Emmitt Smith apologies for omitting Gators

By Adam Silverstein
August 8, 2010

From the moment his Pro Football Hall of Fame speech concluded Saturday night, speculation surrounded running back Emmitt Smith’s omission of the Florida Gators when discussing his career and progression to the NFL.

Did he purposely snub the University of Florida, or did he accidentally forget to mention them due to the emotion and importance of the evening?

Smith took the first step in making amends Sunday, answering the questions head-on via four posts on his Twitter account. The following quote is an edited summary of his tweets:

Thanks for all of the good wishes about the Hall of Fame…need to say a special hello to my Gator Nation. I sincerely, sincerely apologize for not mentioning you last night in my Hall of Fame speech, Gator Nation. I just got caught up in everything. Pleaase charge it to my mind, not my heart! Once a Gator always a Gator. I loved everything the University of Florida gave me.

The Gators’ Ring of Honor member was also interviewed during Sunday’s Pro Football Hall of Fame preseason game between the Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals. He once again recognized Florida when prompted by Al Michaels:

“Technically my speech was supposed to be less than 20 minutes, so I stretched it out to 24…and I forgot one most important ingredients: my Gator Nation. And I sincerely apologize for not recognizing the University of Florida and Urban Meyer and Jeremy Foley and all of the Gator Nation. Because the Gator Nation truly helped me get on the platform on the collegiate level which led to where I’m at right now here in Canton.”

Smith concluded his interview segment with a Gator Chomp.


  1. O-town Gator says:

    So, is everybody happy now?

  2. Gatorbuc15 says:

    There was no need for you to apolagize Emmit.

  3. Albert 1980 says:

    Emmitt is a great Gator and we need to give him a break!

  4. judy says:

    “dislike button”…..he is amazed at the dislike for him from so many in the gator nation after his speech….so, I think not! He is arrogant….and while a good player….lacks character….not trying to back pedal…..:(

  5. LadyGator says:

    Whatever! I don’t believe that…how can you forget UF and he even came back to finish his career.

  6. LadyGator says:

    I mean degree

  7. GatorGracedByGod says:

    I think his apology was sincere tonight. It always brings chills to me when I hear our wonderful Gator nation being mentioned on national television, especially from a H.O.F.er

  8. UF Warren says:

    I missed his speech yesterday, but it was nice to get home tonight right before halftime and turn my TV on and see Emmitt talking about the University of Florida. I immediately uploaded it to YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Y_CGTUMwHo

    Go Gators!


    Judy…..you are insane. He lacks character?! Did you even hear his speech?! Far and away the best HOF speech I’ve ever heard. Emmitt oozes character, integrity and class. And you are saying all of those hateful things because he didn’t mention the Gators? Who cares, he’s in the HOF because of what he did in Dallas. And if you saw his Homecoming special, he did the Gator chomp and mentioned UF several times. Plus he did it tonight at the HOF game and on Twitter. Give the guy a break. He’s a class act, a legend and a man of integrity. Show some respect.

  10. kelsey says:

    i accept his apology. he did great stuff for us. and hes a gator great. at least he apologized to us. emmitt you rock. and go gators.

  11. Good job Warren. Missed the Gator Chomp at the end though. 🙂

  12. GatorKnight says:

    Does anyone remember seeing film of Emmitt playing for UF during Jerry Jones introduction or any of the HOF program? Still think the omission was a mistake?

  13. Knight- Didn’t have to post the comment three times. No, didn’t see any video of him at UF…but it was his Pro Football induction, not college.

  14. bhipp says:

    Gator Nation sure got a lot more attention (and Emmitt love) with his omission and subsequent apology……………..

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