Behind the Bronze: Alan Page

Hall of Famers Published on : 12/8/2010

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.

Alan Page

Alan Page, a native of Canton, Ohio, was the anchor of the Minnesota Vikings' vaunted "Purple People Eaters" defensive line. He was the NFL's MVP in 1971 and twice named Defensive Player of the Year. In all, he was voted to nine straight Pro Bowls and selected as a first-team All-Pro six times. He finished his career with the Chicago Bears. Page was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988. Alan'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>>>

Hobbies: I'm a runner. Although, in the last five or six years I've gotten into old cars. We have a 1906 and 1910 Buick.

Last Book You Read: Actually, I laugh because it's All Rise: The Remarkable Journey of Alan Page.

Favorite Movie: We don't get to movies very often so I haven't seen one in a while.

Favorite Music: My music preferences are eclectic; it ranges from the '60s, Motown, soul music through Mozart.

Favorite Food: Pasta. Spaghetti.

Favorite Athlete in Another Sport: A marathoner by the name of Haile Gebrelassie. He's a world record-holder. (I admire) anyone who can run that fast, that long.

Favorite NFL Team as a Child: The Cleveland Browns.

First Job: My first job was as a dishwasher at the Brookside Country Club. I got paid $1.85/hour and all I could eat.

Your Favorite NFL Stadium During Your Career (other than Metropolitan Stadium or Soldier Field): They all looked the same. The fields were all 100 yards by 53 1/3. It didn't matter to me.

One Person Who Influenced You Most: I think for me, it's two people – it's my mother and father.

Did you have any pre-game rituals/superstitions? Sure. I did the same thing every week for 15 years before the games. I'm not sure I can describe it other than I dressed the same way, everything got put on in the same order. And, I sat by myself.

Watch: Alan Page describe his approach to the game.

Was there a reason for choosing No. 88? That's the number they gave me.

Toughest Opponent: I've never categorized opponents, players or teams, as tough or not tough. If you're going to be successful, you have to play well every week whether it's against someone who is perceived to be tough or not. If you set yourself up to perform well against one person, you're not going to perform as well against someone who is not perceived as tough. So, my approach was that there was going to be someone on the other side of the line and I'm going to be ready to the best of my ability to deal with whoever it is.

Who was your most influential coach? Probably Ara Parseghian.

What makes you most proud about your Hall of Fame career: I think it's the career that I was able to play consistently well. Wait, I take that back. Not to play consistently well but to work to play consistently well over the entire career.

How did you spend your time during the off-season other than going to Law School? Beyond Law School, I was a used car salesman. Would you buy a used car from this face? Don't feel bad, nobody else did! I was a college recruiter for the Control Data Company. I had a vending machine company which lost lots of money. But, then I ended up in Law School then practicing law.

When, if ever, did you ever realize that you had a Hall of Fame career? I suppose I realized it at some point but it wasn't something I spent a lot of time thinking about. It wasn't something I set out to do. I set out to seek excellence and had good fortune in doing that. So, after a while you start to think maybe that would be good enough to be in the Hall of Fame. But that wasn't what it was all about.

Where were you when you learned that you had been elected to the Hall of Fame? I was at home with my wife and kids. My wife and I had just come back from a run in the snow and I think we heard it on the radio.

Did you consider anyone other than Willarene Beasley to be your presenter? No, not at all. She was the first person I thought about and the only person I thought about.

If you could do your Enshrinement Speech over today, what would you change? I wouldn't really change much of anything. Giving my enshrinement speech was important because I believe strongly that academics and athletics can coexist. They can work well together. In fact we shortchange the academic side while at the same time it was important for me to honor the athletic side.

Your greatest accomplishment outside of football: I'm the proud father of four children, have two grandchildren and a wife of 37½ years.