Behind the Bronze: Dave Wilcox

Behind the Bronze: Dave Wilcox

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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.

Dave Wilcox

Dave Wilcox played out of the limelight on the West Coast during his 11-year career with the San Francisco 49ers from 1964 to 1974. Yet, he was regarded as one of the premier linebackers of his era. He was named All-NFL five times and selected to seven Pro Bowls. Wilcox was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000. (Dave's HOF Bio>>>)

I like to go fishing and hunting. And, I play AT golf. I travel around and play a lot of golf tournaments.

Last Book You Read: I can't think of the name of it but it's about the depression and the dust bowl. My parents lived in that time and were actually involved in Oklahoma so it was kind of interesting.

Behind the Bronze Series:

Jack Ham>>>
Joe DeLamielleure>>>
Charlie Sanders>>>

Favorite Music: Not loud music! Gene Autry and Roy Rogers.

Favorite Food: Steak and crab.

Favorite Current NFL Player: I don't have a particular favorite.

Favorite NFL Team as a Child: I liked the Bears. I think because we used to get them on the radio.

What was your first job? I grew up on a farm and we milked cows and stacked bales. When I was freshman in high school, we'd work for the neighbors stacking bales. We'd make like 75 or 80 cents a day.

Favorite NFL Stadium During Your Career: Yankee Stadium in New York because I was a baseball nut growing up.

One Person Who Influenced You Most: I don't if there's just one, there's a bunch. In my football life, it was Len Casanova, my coach at Oregon. He was like a father figure.

Did you have any pre-game rituals/superstitions? My ritual was to tell the defensive linemen to make sure and knock everyone down so they wouldn't hit us.

Watch: Wilcox attempts to nail down his most memorable game.

Was there a reason for choosing #64? Well, when I was in college I was a great tight end at Oregon. But, we had this guy named Mel Renfro who was a pretty good player so they never threw to the tight end. My senior year, they didn't have any guards and they asked me if I wanted to be a guard. I said, 'not particularly,' and they said, 'why don't you move over there.' So, I got a lineman number. Then, I went to San Francisco and my first year was 1964. I always tell people that's why. Make sense, doesn't it?

Toughest Opponent: There's a list of about 150, they were all tough. Mike Ditka, John Mackey, Ron Kramer because I played across from the tight end. There's too many, I can't choose one.

What makes you most proud about your Hall of Fame career: Because I just got to do this. I got to play. Not many people get to do that. To play football, to play pro football and then to get selected as a part of this group of great players is just awesome.

How would you spend time during the offseason? When I first starting playing in the NFL I was in the Army Reserves. Then, I worked for Luby's Sporting Center for three years in the offseason; they sold shoes to high schools and such. At the same time, I hurt my shoulder so I starting lifting weights and I became involved in the health club business. We owned, with a partner, two health clubs and therapy business for about 30 years.

When did you realize you may someday make the Hall of Fame? Actually, probably, when I got here. I don't know. I don't know what a Hall of Fame career is. I just knew I did what I did and assumed if you were good enough to make it, somebody would figure it out.

How'd you go about choosing your presenter? It was pretty hard. No matter who I chose I was going to leave someone out. I chose Mike Giddings mainly because he is the one who called me about 8-10 years before I got elected and said he's going to start sending stuff out to the Selectors. And, he also helped me during when I was playing.

If you could do your Enshrinement Speech over today, what would you say differently? I'm not sure what I said in the first place (laughs).

Your greatest accomplishment outside of football: My family. We're real proud of our kids.

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