Bobby Bell writes epic graduation speech


Last week, Hall of Fame and Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Bobby Bell graduated from the University of Minnesota at the age of 74. It’s an incredible story, considering how successful Bell was post-college, that he decided to finish up his degree. It shows great dedication and work ethic, two things that shined through during his illustrious career.

Over at The MMQB, Bell was asked by Peter King to write a graduation speech, giving advice to the class of 2015. Bell penned a terrific piece, something you should all read regardless of age. Here’s a snippet:

"However, one thing was always missing. I have rooms full of plaques and trophies, but I did not have my college diploma. When I was 18 and left my home in Shelby, N.C., I told my father I would complete my education. When I was declared for the 1963 AFL draft, I was 17 credits shy of completing my degree. Then football happened, and life happened, and I never went back. My father died, and my mother died, and every year I told myself, “This is the year.”"

Perhaps some of you reading this are young and don’t know who Bell was as a player. Bell played for the Chiefs from 1963–74 and made it to the Pro Bowl nine times with five, First-Team All-AFL selections. Bell also was on the NFL’s All-Decade 1970s team, despite only playing until 1974 and having his best years in the ’60s.

Former Kansas City head coach and Hall of Famer Hank Stram once said that Bell could have played all 22 positions on the field and played them well. Perhaps the most incredible statistic of his career, Bell registered 40 unofficial sacks (the stat wasn’t official until 1982) and 26 interceptions. Think about how many great defensive backs don’t log that many picks. Bell also scored nine touchdowns in his career, including an onside kick being returned for a score.

Congrats to Bell, well deserved.