for a picture that defined Michael Irvin and couldn’t find one. When people say he was the heart and soul of the Dallas Cowboys in the 90s, these are not idle words. But I couldn’t find a picture that really showed one of those lightning bolt moments, though there were many.
Whether it’s a book or a movie or music, I respond to emotion and passion. And Michael Irvin is sheer passion, emotion, energy. I’ve never seen a player who looked so much like music in motion on the field, whose passion fed everyone around him, whose energy could sometimes lift a team from defeat to victory. Cowboy fans saw it happen many times. That’s who he is, what he was, and I’m glad those who hold the keys were satisfied to spank him twice, and then let him in.
If only they’d done the same for Bob Hayes before he died. If only they’d do so now.
And of course, the fabulous Drew Pearson deserves to be in the Hall more than so many who have been voted in ahead of him. All anybody had to do to get voted in from the 70s was wear a Steelers uniform. The Cowboys with their impressive two Super Bowls in the same era only got, what, three in? I’d have to look it up, but it’s a shoddy showing compared to what lesser teams from the same era got. (I’m not saying the Steelers were a lesser team, but I’m definitely saying lesser players from the Steelers are in the Hall.)
So, one out of three. Michael made it, and I know a lot of happy people. The Resident Storm Chaser and I were out at Carraba’s today eating Italian (delicioso!) and I mentioned to the waiter that Irvin made it in. His mouth fell open — he was delighted. And behind me I heard gasps, and beside me I heard gasps, and looked up to see table around me where people were staring, beginning to smile, to grin. “He did? He really did?”
“If LT did, they have NO reason to keep Michael out,” one woman huffed.
And suddenly, instead of isolated tables of quiet diners, we were community, and celebrating, and it was joyous.
Michael made it in, and I am glad.
And this is the picture I found. Not what I was looking for, but it does speak volumes in its own quiet way. What does a tough football player do when one of his teammates leaves the field injured?
Well, this is what Michael did to Kevin Mathis.*
Kiss it, make it better?
One out of three?
It’s a start.
*Photo credit: John F. Rhodes, Dallas Morning News