Isaac Bruce’s Hall of Fame speech was dripping with righteous vindication: ‘How ya like me now?’

Isaac Bruce's Hall of Fame speech was dripping with righteous vindication: 'How ya like me now?'


Well, how do you like him now?

Isaac Bruce is now a Hall of Famer, and the quiet NFL star went about his business as a wideout for the Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf” era in the late ’90s. But long before he was catching TDs from fellow Hall of Famer Kurt Warner, the league was supposedly suspect on his chances on the gridiron.

During the 2021 Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony, Bruce took time to remind the “nameless voice” who told him NFL teams didn’t care for his chances in the draft and that he, in fact, made it, in a few sentences that were dripping with vindication:

To the nameless voice that called me two weeks before the draft in 1994 to let me know that the NFL wasn’t checking for me. They didn’t like me. They liked more of NFL legends Bert Emanuel and Ryan Yarborough. I know you’re alive. I know you’re listening. I prayed for God would keep you alive for this day. So my message to you is — rap legend Kool Moe Dee wanted me to ask you: “How ya like me now?”

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Interestingly enough, Bruce wasn’t an undrafted player or a late-round selection: He did go in the second round to St. Louis, though five wide receivers were selected before him in the 1994 NFL Draft. None of the five who went before him are Hall of Famers.

Also worth noting is the fact that both Yarborough and Emanuel were selected after him in the draft, at picks No. 41 and 46 respectively, to the Jets and Falcons. Bruce was the No. 33 overall pick. Interesting that Bruce was petty enough to slather sarcasm all over “NFL legends” Emanuel and Yarborough.

Yarborough flamed out in the NFL, playing just four years in the NFL after a prolific college career. Emanuel would fair a little bit better, catching 28 touchdowns in his brief career.

With Bruce, Warner, Marshall Faulk and Orlando Pace all enshrined in the Hall of Fame, those late ’90s Rams squads are now immortalized. Next up, Torry Holt?

Should Holt get in, let’s hope he has a speech doubly as petty as Bruce’s.


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