Behind the Bronze: Fred Dean

11/22/2011


Only 267 bronze busts reside in the Hall of Fame Gallery inside the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. They "immortalize" the greatest players, coaches, and contributors that this game has produced. Each week during the 2011 NFL Season we will sit down for a Q&A with one of these legends.

Fred Dean, Class of 2008



Fred Dean's Hall of Fame bio>>>

HOBBIES:
My main hobby is teaching the word of God.

LAST BOOK YOU READ:
“The Normal Christian Life” by Watchmen Nee

FAVORITE MUSIC:
I like music that’s slow.

FAVORITE MOVIE:
I have quite a few that I really like, "Rain Man" with Dustin Hoffman is one and "Speed" I really liked as well.

FAVORITE FOOD:
Collared green, black eyed peas and chicken.

FAVORITE NFL TEAM AS A CHILD:
I didn’t really have one as a child. I liked the New Orleans Saints and the Chicago Bears.

FAVORITE NFL STADIUM OTHER THAN JACK MURPHY STADIUM AND CANDLESTICK PARK:
I enjoyed playing at the Louisiana Superdome, the Houston Astrodome and the Los Angeles Coliseum.

WHY DID YOU PICK NO. 71 IN SAN DIEGO AND NO. 74 IN SAN FRANCISCO?
Well 71 was the only number I could get that was close to my number at college. My number in college was 70 and Russ Washington had 70 so I chose 71. When I went to San Francisco I ended up with the number 74 because Keith Fahnhorst had 71 so I ended up with 74.

DID YOU HAVE ANY PRE-GAME SUPERSTITIONS?
No, I tried to keep things fun, keep it funny with my teammates but I didn’t really have any true rituals.

WHAT’S BETTER ABOUT THE NFL TODAY THAN WHEN YOU PLAYED?
The attendance, the amount of people who watch the game now. It’s interesting for a person who played back then to see the changes now, there are a lot of changes to the game.

WHAT WAS BETTER ABOUT THE NFL DURING YOUR CAREER THAN THE GAME TODAY?
For me a lot of things were done for the true love of the game. Today you can’t hit and do all the stuff you could do back then. I know they’re trying to secure people's safety, but the licks you could put on people back then made it fun.


Watch: Fred Dean recalls his favorite NFL moments.

FAVORITE ATHLETE EVER IN ANY SPORT:
Muhammad Ali, to me, was the greatest athlete ever in any sport.

ONE PERSON WHO INFLUENCED YOU MOST IN LIFE:
That would be my mother and father.

TOUGHEST PLAYER YOU FACED:
There were a number of great players when I played and there were a lot of Hall of Famers I played against so it’s hard to just pick one.

WHAT MAKES YOU MOST PROUD ABOUT YOUR HALL OF FAME CAREER?
The fact that I achieved something in life that very few get to achieve and now I can share that experience with a lot of people.

WHEN IF EVER DID YOU REALIZE YOU MAY SOMEDAY MAKE THE HALL OF FAME?
I never anticipated or thought about it. It is not my way of thinking at all. I knew I had good years, I knew I did good things, but I never anticipated or thought about going into the Hall of Fame.

HOW DID YOU LEARN OF YOUR HALL OF FAME ELECTION?
I was at home with my wife at the time.

WAS EDDIE DeBARTOLO YOUR ONLY CHOICE AS A PRESENTER?
I often thought about had he been alive, it may have been coach Bill Walsh. But, I went with Mr. D.

IF YOU COULD DO YOUR ENSHRINEMENT SPEECH OVER TODAY, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY DIFFERENTLY?
I probably wouldn’t say anything differently because a lot of fans and friends thought it was great, they were really impressed with it. I thought I messed it up, because there are always more things that you would like to say, but obviously from the response that I got, for them, it was good.

WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT OFF THE FOOTBALL FIELD?
To help kids and make sure that they get the opportunities that I didn’t get.



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