Sharpe's Final Goodbye

Denver Broncos tight end Shannon Sharpe addressed the media for one final time at Dove Valley on Thursday. Sharpe officially announced his retirement to accept a position on the CBS 'NFL Today' show recently left vacant when Deion Sanders failed to reach a contract agreement with the network.

On Thursday, June 3rd the mouth that roared returned to Dove Valley. 

Returned, not only for a scheduled media press conference, but also for a final workout. It was the type of workout that only someone with as much dedication and perseverance as Shannon Sharpe could endure. Eight hours of bench-presses, dumbbells and cardio conditioning.  

A quick shower later and Sharpe was ready to address the media for one final time as a member of the Denver Broncos

His spotlight only slightly delayed by team owner Pat Bowlen, who praised the tight end for nearly fourteen-years of contributions to the Broncos organization.

"What do you say about the greatest tight end to ever play football?" Bowlen said. "It was a question I asked myself this week when I knew this press conference was coming up.  There's really not a lot to say.  I don't think there's any dispute that Shannon was the best to play that position.

"It's nice to know that we will have another player in the Hall of Fame.  It took us 44 years to get the first one.  Hopefully it will only take us five more to get the next one.  I'll be very happy to see that day, Shannon, because I know you're going to be there."

Suddenly the mouth turned humble, almost demure in his address.

"Right now it doesn't seem that hard, because if I had come back, yesterday would have been the first day of practice," Sharpe told reporters.

"Nothing's really changed. When I'm going to start to realize that it's over - that it's never going to happen again - is July and August, because for 26 years every July and August, I got a helmet and some shoulder pads and some cleats, and I got ready for football.  This July and August, it won't be shoulder pads and helmets and cleats, it'll be shirt and tie."

"And I'm going to miss it. I know I'm going to miss it."

As the throngs of teammates, friends and media looked on, the conclusion was evident: we were all going to miss Shannon Sharpe.

Miss his determination, his dedication and his talents.

But most of all I suppose we're going to miss Shannon's greatest asset.

We're going to miss his mouth.

More Stories on Shannon Sharpe's Farewell

Sharpe Bids Farewell - - Andrew Mason
Thursday, June 3, 2004 - Old habits are hard to break. When Shannon Sharpe returned to Dove Valley for his final press conference before joining the media masses, he didn't address the gathered throng until 2 p.m. But he was in the building nearly eight hours earlier, pushing himself in the weight room just as he did morning upon morning for 14 years. Sharpe may be retiring. But he certainly isn't the retiring type.

Broncos' Sharpe says goodbye -
Thursday, June 03, 2004 - Shannon Sharpe said today there was no doubt in his mind at the end of last season that he'd return to play for the Denver Broncos another year. But at his last news conference at Broncos headquarters this afternoon, Sharpe said Denver will always be home - even though there's been a change of plans.

Shannon Sharpe Makes Retirement Official - The Mercury News
Thu, Jun. 03, 2004 - Shannon Sharpe always had something to say during a record-setting NFL career that spanned 14 seasons. He wasn't about to clam up Thursday when he formally announced his retirement. "I've always liked to talk and it's who I am," said Sharpe, who is leaving the Denver Broncos to become a member "The NFL Today" show on CBS. "I've always had something to say and knew what I was talking about."

Broncos give official goodbye to Sharpe - The Mercury News - Frank Schwab, Colorado Springs Gazette
Thu, Jun. 03, 2004 - When Shannon Sharpe decided to retire and be a television broadcaster, the on-the-field loss for the Denver Broncos was substantial. But Thursday's press conference at the Broncos' Dove Valley headquarters, Sharpe's official farewell, was more about what the Broncos will lose as an organization without Sharpe around anymore.

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