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In their own words: Hall of Famers reminisce

  • By NFL.com
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Hall of Fame weekend in Canton, Ohio is not just a celebration of the year’s inductees, but an annual rite of passage and a time to reminisce for those who have donned the gold jacket. We caught up with some of the legends of the gridiron and showed them some photos to help them look back on their playing days.

Forrest Gregg

It rained three days in a row before the game and they tried to dry the field out with sand and all it did was make it muddier. The mud had to be at least five inches deep on the field during the game. Of course we won, so that made it better. The mud didn't taste so bad.

I had no idea the picture was taken. Somebody told me this was going to be the sports picture of the year. I had no idea that it was going to happen. Of course, I've gotten a lot of mileage out of it since then.

Getty Images / Robert Riger

Joe Greene

I'm not sure if that was in Pittsburgh or in Dallas. I jumped over a cut block to make the tackle on Walt Garrison. I probably missed him.

FK/Associated Press

Elvin Bethea

This photo here, it brings back memories. Since I wasn't drafted by the Cowboys, I figured I would chase them down. I figured if you catch Roger Staubach and tackle him, you've done something for the day; you were somebody. That's an oldie but a goodie there.

Ed Kolenovsky/Associated Press

Willie Davis

Oh ya, what I remember is No. 22, Dick Bass. I had made a commitment that it was not going to be his day. We managed to make that work. But he was a hell of a player. I remember he had a big kickoff return against us. But I remember we did prevail.

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Charley Taylor

I was a rookie. I'm home, and we've got Dallas by the throat. My mom, all my family, is in the stands. I'm going crazy. I would tell the boys, "Hey, we play Dallas. My parents got to go to church, too. I want them to hold their head up all week." So, that's why we played so hard against Dallas. Most of our guys were from Texas. How about that?

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Raymond Berry

This is 1965, I'm pretty sure, at the Los Angeles Coliseum. This is Irv Cross. As I've told Irv many times, 'Irv, I'm wide open.' He's just hanging on my back there. This is about a 40-yard gain on a post pattern.

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Paul Warfield

I have remembrances of playing the ballgame -- it may have been the first ballgame I played in the Astrodome. It was a very tight game that we played against the Houston Oilers and a very important one. What I remember about the game was the introduction of Garo Yepremian, more so than any catches I made. He was just activated to our roster and kicked a couple of pivotal field goals, including a 48-yarder to win the game for us. Playing in the Astrodome for the first time in a game that we really needed to win.

Ed Kolenovsky/Associated Press

Charlie Sanders

We didn't play Philly that often. I remember we lost the game. It was hot. Now this is preseason, because this wasn't the starter. This may have been in North Carolina. I think we played Philadelphia in the preseason in Raleigh.

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Willie Brown

This is Super Bowl XI. I was trying to get to that touchdown line. I wanted to make sure I had enough juice left in me so I could score. I was thinking, "If we score here, the game should be over." I have all kinds of copies of this for myself. One guy, he shot it all from the time I intercepted it all the way down to the goal line. So I have it frame by frame all the way down, something to keep forever.

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Harry Carson

Here I am outrunning Joe Theismann. I remember that I intercepted the pass down around the five-yard line, and I returned it and was leaving potential tacklers in my wake. I was reverting back to my high school days as a frustrated running back who never got to play a whole lot. And guys were just sort of falling all over the place until one guy tripped me up before I was able to score a touchdown.

Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

Fred Dean

I was always trying my high-flying acts with the Rams. I remember specifically this was Pat Haden. I liked being in his company, Haden. I would say they were one of the key stones helping me get to where I wanted to be. They were always challenging.

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Carl Eller

That's definitely one of those Metropolitan Stadium games. Look at that, I'm so muddy. It's in the training room, and I've got no cast on. Look at that, I'm a healthy guy. Pretty good looking, too. I'm like four percent body fat here, probably midseason. But it was a muddy game. It was in the winter. But it's typical Metropolitan Stadium. I'm all taped up. I probably had a good game from the look on my face. I'm not all bruised and battered and banged up. So I'm probably feeling pretty good in this picture.

Dan Dierdorf

This is back in the old days when we wore jerseys that were easy to grab on to. I was always a single chinstrap guy. I never wore a double chinstrap, I don't know why. I can't tell who we were playing. We weren't playing the Cowboys, you know why? I'm dirty. The Cowboys played on artificial turf, and this was on a grass field. This was probably at RFK Stadium or the Coliseum. Busch Stadium had Astroturf. Texas Stadium, Astroturf. Giants Stadium, Philadelphia, all Astroturf. The only time I ever played on grass was either Minnesota, the Coliseum against the Rams or RFK against the Redskins.

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Dave Casper

I'm just glad the guy didn't get me. I was actually on the winning team at Lambeau Field for three different teams. That's got to be an NFL record. I did that on Lambeau Field, and I did that to the Chicago Bears, too.

SJP/Associated Press

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