Carmichael to Canton; Eagles Legend Finally Gets the Nod
PHILADELPHIA (973espn.com) - It took far longer than it should have with past accomplishments getting lost to new followers of a different era of professional football but legendary Eagles receiver Harold Carmichael was finally earmarked for the Pro Football Hall of Fame where he will be enshrined this summer, along with the 19 others, in the expanded centennial class of 2020.
The 6-foot-8 Carmichael snared his last pass for the Eagles in 1983 and over the ensuing 37 years as the league became more pass-happy too many conflated modern statistics with those in different eras.
When you judge Carmichael with his peers you'll see he was one of the most dominant WRs of his era, hauling in 589 receptions for 8,985 yards and 79 touchdowns, numbers that amazingly hold up as Philadelphia franchise records.
"Congratulations to Harold Carmichael on being selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame," Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie said in a statement. "Our entire organization is so proud to see Harold earn this well-deserved honor."
Carmichael, of course, was a physical marvel with length and a catching radius that was unmatched, He one led the entire NFL in receptions, receiving yards and touchdowns over a decade period from 1973-83.
"Harold revolutionized the wide receiver position and became one of the most productive players of his era and in the history of our franchise," Lurie said. "He was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 1987 and his records will always rank among the all-time greats, but Harold's true contributions to our game extend far beyond his on-field accomplishments."
Carmichael has remained a steady presence around the NovaCare Complex over the years and remains a part of the Eagles family on a day-to-day basis.
"Harold has served as a role model, mentor, and friend to so many during his four-plus decades in Philadelphia as a player, executive, and ambassador," Lurie explained. "He is a one-of-a-kind person who loves this organization, who loves this city and its fans, and who treats everyone with dignity and respect."
A four-time Pro Bowl selection and three-time All-Pro Carmichael was originally a seventh-round pick out of Southern University in 1971. He joins nine others previously overlooked in the centennial class: offensive tackle Jim Covert, safety Bobby Dillon, safety Cliff Harris, offensive tackle Winston Hill, defensive tackle Alex Karras, safety Donnie Shell, offensive tackle Duke Slater, end Mac Speedie, and defensive end Ed Sprinkle.
Bill Cowher and Jimmy Johnson are the two coaches getting enshrined while NFL Films' president Steve Sabol, former Giants general manager George Young, and former commissioner Paul Tagliabue, will be enshrined as contributors.
The final five modern-era inductees will be announced on February 1 in Miami, the night before the Super Bowl.
-John McMullen covers the Eagles and the NFL for 973espn.com. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @JFMcMullen