Behind the Bronze: Ted Hendricks, Class of 1990

01/07/2011

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.

Ted Hendricks

Ted Hendricks, a three-time All-America choice at the University of Miami (FL), was a second round pick of the Baltimore Colts in 1969. He went on to a dominant 15-year career with the Colts, Green Bay Packers and Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders. He was an imposing figure at 6’7” and 220 pounds but was also exceptionally strong and fast. He capitalized on his large stature and skills to block 25 field goals or PATs, grab 26 interceptions, recover 16 opponent’s fumbles and register four safeties during his Hall of Fame career.

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Hobbies: I play golf and do a little fishing.

Last Book You Read: I’ve read quite a few books on Greek history.

Favorite Music: I enjoy all kinds of music.

Favorite Food: There are a lot of them but I’d probably pick lobster.

Favorite Athlete in Sport other than Football: Dwayne Wade

Favorite current NFL player: I’ve got quite a few because I give out a Defensive End of the Year award. All defensive ends are my favorites.

Favorite NFL Team as a Child: Baltimore Colts. When I was a child growing up, that was the only game shown. Then, I ended up being drafted by them.

First Job: My first job was a paper route.

Your Favorite NFL Stadium During Your Career (other than your home fields): San Diego

One Person Who Influenced You Most: Al Davis

Did you have any pre-game rituals/superstitions? No, I sure didn’t. But, we did play cards before we went out on the field. We played Crazy Eights most of the time.

Any special stories behind your uniform numbers No. 83 (56)? The 83 was the only number in the 80s that was available when I got to the Colts. I had 89 in college and the trainer said I could not have that one because it was retired. It was Gino Marchetti’s number. Then he threw me the 83 and said “this is the only one we have left.” I was given 56 in Green Bay only after I tried to buy the number 83 off of “Big Cat” Williams and he wouldn’t sell it to me. In Oakland I asked Ben Davidson if I could have his number (83) and he said, “I couldn’t think of anyone else better to have it.” He and I were the only two number 83s to play for the Raiders when I retired.

Toughest Opponent: My toughest opponent was at practice. I had John Mackey and Dave Casper that I had to play against.

How would you spend time during the offseason? Sunning myself down in Miami.

What makes you most proud about your Hall of Fame career? Actually the players and coaches that I got to know over the years. We still have great bonds that will last for my lifetime.

When, if ever, did you ever realize that you had a Hall of Fame career? I actually wasn’t sure because I didn’t make it the first time. But I figured I would eventually get in.

Where were you when you learned that you had been elected to the Hall of Fame? I was down in Miami at my house.

Did you consider anyone other than Al Davis to be your presenter? No, I surely didn’t.

Who was favorite coach during football career – high school, college, or pro? There’s quite a few of them. John Madden, Don Shula and Coach Don McCafferty. My high school coach as well, Coach Powell.

If you could do your Enshrinement Speech over today, what would you change? Probably nothing because it was a pretty good speech.

Your greatest accomplishment outside of football: Being involved in all charities that I work with.

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