With a stage filled with record holders, one more NFL record could be set on Saturday night. Ray Lewis will give a speech upon being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and many think he will contend for the longest speech record.
That mark his held by Packers quarterback Brett Favre, who went unscripted for 36 minutes in 2016 and delivered one of the best speeches in Hall of Fame history. He joked about his comebacks, thanked his entire family, and talked in length about his relationship with his father.
“This is tougher than any third-and-15,” Favre said in an attempt to choke back tears. Favre’s father passed away in 2003, and it was national news when Favre started for the Packers on Monday Night Football the next day. It was an iconic moment in Favre’s career, as he passed for 399 yards and four touchdowns in a Packers win.
Can Lewis break 36 minutes? Favre’s improvisation definitely factored into the length of the speech. Lewis has told people that he’s written and practiced his speech, and it won’t come close to even the 30-minute mark.
During the Hall of Fame Game, Cris Carter asked Lewis how long his speech will be. Watch Carter’s incredulous reaction when he hears Lewis clocked it at only 22 minutes:
Lewis says that even if he pushed it, the speech would top out at 25 minutes. Carter reminds him that although he might have practiced the speech live, the experience of reading it on stage will be completely different.
The exact mark for Lewis to hit is 36 minutes and 28 seconds. It only narrow beat the previous record of 2014, when Michael Strahan set the pace with a 34-minute speech.
That’s the real reason Lewis is going last. They want to be able to shut the lights off if he goes too late. Lewis will be the seventh and final speaker at the Enshrinement Ceremony on Saturday.