Former Eagles receiver Harold Carmichael inducted to Hall of Fame

Ed Benkin
January 16, 2020 - 9:47 pm
Philadelphia Eagles receiver (17) Harold Carmichael in action during the 1983 pre-season against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field.

Tony Tomsic/USA TODAY Sports

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Harold Carmichael wasn't about to take anything for granted.

With the NFL adding a centennial class to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, many of Carmichael's supporters believed it was finally his time to get the call from the Hall of Fame. The former Eagles wide receiver appeared to have all of the qualifications to reach the Hall of Fame and the push to get Carmichael in was stronger than ever. However, Carmichael was hardly sizing up his gold jacket.

"I didn't think I had it locked," said Carmichael. "I know I had a lot of competition. There were going to be a lot of great guys in that final 20 and the final 10. I knew there were going to be a bunch of guys that I had to really beat out. I was never confident. I was just hoping."

But the call came for Carmichael and his dream of making the Hall of Fame has come true. The former Eagle caught 590 passes in his career and nearly all came during his 13 seasons in Philadelphia.

While the NFL is currently in an age of pass-happy offenses, Carmichael played in a time where ball control was still the top priority for most offenses, but he was still one of the most dominant receivers of his time.

"I really wasn't looking at numbers," Carmichael said. "I don't know exactly how they went about doing it during the selection. It was not a lock for me. I didn't know if I was good enough. I knew I had tried to play my best and do the best that I could on the football field. It was not for me to say that I should be in the Hall of Fame."

Carmichael was able to tell his wife about the honor right after he received the phone call. He had to wait to tell the rest of his family and friends until it became official. 

He says keeping the secret from everyone, including his former coach, was one of the most difficult parts of the process.

"I couldn't say anything for almost 48 hours," said Carmichael. "I was sitting with Dick Vermeil for three hours Tuesday night. I couldn't say anything to him. It was killing me. I didn't tell anybody but my wife."

Now, the whole world knows Carmichael is a Hall-of-Famer. The fans of Philadelphia who watched Carmichael knew long before it became official. 

The fan favorite still has a host of supporters throughout the Delaware Valley and many of them witnessed Carmichael's accomplishments as they happened. Carmichael was more than happy to show his appreciation to the fans.

"I felt the love in the past 24 hours from the fans," Carmichael said. "My son said to my wife last night, 'Mom, I didn't know so many people loved dad like this.' She broke down and it was great for me to hear it also."