Marvin Harrison was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame tonight, but he wasn't in attendance at the NFL Honors show when the Class of 2016 was officially announced.
He wasn't at the subsequent press conference either, and in fact they called him in by phone but he didn't realize who it was at first until they brought Colts owner Jim Irsay up front to talk to him. CBS4's Mike Chappell, however, got ahold of Harrison by phone and spoke with him about the honor of being a Hall of Famer.
"It's definitely an honor," Harrison said. "It's definitely a privilege. It doesn't just happen. You don't take it for granted. You don't just wake up one day and say, ‘I'm a Hall of Famer.' You don't start off your career and say you're going to go to the Hall of Fame. You take it step by step and all of the pieces of the puzzle fell into place for me to where I was able to show my talent.''
Harrison certainly displayed that talent during a brilliant 13-year career with the Colts, as he is the Colts' all-time leader in receptions (1,102), receiving yards (14,580), and receiving touchdowns (128) while ranking in the top seven in NFL history in all three categories as well. For an eight-year stretch (1999-2006), Harrison recorded at least 1,000-yards and 10+ touchdowns in each season, putting up an insanely productive streak of elite-level play.
To Harrison, however, the Hall of Fame means more than simply those numbers. The recognition, Harrison said, "is a total accomplishment for everything I've done from when I was a kid until now. There is no better individual award than this."
Harrison's goal was bigger than simply an individual award - he wanted to win a world championship, something he was able to do as the Colts won Super Bowl XLI during the 2006 season. "My ultimate goal, which I told Jimmy [Irsay] in 1996, was I wanted to help bring a championship to Indianapolis," Harrison said. "I did that and I was with the same team for 13 years. I did everything I had to do for the team. At the end of the road, I was awarded with being a member of the Hall of Fame. But it didn't happen overnight. I'm just happy more for everyone else than I am for myself.''
Jim Irsay was the first person to receive a phone call from Harrison after the receiver found out he was elected to the Hall of Fame, as Harrison wanted to thank Irsay for everything the owner had done for him and Harrison wanted to share the moment with him.
It's certainly a tremendous moment for Jim Irsay and for Colts fans everywhere, as both Marvin Harrison and Tony Dungy have been elected to the Hall of Fame. It was an honor to watch them during their time with the Colts, and in turn they're now being honored as Hall of Famers.