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Jim Irsay On Marvin Harrison: "I Don't Think I Know A Fiercer Competitor"

Intro: Jim Irsay’s presentation of Marvin Harrison into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night described a competitor that the Colts Owner has yet to see be matched in nearly 50 years around the NFL.


CANTON, Ohio. – There are more than 300 members in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Jim Irsay is a believer that if the immortal football lore had levels, Marvin Harrison would be at the top.

"I've almost seen a half century of players in this league," Irsay said on Saturday night in his presentation of Harrison into the Hall, "and I mean this when I say it, I don't think I know a fiercer competitor.

"This guy, his fire that burned in him was so hot, it would burn you if you got any closer. This guy had something in him that drove him."

That path now has a stop in Canton, Ohio.

On Saturday night, Harrison led off the Class of 2016 inductees with Irsay presenting No. 88.

When the Colts took Harrison 19th overall in the 1996 NFL Draft, no one could have envisioned a career that developed.

"We saw this undersized guy at Syracuse, named Marvin Harrison and we thought he could be an excellent punt returner," Irsay said.

"He was a little undersized. Had outstanding speed. (But) little did we know, what we were drafting."

2016 Hall of Fame Enshrinement at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium

The Colts got 13 years of excellence from Harrison.

A 143-catch campaign in 2002, still stands alone today for the NFL's most catches in a single-season.

Harrison had eight consecutive seasons of at least 1,000 yards and 10 touchdowns, also unmatched in the NFL.

Those who watched on Sunday saw the artist that was Harrison.

The Colts were the lucky ones---getting a chance to see the work behind closed doors.

"When he took the practice field, it was serious time," Irsay says.

"Marvin's comment always was, which echoes in our building forever, 'They pay me to practice. The games are free. The games are on me.'"

On Saturday night, Harrison became the first Indianapolis Colt to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame after spending his entire career in Indy.

Before the days of Peyton, Edgerrin and Tony, it was an undersized kid from Philadelphia who got it all started for a run that no NFL team has equaled.

"I'm so thankful to Marvin," Irsay closed with on Saturday.

"I owe a great deal of gratitude and thanks for setting an example for our young players growing up."

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