Michael Irvin

Irvin's Hall of Fame Speech Saves Lives

Man, there's nothing like an inspirational Hall of Fame speech to revive a tarnished image. Two weeks ago, Michael Irvin was better known as the former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver who had a fondness for coke and hookers, and a one-time ESPN bobblehead who specialized in yelling inanities during the Sunday morning pregame show.

Now, after a rousing, emotional induction speech at Canton, Irvin is, overnight, a new man. At least in the eyes of potential employers, anyway.

And then there's this:
Michael Irvin's Hall of Fame speech was so stirring that it drew calls or text messages from Charles Barkley, Vivica A. Fox, Chris Rock and Kenyon Martin, among others. But the text message that pleased Irvin the most came from a man in New Mexico who once drove him to an appearance.

The man had considered ending his life, but after hearing Irvin, drove to church instead.


Gentler Irvin shows brand-new respect for Hall

CANTON, Ohio — When Michael Irvin visited Canton for the first time a few years ago, in town with the Dallas Cowboys to play in the NFL's preseason opener, he came with his signature brashness and a bold proclamation.

Seems that Irvin, at that time, wanted no part of touring the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He refused to see the museum and pay homage to the greats of the game.

Thought it was, well, too early — because he knew he'd be coming back.

"I won't go through the Hall," he roared back in 1999, "until I go into the Hall."

Michael Irvin enters Hall of Fame, flaws and all

Long path to glory for South Florida inductee

Michael Irvin enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame today as the first inductee from South Florida.

The landmark moment again marks how Florida has risen in prominence in a sport that just several decades ago was dominated by players from Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania and the Midwest.

Irvin is "humbled" by the Hall of Fame

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As Michael Irvin watched the Hall of Fame induction ceremony last year he pondered whether he would ever receive football's ultimate honor.

The man with limitless confidence on the field was riddled with doubts off of it.

"You've got to understand that class," he said. "John Madden, Troy Aikman, Harry Carson, Rayfield Wright, Warren Moon, Reggie White. That's what a Hall of Fame is.

"Those guys were great on the football field and off the football field. So to be honest with you, I doubted that I would ever do that."
Irvin's dream of stepping to the podium in Canton, Ohio will be realized Saturday when the former Dallas Cowboys receiver enters the hallowed hall with five other inductees.

A flawed man of the street, Michael Irvin rises to a flawless finish

PLANO, Texas - Lord knows he's still trying. Even 1,500 miles away. Even a quarter-century removed. Even with all the fame, the fortune, the three children attending the best schools and the 20,000-square-foot home with a movie theater, game room, two garages stuffed with luxury cars and the office he's sitting in now.

Look at him here. See for yourself how hard he's still trying: notebook open, pen in hand, phone to the ear for an hour now with his speech coach — or "voice-awareness teacher" — as Irvin calls him. Today's session involves some detail work on his Pro Football Hall of Fame speech, to be delivered Saturday in Canton, Ohio.

"Per-i-pher-al," Irvin, 41, says over the phone to the man in Los Angeles. "Is that better?"

Michael Irvin to donate $100,000 to school that 'made him into the man he is today'

Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin will donate $100,000 to his alma mater, St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, next week.

The Fort Lauderdale native will appear at a press conference at St. Thomas on Tuesday, along with longtime football coach and athletic director George Smith and other school officials, speaking about the donation and future plans.

School officials said in a press release the money will help pay for the expansion of athletic facilities already underway.

Irvin, 41, played at St. Thomas in the 1980s before winning a national championship at the University of Miami in 1987. He also won three Super Bowls with the Dallas Cowboys. He made five Pro Bowl appearances in the 1990s before retiring after the 1999 season.

Michael Irvin Rips Bill Parcells for Treatment of Terrell Owens

Former Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin is taking the side of his fellow Cowboys receiver, Terrell Owens, against former Cowboys coach Bill Parcells.

Specifically, Irvin doesn't like the way Parcells referred to Owens as "the player," rather than calling him by his name. Irvin had this to say to a local TV station, as reported by NFL Network:

"I think it's one of the most disrespectful things you can do. You go to work every day and your boss refuses to call you by your name ... you would have a problem with that. ... I wouldn't have liked playing for a head coach like that."

The one thing Irvin doesn't mention here is that he has a reason to have ill will toward Parcells: ESPN fired Irvin and hired Parcells this year.

Still, Irvin has a point: As great a coach as Parcells is, he has a propensity for acting like a jerk toward some of his players, and just because Owens is a bigger jerk, that doesn't make Parcells blameless.


NFL star has a new play for Broward - Former football star Michael Irvin is coming home to help revitalize the Broward area where he grew up.

Former Dallas Cowboy wide receiver Michael Irvin vividly recalls the shock of his two sons when they saw the modest Fort Lauderdale house where he grew up. They told him, ``Dad stop lying. You didn't grow up here.''

Those words from Michael, now 10, and Elijah, now 8, brought Irvin's memories of the past flooding back to him. It's a time of his life that Irvin admits he has been running away from ever since he graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale, received a football scholarship to the University of Miami and ultimately was drafted to play for the Dallas Cowboys.

''I wanted out of here so bad,'' said Irvin, who gets emotional recalling how he would never let his friends from St. Thomas visit his house off Northwest 27th Avenue near Dillard High School and always envied their fancier homes. ``I wanted better.''

Q&A with Michael Irvin

As well as he played - and he will enter the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August - the former St. Thomas Aquinas, University of Miami and Dallas Cowboys receiver talks an even better game. Staff writer Ethan J. Skolnick caught up with Irvin at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino for his Playmaker Charity Weekend.

Q: How are your poker skills?

A: "I'm not a great poker player. I'm not much for bluffing. I'm so pure and honest, it's ridiculous. This game requires an expertise in lying: lying and the ability to deceive and the art of deceit. Those are things that I haven't mastered, and I don't know if I really want to master, because it may take away from my broadcasting career. I make my living on telling it like it T-I-S, tis."

Q: Who is your Hall of Fame presenter?

A: "Jerry Jones. . . . In all my years, and I've been blessed, the reaction I got out of Jerry when I asked him to present me was one of the greatest things I have ever experienced. It was honest, it was pure, he was so excited, and my wife was so overjoyed, and there were tears shed in the room."

Q: The odds on you crying that day?

A: "I don't know. I'm learning more and more what it means to be a Hall of Famer. And I have used the Hall of Fame as a springboard, many a time. When I got tired, and I'd go, "Man, this is what it takes to be a Hall of Famer." And so I knew the enormity of it all, but I couldn't grasp it all until I got here and started going through it. So for me to tell you that I'm going to be in total control of my feelings.... I don't know what the happenings will be that day."

Q: Do you endorse UM moving to Dolphin Stadium?

A: "I love that we have the great tradition that we had in the Orange Bowl. Tradition means that we had great success there. But we cančt live on yesterday's success. Wečve got to enjoy it, remember it, appreciate the tradition, but we have to move forward to tomorrow's success. There's a business aspect to all of this."


Irvin counters with lawsuit against man who alleges assault

DALLAS — Hall of Fame receiver Michael Irvin has filed a countersuit against a contractor who alleges in his own lawsuit that the former Dallas Cowboys star grabbed his arm and injured him during a dispute over a $2,800 payment.

Irvin filed suit Tuesday against Shawn Vandergrift, whom Irvin hired to install a fountain at his Plano home, according to court records. Irvin's lawsuit claims extortion, duress and slander. The lawsuit also names Dominick Marsala, Vandergrift's lawyer.

Vandergrift's suit claims that Irvin grabbed the contractor and jerked his body as he tried leaving. Irvin had begun "screaming and shouting" after Vandergrift said he was owed payment for the work, according to Vandergrift's lawsuit.

The former wide receiver denies the assault allegations and claims Vandergrift's lawsuit is "an attempt to extort and coerce money from Irvin," according to his lawsuit.

Marsala said Vandergrift has passed a lie detector test in which his client was asked questions about the allegations.


Irvin's toss close enough to avoid embarrassing himself

ARLINGTON, Texas It seems everyone gave ex-Dallas Cowboy Michael Irvin the same advice about throwing out the first pitch today at the Texas Rangers home opener.
Don't mess up.

Irving -- having seeing replays of the nowhere-near-the-plate toss by Cincinnati's mayor -- vowed he'd at least come close.

That said, Irvin went to the mound at Rangers Ballpark In Arlington.

His high toss to the first-base side of the plate was close enough for him to smile and go into a victory pose.

It was Irvin's most prominent Dallas-Fort Worth appearance since being voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He received a standing ovation from about 40-thousand baseball fans.

Irvin also went to the owner's box to greet Rangers owner Tom Hicks and his guest: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

Irvin has selected Jones as his presenter at this summer's Hall of Fame ceremony.


Michael Irvin to throw first pitch - Former Dallas Cowboys star to toss in Rangers' home opener

ANAHEIM -- Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin has been selected to throw out the ceremonial first pitch for the Rangers at their home opener against the Boston Red Sox on Friday.

Standing room only tickets remain for the game, which starts at 1:05 p.m. CT at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Irvin played for three Super Bowl championship teams and will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame later this year. Former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman threw out the first pitch in 2001 and Emmitt Smith did the honors in 2003.

Irvin, the Cowboys' first-round draft pick in 1988, had a 12-year career with the Dallas Cowboys. In 1991, he led the league with 1,523 yards on 93 catches. From 1991-1998, Irvin recorded 1,000-yard seasons in all but one year.


Jerry Jones Will Introduce Michael Irvin in Canton

At FanHouse, we're all about news that casts Michael Irvin in a positive light. The latest: Irvin sounded as nervous as a high school kid getting ready to ask the prettiest girl in his class to the prom as he humbly requested that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones introduce him at his induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

"Would you..." an emotional Irvin stammered, "could you ... be my Hall of Fame presenter?"

Jones accepted. It's the first time he's made a Hall of Fame introduction, so he's got a long ways to go to catch up to Raiders owner Al Davis, who has introduced nine Oakland Raiders.

Irvin fulfills biggest wish of sick man

Betsy Crayon chokes up when she describes the look on her son's face when Michael Irvin walked into his bedroom. “This is so wonderful,” she said of the retired Dallas Cowboys wide receiver's visit to DeRidder Thursday to see Kevin Crayon, who is terminally ill with cancer.

When told of Kevin's condition earlier in the week, Irvin rearranged a scheduled trip to New York to surprise the 27-year-old who has been given the prognosis of six months to live.

Kevin told the future Pro Football Hall of Famer that he was “awesome” when Irvin sat by his bedside, bearing gifts of a Cowboys' hat and No. 88 jersey which he signed.

How Does Michael Irvin Rank Amongst the Top Receivers of All-Time?

Last week I wrote a couple of posts about methods for ranking the great wide receivers. Based on some good discussion in the comments following those posts, I’ve modified the method somewhat and am close to being comfortable calling it a Definitive Ranking System (as definitive as such things can ever be, anyway). But that’s a post for later in the week if all goes well.

For now I want to talk about the one guy who always appears near the top of these kinds of lists but who isn’t usually thought of as one of the all-time greats: Michael Irvin. Among all receivers whose careers started since the merger, Irvin ranked #2 in the receiving yardage category of the Gray Ink rating system I posted last week. He ranked #1 among all receivers debuting in 1978 or later according to this system that I posted back in May, and he ranked #7 among all receivers debuting since 1970 in my favorite WR ranking system EVER (though I admit it’s one that probably doesn’t produce the “best” rankings, it’s the one I like best in theory).

Irvin’s prime was something to behold:

Michael Irvin, ESPN part ways

FORT WORTH, Texas - Michael Irvin has lost his ESPN gig, barely two weeks after being elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The Cowboys' all-time leading receiver spent four years as an NFL studio analyst for the all-sports network.

ESPN decided Friday "as part of an annual evaluation" not to exercise an option in Irvin's contract, it was confirmed Saturday.

"Michael Irvin will not be returning to ESPN," said network spokesman Bill Hofheimer.

"We thank him for his contributions and wish him well."

Update: Irvin Parts Ways with ESPN

Two weeks after his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Michael Irvin is out of work. Irvin and ESPN have officially parted ways, ESPN spokesman Bill Hoffheimer said Saturday.

"Michael will not be with us this fall," Hoffheimer said.

Hoffheimer stressed that Irvin had not violated any contractual morals clause. Irvin has been a regular on ESPN's two primary NFL studio shows, Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night NFL Countdown.

"This was a decision that came from our annual review," Hoffheimer said.

Irvin was not immediately available for comment.



February 9, 2007 -- This week, NYP TV Sports' Andrew Marchand spoke with ESPN NFL analyst Michael Irvin. The 40-year-old Irvin last week was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Q: What was your reaction when you heard the news?

A: I was totally elated. I was overjoyed. I had gone through two years of getting to that point and then not making it. And I was expecting the best, but getting absolutely the worst.

Q: Let's fast-forward 12 months from now. Who is the Super Bowl champion and who is it they beat?

A: I think once you get to this point and you feel confident and comfortable with who you are, it makes it easier to repeat when you know you are this good. I'm thinking maybe Indianapolis repeating. This time they will be playing, and probably even beating, the Dallas Cowboys.

Michael Irvin's Top 5 Games Video Highlights

Check out Highlights and commentary on the top 5 games of Michael Irvin's career. Click at the top on NFL U Video Highlights or click here!

Irvin so happy he could bust

MIAMI BEACH -- Michael Irvin and his wife, Sandy, were watching the Hall of Fame announcements on television, and the suspense was building.

"I was taking deep breaths and praying. I thought that I was going to have a heart attack," Sandy Irvin said.

After the list went from 17 to 10 to six, Gene Hickerson, an offensive guard with the Cleveland Browns (1958-73), had his name read.

"I know the alphabet," Irvin said. "When I heard `H,' I was like, `OK, I is next.' Whew! I was so afraid they were going to skip over the I's."

SKOLNICK: Irvin receives his place in Canton, showing voters didn't drop the ba

HOLLYWOOD -- The news spread to Diplomat Landing, where Dallas Cowboys luminaries Troy Aikman and Jerry Jones had been scheduled to appear at Leigh Steinberg's Saturday party if something historic hadn't come up.

Even without Aikman and Jones around, you could find someone to tell you a Michael Irvin story, since few played football in South Florida at any level without experiencing a Playmaker moment.

"We were playing Florida State my sophomore year, and we were on the last drive, and we were going down to hit [Jeremy] Shockey, and I had an incompletion to Reggie Wayne in the corner of the end zone," former University of Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey said. "And I look over to the sideline to get the next play, and Michael Irvin is there, just yelling, `Just give him a chance! Just give him a chance!'"

Third time's the charm for Michael Irvin

MIAMI - A few years ago, Michael Irvin returned to the tiny, three-bedroom house he shared with his parents and 16 brothers and sisters on Northwest 28th Avenue in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

His sons, Michael and Elijah, did not believe their father grew up there. Outside on the street, Irvin could still see the green lines he painted for a makeshift football field.

From that scratchy pavement to Texas Stadium, Irvin built himself into a Hall of Famer.

On Saturday, less than an hour from where he grew up and minutes from where he starred at the University of Miami, Irvin was selected for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, becoming the 10th member of the Cowboys organization to receive the honor.

Irvin finally receives coveted Hall pass

MIAMI - Nobody does joy better than Mike Irvin. Nor does anybody do charisma better. He was a special football player as a big-game, big-time receiver, and also always a guy blessed with a unique personality while being cursed by well-chronicled off-the-field demons.

Here Saturday afternoon, the joy and the charisma over flowed.

After two years of knocking on the door of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, only to be rejected, this time Irvin gained entrance.
Michael's reaction was gracious, articulate and thankful. He did himself proud with his humble "thank yous" Saturday.

For Irvin, Hall election is `worth the wait'

MIAMI - It was a humbled Michael Irvin who saw his journey to football immortality come full circle on Saturday.

What began just up the road in Fort Lauderdale, where his brothers marked off yard markers in the street with chalk, ended at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Irvin, the Cowboys' all-time leading receiver and the heart and soul of three Super Bowl title teams, was voted in as one of six members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2007.

He acknowledged with regret the role his past problems played in the process.

Irvin, Kooch hope Hall of Fame calls

Two NFL greats with strong South Florida ties hope their Hall of Fame dreams finally become reality Saturday.

Former UM and Cowboys receiver Michael Irvin -- again among the 15 finalists for the Pro Football HOF in his third year of eligibility -- said being elected while in South Florida for the Super Bowl ``would blow my mind, with all my brothers and sisters and university there. That is my home.

``The experience of walking the Hall with [inductee Troy Aikman] last year was incredible, and now it's even more important to me. I have 8- and 9-year old boys now, and we eat, sleep and breathe football. It makes me want to get in that much more .''

Irvin said being passed over two years ago ''was pretty devastating. I cried myself to sleep.'' Last year, he joked with ''as big an ego as I have,'' he would have loved to be inducted with Troy. He spoke of what would be the ''depth of disappointment'' if he's passed over Saturday.