From the Washington Post
Darrell Green will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday as part of the Class of 2008. The cornerback, long known as the fastest man in the NFL, played his entire career with the Washington Redskins from 1983 to 2002, was selected to seven Pro Bowls and was part of two Super Bowl champions. He finished with 54 interceptions and electrified Redskins fans as a punt returner. The Post's Jason Reid spoke with Green about his life and career.
Q: Giving back to the community is something that's so important to you. If you'd just talk a little bit about things that you do to try to give back.
Green: Well, the whole idea of service obviously started with God. But my mom would make us give stuff to people. She would say, "Take this food, or these clothes or whatever." . . . We saw our mom giving, and I just found myself naturally thinking, "Man, where can I go and support people?"
I got into D.C. with the rec department and doing things with them. Got a chance to see up close and personal some of the needs and issues in the community. Started Youth Life Foundation [in 1988], said, "How can I help, how can I make a difference?" And it's just God's grace, you know, I feel that God put that in my heart to do. That's who I am, that's part of my person.
Q: Going into the Hall of Fame now. It's been such a buildup. So many people are just so excited for you and your family. How has this been for your family?
Green: (Laughs) Incredible. Incredible. My son will be the one that introduces me. My daughter said, "Dad, I never really thought about it until one day I was sitting, and I was thinking to myself, 'When you go to Canton, Ohio,' " she said, " 'Dad, my children's children's children's children will be able to see this.' " She said, "Wow." She said, "And it hit me, like, 'Wow.' "
Q: Was it your desire? Is that the reason why people who might have been thought of more highly than you are not in your position right now, getting ready to go into the Hall of Fame?
Green: Oh yeah. In other words, the 27 guys drafted ahead of me or whatever the number, defensive backs drafted ahead of me, why am I more successful than them? That's no mystery. . . . Texas A&I -- that's not Notre Dame, that's not USC, Michigan. So, I think that I was better than those guys [from] Day One. It's just who had, who was going to succumb to the stereotype or whatever that the guy playing at the little school can't compete. In other words, I didn't get better than those guys, I was better in the beginning. And so, could've played in any of those schools. They just, again, when you're coming out of school looking like me, only one year of varsity, a midget. I mean, I don't blame them. Who would pull the trigger for a kid like me? But, the reality is, I was better than the guys ahead of me.
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