Chat transcript with Bobby Bell
Bobby Bell was a Hall of Fame linebacker but was known as one of the most versatile players of his era. He enjoyed a tremendous career with Kansas City from 1963-74 and had a chance to participate in Super Bowls I and IV. Bobby joined us for a recent chat on profootballhof.com.
bronzebust: Bobby, what is your favorite memory of your playing days?
Bobby Bell:One of my favorite memories was going to the Univ. of Minnesota from North Carolina and playing in two Rose Bowls.
timgut: Bobby, what was it like to play in the first Super Bowl? Was it as big of an event back then?
Bobby Bell: I don't think it was as big as it is now. To me, it was. There are only 80-90 guys out there who can claim they were a part of it. Plus, it was a championship game, not a Super Bowl. Although we didn't win it, the opportunity to play in it was top of the pyramid.
Pete: Do you keep in touch with many of your former teammates?
Bobby Bell: Yes I do. I keep in touch with a lot of them. Since I travel across the country, I bring my address book with me and I can pull out players I played with and against. I play a lot of golf with these guys, at least every month or every other month.
bronzebust: What do you think about today's players?
Bobby Bell: They're bigger, stronger and it looks like they've been raised on a farm somewhere! The players platoon so much, too. They're in for 3-4 downs and then they leave the field. When I played, I played on all the offense, all the defense, and special teams. I got into the rhythm of the game and as it went along, I got sharper and sharper. It would be hard for me to play like they do today! You get warm, you get cold, and you don't get into the rhythm of the game!
timgut: You used to be a QB in college. What made you switch to other positions?
Bobby Bell: It wasn't me! I used to QB in high school and then in my freshman year of college. After that, I was switched to offensive tackle and it wasn't my choice! It was coach Warmath's choice. He called me in his office one day and said, "We want quick and strong guys so we're going to switch you to offensive tackle." I thought he was joking but I told him, "Wherever you put me, I'm coachable."
Pete: Who was the best coach you ever played for -- high school, college, or the pros?
Bobby Bell: That's a tough one. I would say all the coaches I played for were on top. I was at a different stage of my career for all of them. In high school, my coach had never played before. In college, coach Warmath always put his team in a position to win by switching things up. We ended up as a winner! When you take coach Stram in the pros, it was the first time I played linebacker and center. I would've played any position he asked. In the end, we went to the Super Bowl twice and won it once! I was just always fortunate to be on winning teams!
Teebone: How has the game changed over the years and have the changes been positive, negative or both?
Bobby Bell: Of course, the money has changed. And they use all those computers to break things down. Plus, as I mentioned earlier, all the players are specialized now. Before, we used to have kickers who'd also play tight end and people playing everywhere. Now, you pay a guy $500,000 to just come in and kick! There's also players who just come in for the nickel defense, that's it!
bronzebust: What is the biggest hit you ever put on somebody?
Bobby Bell: I can't really remember! I guess one I remember was Terry Bradshaw in Pittsburgh. He was teasing me as he ran down the sidelines. I told him to step out and he wouldn't. So, I hit him out of bounds!
MODERATOR: That's about all the time we have today. Thanks for joining us Bobby!
Bobby Bell: Thanks for having me and thanks for the great questions!