NFL Removes St. Louis Reference From Orlando Pace’s Hall of Fame Speech
Orlando Pace was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame over the weekend in Canton, Ohio along with Tony Dungy, Brett Favre, Ediie De Bartolo, Kevin Greene and Marvin Harrison. Pace was drafted first overall by the St. Louis Rams in 1997 and played his entire career in St. Louis, helping Kurt Warner and the “Greatest Show on Turf” win Super Bowl XXXIV. Pace gave a impassioned speech thanking his teammates and the city of St. Louis. However, if you tried to watch the speech on YouTube via the NFL’s official account, you wouldn’t have known he even played in St. Louis.
The league uploaded a version of Pace’s speech to YouTube that had been edited to remove the St. Louis reference. As 101Sports broke it down, the original speech by Orlando Pace last 16 minutes and 49 seconds. The edited speech that was initially uploaded by the league clocked in at 8 minutes and 2 seconds.
After an outcry, the NFL has taken down the edited speech and uploaded the full version. They claimed technical difficulties. Those “technical difficulties” appear to have only affected Pace as even all 37:18 of Brett Favre’s speech managed to get uploaded right the first time.
Watch Orlando Pace’s full Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech below.
Orlando Pace Hall of Fame speech
Owner Stan Kroenke of course moved his St. Louis Rams to Los Angeles earlier this year. The city of St. Louis made a legitimate effort to keep the team, but the fix was obviously in. Kroenke, team executive vice president Kevin Demoff and head coach Jeff Fisher appear to have it in their heads that St. Louis fans didn’t support the team, forgetting that they put a horrible product on the field and doing whatever they could to alienate the community.
Demoff took a shot at St. Louis’ food scene, which was something Ian Froeb, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch‘s food critic, and several outlets had a field day with.
Jeff Fisher took a subtle dig at St. Louis, which led to KSDK’s Frank Cusumano biting back.
Stan Kroenke was brutal to St. Louis during the relocation process.
Kroenke clearly had his mind set on moving his team to Los Angeles. There was nothing the city of St. Louis could do, although the city’s efforts to keep the team was a great public relations move. Demoff has a cushy job and will do or say whatever he has to to please Stan, even if it completely undermines his credibility.
The NFL played along with the charade and helped the Rams at every turn. They even staged a Town Hall Meeting in St. Louis that made it appear that we had a chance to keep the Rams.
While the full story of the team’s move, the one that reveals just how much the NFL did to screw St. Louis, will likely never come out. ESPN did have a great story on the process, however.
The NFL took St. Louis’ team away to please Stan Kroenke and get a team in Los Angeles. They won, as they always do, and St. Louis lost. There’s no reason for the league to continue to take shots at St. Louis, but they did with this Pace incident.
But they still want you to watch NFL games on Sundays (which many will) and maybe even buy a Los Angeles Rams hat.
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