Behind the Bronze: Raymond Berry

12/14/2010

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.

Raymond Berry

Raymond Berry was arguably the most precise route-runner of any wide receiver in NFL history. A favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Johnny Unitas, he hauled in a then-record of 631 catches for more than 9,000 yards and 68 TDs during his career with the Baltimore Colts. Berry was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1973. Raymond'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>>>
Larry Csonka>>>
Kellen Winslow>>>
Deacon Jones>>>
Alan Page>>>
Larry Little>>>

Hobbies: Well, I like to study military history, in particular World War II history.

Last Book You Read: The other thing I like to study is Middle Eastern history, especially the history of Israel. I'm reading a couple of books comparing the current Middle East to the history of the whole region going back centuries.

Favorite Movie: I think it would be Pearl Harbor.

Favorite Music: Elvis Presley.

Favorite Food: Fried chicken.

Favorite Current NFL Player: Two of them. It's a tie between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.

Favorite NFL Team as a Child: Detroit Lions.

First Job: I used to take care of a city park when I was about 13 years old.

Do you remember what you got paid? It was huge money and, of course, it had a retirement plan and everything (laughs). There's no telling what that pay was!

Your Favorite NFL Stadium During Your Career (other than Memorial Stadium): I liked the Los Angeles Coliseum and Kezar Stadium in San Francisco. I had great memories in those stadiums.

One Person Who Influenced You Most: My dad.

Did you have any pre-game rituals/superstitions? Nope.

Toughest Opponent: Well, there were a couple of defensive corners I faced that would be in that category – Irv Cross in his career with the Los Angeles Rams and Abe Woodson when he was playing corner for the San Francisco 49ers.

How would you spend time during the offseason? Two months of rest and then I'd study football. Study film and worked out.

Watch: Raymond Berry describes his most memorable game.

What makes you most proud about your Hall of Fame career? Oh, I guess, the fact that I don't think I dropped but three or four balls during 13 years and was charged with one fumble and the official blew the call on that one.

When, if ever, did you ever realize that you had a Hall of Fame career? When I retired as a player, I knew my numbers were such that I would be put in the Hall of Fame someday.

Where were you when you learned that you had been elected to the Hall of Fame? I think I was coaching at the University of Arkansas if I remember right.

Did you consider anyone other than your former coach Weeb Ewbank to be your presenter? No, he's the only one I thought of. I wouldn't have had a career if it hadn't been for Weeb Ewbank. Because I was a 20th-round draft pick and had no background in the professional passing game, didn't know anything about it. Weeb went with me and I give him credit for seeing something.

Who was your favorite coach during your football career – high school, college, or pro? Well, I would say my dad was my high school coach but Weeb Ewank in professional football.

If you could do your Enshrinement Speech over today, what would you change? I don't think I'd change anything. It was short and sweet and to the point.

Your greatest accomplishment outside of football: My children – Suzanne, Mark, and Ashley – they are people I really admire. And to go with that, my wife. Without question my family.

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