Catching up with Kentucky football Hall of Famers

mmaloney@herald-leader.comJune 30, 2013 

Otis Wilson

Chicago Bears linebacker Otis Wilson (55) celebrates his sack of Dallas Cowboys quarterback Stave Pelluer (16) in the fourth quarter at Irving, Texas on Sunday, Dec. 22, 1987. The Bears won 24-10. (AP Photo/ELG)

ELG — ASSOCIATED PRESS

Leftovers from Friday’s Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame and the four living inductees …

CHAD BRATZKE (Eastern Kentucky University) said a highlight of his week was sharing memories with his extended football family. Such as?

“Coach (Jack) Harbaugh,” Bratzke said. “So, Western Kentucky-Eastern Kentucky. Big rivalry. We’re playing, I think it was a Thursday night game, and I made a good play. The quarterback scrambled, I ran him down from behind and I hit him out right at the sidelines. I mean, I really clobbered him. And before I even got a chance to pick myself up, Coach Harbaugh grabbed me and yanked me off his quarterback, and he smacked me on the rear and said, ‘son, that was a heck of a play.’ You don’t remember everything in life, but certain moments – I’ll never forget that. That meant a lot to me.

“I told him the story, and he smiled and he listened to it. And he said, ‘you know what? I know because I’ve told everybody that story and I used to use that all the time in speeches and talks, about determination.’ It’s kind of neat that he remembered that, too.”

IRV GOODE (Boone County, University of Kentucky) was dazzled by his company earlier in the day: “It was amazing today, riding to the golf course. I was riding with (Howard) Schnellenberger and Babe (Parilli), and they were talking football. It was unbelievable. It was like a fantasy land. Two of the great people in sports.”

OTIS WILSON (University of Louisville) was dazzled by his new bling, and the weekend overall: “The ring is cool. The cause that’s attached to it, that’s great – spinal cord injury. Seeing guys that you played with and guys around the league, you hang out, play golf and tell stories. That’s really what it’s all about, to give back to the old guys. And really have UK and U of L come together. Normally, that’s not the case. It’s always ‘I’m from U of L.’ They say that ‘other thing’ over there. But this is a great moment.”

ROMAN OBEN (U of L) talked about the program at his alma mater: “I’d been told by NFL scouts two years ago that they’re really a year ahead. I think what Charlie Strong has done is tremendous. But now you’ve created a position where 9-2, 8-3 is a bad season. So the expectations have been raised a little bit higher as well. Which is all good, and that’s why he’s here. But again, you turn down a job like Tennessee, he wants to be here. And you’re seeing high school kids on these selection shows where they off their hat, put on a U of L hat, turning down Floridas and Oklahomas. That’s when you know the football program’s headed in the right direction.”

Read more at Mark Maloney on Kentucky sports

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