Harold Carmichael Elected into Hall of Fame

Ed Kracz

It finally happened. Harold Carmichael is going into the NFL Hall of Fame.

That it took this long, and required a vote from the league’s Centennial Slate of Inductees to make it happen, doesn’t matter now. A wrong was finally righted.

Carmichael had a better career in terms of sheer numbers than some already in the Hall of Fame. He will be inducted as part of an expanded class of 20 new members that coincides with the NFL’s 100 season celebration.

Carmichael had never won a championship, and that may have been a reason he hadn't gotten in previously, as some receivers have. He was, however, a member of the Eagles' 1980 team that made it to the Super Bowl, but lost to the Jim Plunkett-led Oakland Raiders.

"Congratulations to Harold Carmichael on being selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame," said Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie. "Our entire organization is so proud to see Harold earn this well-deserved honor. Harold revolutionized the wide receiver position and became one of the most productive players of his era and in the history of our franchise. He was inducted into the Eagles Hall of Fame in 1987 and his records will always rank among the all-time greats, but Harold's true contributions to our game extend far beyond his on-field accomplishments.

"Harold has served as a role model, mentor, and friend to so many during his four-plus decades in Philadelphia as a player, executive, and ambassador. He is a one-of-a-kind person who loves this organization, who loves this city and its fans, and who treats everyone with dignity and respect. We are excited to celebrate this honor with Harold and his family."

In addition to setting a then-NFL record with 127 consecutive games with a reception from 1972-1980, Carmichael led all NFL wide receivers in receptions (549), receiving yards (8,414), and receiving TDs (77) from 1973-83.

A seventh-round draft pick from Southern University, Carmichael remains the Eagles’ all-time leader in career receptions (589), receiving yards (5,879), and receiving touchdowns (79) knows that he put together an incredible resume at a time when defensive backs were permitted to physically engage receivers up and down the field.

He played in 180 games, with a franchise-record tying 162 in a row.

At 6-8, Carmichael was the first of the big-bodied receiver.

During his career with the Eagles from 1971-83, Carmichael led the NFL with a franchise-record 589 receptions. In that span, his 589 receptions were 28 more than the next closest NFL player, Pro Football Hall of Famer Charlie Joiner (561).

By the end of his Eagles career in 1983, Carmichael was tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff for the fifth-most receptions (589) in NFL history. The four players ahead of him on the list at the time – Charley Taylor, Don Maynard, Raymond Berry, and Joiner – are also all Pro Football Hall of Famers.

Also, by the time his Eagles career ended, Carmichael was tied with Taylor for seventh-most receiving touchdowns. Five of the six players ahead of hi on the list – Don Hutson, Don Maybard, Lance Alworth, Paul Warfield, and Tommy McDonald – are also Hall of Famers.

Here are more of Carmichaels accomplishments:

  • Four-time Pro Bowl selection (1973, 1978, 1979, 1980)
  • Member of the NFL’s 1970s All-Decade Team
  • Three-time Second-Tem All-Pro (1973, 1979, 1980)
  • 1980 NFL Man of the Year