Sometimes things can be simple and others can be complicated but in 2007 and eagerly trying to find my niche’ in the business and my own voice I realized my own voice is better represented by the fans who don’t have voices.
I realized a short time into this gig that I had an opportunity to allow others who don’t have the opportunity to experience things they may not typically get to have. I have taken staff to Web Weekend events, had staff hold interviews with members of the team and even attend special events with the Dolphins in my place.
And I have given the opportunity to fans to ask questions of members of the team when available to do so. That was the case in 2007 when I was granted the opportunity to interview Hall of Fame running back Larry Csonka and turned the questions, most of them, over to the readers. Here is part of the interview. You can read it all here.
"From Brian at Phin Phanatic: You have moved on from your success in football and have become a very successful television personality with your “North to Alaska” series. How has life after football changed you, and specifically your work with the outdoors and your near death experience last year?"
LC: Life after football has changed me most drastically on Monday mornings, I feel a lot better. I have always loved the outdoors and feel my football career gave me the key to host my own outdoor series. The near death experience happens periodically in everyone’s life, mine received a little more publicity because of the unusual location. I don’t go in small boats and in big oceans anymore.
"From George in Maine: In the 1972 SI cover with Jim Kiick, you two appear to be laughing, not just smiling. Your right hand is posed nicely, was that a message to anyone specifically or was that just having a little fun?"
LC: That photograph was made in jest for my private use via an agreement with the photographer. Somehow it slipped through the censors and ended up on the cover of Sports Illustrated. It was an accident, it was not intended for anyone specifically.
"From Ben Bruce: How do you feel about the 2007 NE Patriots threatening that ’72 record. We always hear about how the champagne corks fly when the last team loses, how do you really feel about that accomplishment?"
LC: In regards to the New England Patriots, I do not wish them any luck in pursuing the undefeated title. But, if anyone has an undefeated season, I will be the first to congratulate them.
"Brian Miller/PP: I recently had a chance to talk with Miami Dolphins team photographer David Cross and the subject of the Alligator in the shower came up…he said if ever given the chance to talk with you, that I should ask. So, Mr. Csonka, what was the real story behind that Alligator?"
LC: Coach Shula was a very intense coach. In order to inject a little humor into mid-season intensity, we decided Coach Shula should meet an alligator in his shower. “It worked!”
"Brian Miller: I have heard from other players within the Miami organization, specifically John Offehdahl, that have said players never scared them, but that Don Shula made them shake. Did Don Shula scare you? What about when you told him you were leaving for another league? What could you tell the ordinary average fan such as myself about Don Shula that we would never have the opportunity to know if not for someone like yourself who has been close to him?"
LC: I cannot say he ever scared me, but his intensity made life tough. I did not like leaving the Miami Dolphins or Coach Shula, that was strictly a business decision. I did enjoy coming back and finishing my career there. Coach Shula dealt with details intensely, even the smallest detail was gone over a minimum of three times during the practice week. Even travel plans were discussed a minimum of three times, there was no excuse for a mental mistake.