Status: Former NFL quarterback for Oakland Raiders, New Orleans Saints, Houston Oilers. Inducted to Football Hall of Fame in 2016.
DOB: December 25, 1945 In: Foley, Alabama (passed away in 2015 at age 69)
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 215
Childhood Heroes: “Baseball, Milwaukee Brewers, Eddie Matthews. I admired Bobby Layne, Norm Van Brocklin and YA Tittle.”
Early Football Memory: “Trying to find a uniform that would fit, age six. Pee-wee days, they sent me to play for the Foley (Alabama) Lions. My first position was quarterback.”
Nickname: “Snake. Eighth grade, I returned a punt for a touchdown, I zigged and zagged across the field on the return. The coach said, ‘He runs like a snake.’ And it stuck, the kids kind of picked up on it.”
Hobbies/Interests: “Water, boating, fast cars, boats, I’ve lived on the water.”
Favorite Movies: “The Godfather. I’ve always liked suspense thrillers.”
Favorite TV Shows: “Barney Miller, Cheers.”
Greatest Sports Moments: “Hard to pick out just one. Beating Auburn my senior year. We won 7-3. I had a long touchdown run, 47 yards, in the fourth quarter, in a real, driving rain storm. The rivalry, Alabama-Auburn, it’s such a tradition. Big down there. Realizing we won the Super Bowl Xl, when we beat Minnesota 16-6.”
Musical Tastes: “Country, blues, I buy all kinds of music, Bonnie Raitt, Del McClinton, Boz Scaggs, Van Morrison.”
First Car: “’54 black Ford.”
Favorite Books: “John Grisham, The Firm, Pelican Brief.”
First Job: “Washing cars at a service station, I was ten or twelve I suppose.”
Little Known Fact: “I played in Continental Football League, west coast, Spokane Shockers, 1969. Not very well organized, it was a league for hopefuls, has-beens and maybes. I actually played there before the NFL.”
Toughest Competitors Encountered: “The entire Pittsburgh Steelers team of the 70’s, they were the best team I ever played against. For a lot of different reasons.”
Favorite Stadiums To Play In: “I have fond memories of a lot – Mile High Stadium, Superdome in New Orleans, Astrodome, Oakland – places where I played.”
Favorite Meal: “Fresh seafood. I try to eat healthy, fish, obviously vegetables, juices.”
Favorite Breakfast Cereal: “Raisin Bran.”
Family: Wife, Rose, daughters, Kendra, Alexa, Marissa. Pets, “I had a golden retriever Buster, that I absolutely loved, he’s no longer alive. We have a Siamese cat – Fee.
Post-playing Career Ambition: “Just securing the future for my children, whatever that takes, to being a good father.”
People Most Admired: “I’ve always admired coaches. They’ve always influenced me in the correct way. Ivan Jones in high school. Paul Bryant. I admired and respected them a lot, they taught people the values off the field and on.”
Career Accomplishments: Lead Oakland Raiders to their first Super Bowl Championship XI; NFL MVP in 1974.
(Note: We did this Biofile at Giants Stadium in 1992, after a night game, when Kenny was working as a broadcaster for TNT Network. I approached him coming off the field and he did this interview which was my first year as a reporter, hence the weaker, incomplete question list.)