DALLAS, TEXAS—For some time now, Emmitt Smith knew he would enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the first ballot but what he didn't expect was the emotions that would follow his introduction.
Just before walking onto the stage at the Fort Lauderdale Convention Center to talk about "officially" becoming a Hall of Famer, Emmitt's father congratulated his son and gave him quite a compliment. Recalling that story brought out the tears in Smith. "He told me, you're living my dream," Smith said. "And all I could think about at that time, I'm living your dream, I'm fulfilling my dream, and I'm fulfilling God's purpose for me."
Smith was comforted on stage by Michael Irvin who was the second of "The Triplets" inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2007. Irvin felt relieved that this day finally arrived. "For me it's a completion for what we have considered to be "The Triplets". Many times in that huddle, I was Emmitt's roommate, we talked about some pretty crazy things together, dreams. From that perspective, like he said it is icing on the cake and I'm so happy that we could all be here to share in this moment," Irvin said. The first member of "The Triplets" to become a Hall of Famer was Troy Aikman in 2006 and he shared in Emmitt's proud moment. "It's something that we're all very excited about and proud about. You know we've been linked together ever since we got to Dallas and our careers have been intertwined over the course of 12 years and the fact that we all started out, struggled, had all of our successes together, and then reached the pinnacle of professional football in terms of being a member of the pro football hall of fame, it's special for each and every one of us," said Aikman.
The man responsible for putting all three together was also beaming with pride. Jerry Jones knows full well the special aspect of having the triplets together in the Hall of Fame. He created their first major post career honor by inducting all three of them into the Cowboys Ring of Honor in 2005 at halftime of the Cowboys vs. Redskins game. Now he'll feel just as sentimental when the bronze busts of all three men take their place in Canton, Ohio in August. "They are the face of those great teams," Jones said. "It's so right because of how hard they worked. Troy Aikman and his focus and Michael Irvin and what he would do to inspire everybody around him and Emmitt and his effort. Those guys do embody what those championship teams were about." Jones said.
So look forward to August 7th, 2010, when all three of the triplets will have yellow jackets and bronze busts as the triplets will be immortalized as one of the greatest combination of teammates in pro football history.