Earl "The Tyler Rose" Campbell
Remarks on the Dedication of 'Earl Campbell Field'
delivered 2 September 2006, Tyler, TX
[AUTHENTICITY CERTIFIED: Text version below transcribed directly from audio]
Hey, it's amazing you guys could stand that long, or sit that long till I get over here. But I would like to say on behalf of the Campbell family, the Smith family¹, Trinity Mother Francis Hospital -- I tell you what, by God, when you say, "Earl, you're welcome home," you're welcome home. I say: Say it ain't so. But when you throw a party, you throw a party. And I hope -- And I've done this at every level; I just kind of kept my mouth quiet and kept it to myself -- that I l hope I live up to what Trinity Mother Francis Hospital expects out of me. And I thank all of you all for coming because you all could be doing something else.
Now, let's get down to something. I have a 82-year-old Mrs. Campbell² and I have another Mrs. Campbell that beared [sic] our two boys. Unfortunately, one of the boys can't be here because he's "Earl Campbell" -- or he wants to be Earl Campbell.
And I tell you, there's been a lot said and there's been a lot done, but I played with a great group of guys over the years at every level. And it all started at a little place called "Jones Valley." And all of you all here probably know her because she was our quarterback. Ya'll know her by the nickname of "Goat." That was our quarterback.
And I want you all to know that there ain't nothing can be done in life without that Man up there. I never really say very much, except for to myself. I just look and listen all of the time. But I tell you what: He's a mighty good God. And He's not there just sometime [sic] -- He's there all the time. And I learned that at Hopewell Valley Baptist Church many years ago from a lady called Ann Campbell. And I can remember when it was so many kids in the family, we'd go to the revivals and somebody would urinate on theirself [sic], and we had these wooden floors in the church and it would go all the way down. But the deal in the family was if you wanted to play football on Sunday after church with "Goat," you had to go to church on Sunday morning. And that is what it's all about.
Everybody wonder -- these two people over here, my wife and son -- they've been wondering over the years, "What's different about dad?" "He's got a bad back. We understand that, but [there's] just something different." You ever met a person like that? That [there's] just something different? Well, when I was right there on that football field, and a long time before that football field, God gave Lynn King a talent; he gave Michael Johnson a talent; he gave Larry Hartsfield a talent. But He says, you know I'm going to pick one. Thank you, God. You picked a good one.
And I owe something to the city of Tyler. And David Smoak, when he came to interview me, I told him -- and if you're big enough to say something, you got to be big enough to do this -- I told him, I say, "David Smoak, let me tell you something. The city of Tyler doesn't owe me anything; I doesn't [sic] owe the city of Tyler anything." I said that. But I'm going to tell you something: We are in debt to each other. I'm from here. I'm not afraid to say, "I'm sorry." I didn't really mean that. We owe each other something -- if it's nothing but respect.
Now I want these young men that's going to play on our field over the years -- take good care of it.
Trinity Mother Francis: Thank you so much for choosing a guy like me.
File photo taken from Tyler Morning Telegraph online
Campbell's John Tyler H.S. Highlights
¹Campbell's wife, Reuna, is the former Miss Smith. The two were married in 1980.
²Ann Campbell, Earl's mother.
³Campbell has two sons with Reuna: Earl Christian II (b. 1981) and Tyler Christian (b.1986).
Audio/Video Source: KLTV, Tyler TX
Images #1-#4 Source: Screenshots from Video
Page Updated: 9/25/17
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