Behind the Bronze: Larry Csonka

11/16/2010

Two-hundred-sixty 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.

Larry Csonka

Fullback Larry Csonka grew up 40 minutes from the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He and a friend snuck under a fence to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the Hall of Fame in the early '60s. In 1987, he returned to the Hall of Fame to be enshrined. Csonka was the prototype fullback during his career with the Miami Dolphins and New York Giants. In all, he was voted to the Pro Bowl five times and named All-NFL three straight years. Csonka's HOF Bio>>>

Behind the Bronze Series:

Jack Ham>>>
Joe DeLamielleure>>>
Charlie Sanders>>>
Dave Wilcox>>>
Randall McDaniel>>>
Jack Youngblood>>>
Willie Lanier>>>
Mel Blount>>>
Sonny Jurgensen>>>

Hobbies: I hunt and fish all the time.

Last Book You Read: I'm currently reading Sh*t My Dad Says.

Favorite Movie: Groundhog Day.

Favorite Music: Well, I was born in the Elvis era so '60s and '70s rock-n-roll and Elvis in the late '50s. And, I even like a few songs that Sinatra sang.

Favorite Food: Natural.

Favorite Current NFL Player: Oh, I don't watch that much ball really. There are a couple of power running backs I like. Peyton Hillis with the Browns is one.

Favorite NFL Team as a Child: Well, at different times I liked different teams. I watched the Browns year in and year out. But, I liked the Giants with Y.A. Tittle. I actually got to see the Browns and Marion Motley play. I don't think I have one favorite anything!

First Job: I took care of milk cows. I was a worker on a dairy farm.

One Person Who Influenced You Most: Probably my granddad.

Did you have any pre-game rituals/superstitions? Yes. My pre-game ritual was to watch all the other people who had pre-game rituals and laugh at them. Shula, Kiick… we had so many that did things the same way, particularly in the undefeated season, I got tickled watching them. We had fans that did the same thing, that wore the same clothes. It was nuts, made no sense at all.

Watch: Larry Csonka recalls his most memorable game.

Was there a reason for choosing No. 39? Yeah, it's what they handed me.

Toughest Opponent: I don't think I could ever single down to one toughest player. I played in the era of Nitschke and Butkus and people like that. Dwight White of the Steelers. I was always very glad that I didn't have to face our defense – Manny Fernandez, Bill Stanfill, Jake Scott. Later on I went to another team and had to play some of them and I learned how tough our defense was, one player at a time.

Most Influential Coach: Don Shula.

How would you spend time during the offseason? I would spend my time during the season, any moment I had off that I could get away with changing my attention span off of football, I would dream about hunting and fishing in Alaska. And, then in my offseason, I would try to go to Alaska as often as I could.

What makes you most proud about your Hall of Fame career: The accomplishment of my teammates to put me in the Hall of Fame.

When did you realize you had a Hall of Fame career? You know, I never really thought about it until I retired from football. I did think about it after I retired. Of course, you hope it's something that you would get nominated for but I didn't really think about it during my tenure as an active player.

If you could do your Enshrinement Speech over today, what would you change? I think I would talk more about how I miss the huddle.

Your greatest accomplishment outside of football: Being an Alaska resident.

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