Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Tippett
Andre Tippett wore his red Patriots Hall of Fame sport coat and finished his speech with a line borrowed from former Patriots coach Raymond Berry: "Short speeches make for longtime friends."
The Pro Football Hall of Famer took the words of his mentor to heart during his Friday "Speaker Series" appearance at The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon. While Tippett kept his prepared remarks short, he took more than an hour to thoroughly answer questions posed to him by the audience. As the former Patriots linebacker explained, he wanted to devote as much time as possible to take the personal questions of the fans who supported him throughout his 11-season career in New England.
"It's great to be here today and see all of you here," Tippett said. "Like I tried to do in my Hall of Fame acceptance speech, I'd just like to say thank you to all of you. Without all the people back home, growing up, in Iowa, and here in New England, I never would have been able to accomplish anything."
Tippett talked about the experience of the week surrounding his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction, day-to-day life in the NFL and his path to Patriots stardom. The Patriots all-time sacks leader also spoke about the rigors of training camp, which current Patriots players will begin to endure this week, and how preparation for the regular season has changed in the NFL since the time he played.
He shared a colorful training camp memory, which also happened to be his first as he was "introduced" to Patriots running back Sam Cunningham in his rookie year.
"The offense called a run play so John Hannah came pulling around and my head started shifting back and forth," Tippett set the scene. "Then I looked straight and here came Sam [Cunningham]. And he hit me. Everybody on the sideline got quiet and all you heard was, 'Ooh.' That's all I heard when I was on the ground."
Tippett was just the latest in the "Speaker Series" at The Hall, which has hosted intimate one-on-ones with various luminaries associated with the Patriots, including recent appearances by Gino Cappelletti, Player Personnel Director Nick Caserio, Hannah and Gil Santos.
"Andre Tippett is such an inspirational man, both for his football accomplishments and commitment to the community," said Bryan Morry, executive director of The Hall at Patriot Place presented by Raytheon. "To have him take part in our Hall Speaker Series was wonderful for our fans. The Speaker Series gives football fans unique access to iconic Patriots figures in an intimate setting that allows the fans interaction they don't normally receive."
For future "Speaker Series" engagements, visit www.thehallatpatriotplace.com