Behind the Bronze: Jan Stenerud

12/10/2011

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.

 

Jan Stenerud, Class of 1991



Jan Stenerud's Hall of Fame bio>>>

HOBBIES:
My main hobby is golf. Frankly that’s about the only hobby I’ve got, I play quite a bit.

LAST BOOK YOU READ:
“Seven Days in Utopia” by Dr. David L. Cook. It’s a golf book, but the one that I’m almost finished with now is called “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand and it’s a prisoner of war story from World War II.

FAVORITE MUSIC:
Frank Sinatra songs and the type of music he sang most of his career.

FAVORITE MOVIE:
I haven’t seen a movie in so long I don’t know if I have a favorite one.

FAVORITE FOOD:
Atlantic salmon.

FAVORITE NFL STADIUM OTHER THAN ARROWHEAD STADIUM OR IN GREEN BAY OR MINNESOTA:
Well, the best ones to kick in were indoors because you had good footing, no wind and the temperature was 70 degrees. So from that standpoint I would say any indoor stadium.

WHY DID YOU PICK NO. 3 AND LATER 10?
In Kansas City when I was a rookie the owner of the team Lamar Hunt suggested, no he told me to wear number three and I guess it was because you get three points if you kick a field goal. When I came to Green Bay 14 years later that number was retired for Hall of Famer Tony Canadeo, so I took number 10. Then when I was traded from Green Bay to Minnesota number three was available so I used that number again.

DID YOU HAVE ANY PRE-GAME SUPERSTITIONS?
I don’t think so. I just pretty much had the same routine all the time.

WHAT’S BETTER ABOUT THE NFL TODAY THAN WHEN YOU PLAYED?
Well the salaries are better. The television coverage is better, but as far as the game is concerned I don’t know if it is better. I can’t really think of anything that makes the game necessarily better today. It’s more offensive minded because of all the rule changes but I’m not necessarily saying that is better.


Watch: Jan Stenerud recalls his favorite NFL moment.

WHAT WAS BETTER ABOUT THE NFL DURING YOUR CAREER THAN THE GAME TODAY?
Maybe the behavior of a lot of the players. It seems to be a little bit more individual promotions today than it was when I was involved in it more than 25 years ago from the mid-'60s to the mid-'80s. At least it seems like that, I’m sure there are “team” players on every team now but it seemed like there was more concern about the “we” instead of “I” years ago.

FAVORITE ATHLETE EVER IN ANY SPORT:
It was a speed skater from Norway, probably not very well known in the United States, who won three gold medals in the 1952 Olympic by the name of Hjalmar Andersen.

TOUGHEST PLAYER YOU FACED:
Well as you know kicking the football I didn’t really have any tough opponent, but early on for me the toughest opponent was the Oakland Raiders as a team.

WHAT MAKES YOU MOST PROUD ABOUT YOUR HALL OF FAME CAREER?
To do things well on a consistent basis. In 19 years, obviously, you’re going to have some ups and downs but I think I was able to be consistent and approach every game like it was my last.

WHEN IF EVER DID YOU REALIZE YOU MAY SOMEDAY MAKE THE HALL OF FAME?
I didn’t realize that until I got a notification from the Hall of Fame that I was one of the 15 finalists a couple of weeks before the Super Bowl in 1991. To my knowledge a kicker had never even been a finalist before.

HOW DID YOU LEARN OF YOUR HALL OF FAME ELECTION?
I was at a parade in Tampa, they had a parade for the Silver Anniversary Super Bowl team, which means for the 25th anniversary of the Super Bowl they had picked an All-Time Super Bowl team and I was in the parade down there.

WAS HANK STRAM YOUR ONLY CHOICE AS A PRESENTER?
No, the one that I thought about a lot was my college coach Jim Sweeney. He was my college coach at Montana State and he took a chance on me to get me off the ski slopes and actually gave me an opportunity to kick for his team.

IF YOU COULD DO YOUR ENSHRINEMENT SPEECH OVER TODAY, WHAT WOULD YOU SAY DIFFERENTLY?
I do not know, it was 20 years ago. I haven’t looked at the tape from that ceremony. I don’t even know where that speech is written down. So I don’t know if I would make any changes.

WHAT’S YOUR GREATEST ACCOMPLISHMENT OFF THE FOOTBALL FIELD?
I think that I was able to work and be very productive in business while I was playing football and up until very recently.



Behind the Bronze series archive>>>

 

Back to news