Watch: Buccaneers’ Rondè Barber HOF Induction


Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ legend Ronde Barber was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame Saturday. The man with the million dollar smile known as Mr. Buccaneer is now immortalized in Canton.

“I was not Darrelle Revis,” Barber stated during his acceptance speech. “Trust me, I was not that guy. But not all of us are anointed, right, or are can’t-miss prospects, proclaimed to be future Hall-of-Famers on Day One of our career. In fact, most guys are quietly fighting that real crisis of confidence, wondering if you’re good enough. And there were plenty of doubts about me. Now that I’m here, I think I owe a very small thanks, to those of you who, for whatever reasons, questioned [me], either undervalued, underestimated [or] underappreciated me. It gave me the motivation to not only outwork my peers but to be better than the expectations of me.”

“I’m not going to stand up here today and give you ordinary, because I was not an ordinary cornerback,” stated Barber. “I stand here amongst these legends of the game, remembering a time when I was never imagined to be a Pro Football Hall of Famer. My rookie year…no, my second year in the league I was literally just hoping [General Manager] Rich McKay wasn’t going to cut me. I’ve come a long way in 26 years.”

“I set out to be uncommon,” Barber talking about the early days. “I never set out to be one of the best 371 players in professional football. If anything, I wanted to do things that others either could not or would not do. That defined my career. And amongst my peers, I really felt like I had to do more to be equal. Do uncommon things. Find legendary.”

“Let’s face it, I was, what, ‘too small, too slow, just a system cornerback’ – somebody still needs to tell me what that is because I don’t know,” stated Barber. “It’s easy to be marginalized when you’re surrounded by Hall of Fame defenders – Sapp, Brooks, Lynch, our man Simeon Rice. They all grabbed a lot of headlines, and early in my career I was simply overlooked. And again, it was the doubt that most bothered me, but it also provided me that fuel, and it sent me to work angry. I was never going to be satisfied just being a guy. I wanted to prove everyone wrong, and ordinary was not an option.”

“I can stop being an angry worker,” Barber continued. “I can actually stop trying to prove everyone wrong. Come a long way in 26 years. After today, there will be 23 corners in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and I’m not like any one of them…because I couldn’t be. I’m here because I refused to just be a guy. Ordinary was not an option.

“And I learned something along the way in the NFL – it’s a special place, man. No matter where you come from, no matter where your journey started, no one gets to define you but you. This league rewards you if you dare to be uncommon and chose to be a little extraordinary.”

Ronde Barber’s path to Canton wasn’t typical. From almost being cut, to becoming “extraordinary”, Barber made sure you knew AND remembered his name.

Quotes in this article were taken from

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