Seriously, it's a smart quarterback's game. You gotta be thinking all the time, and especially the quarterback, because he's the catalyst. But they're no smarter today than [ Johnny] Unitas or Bobby Lane or [Norm] Van Brocklin or Y. A. Tittle.
Q: The losers of this game are going to make $32,000. What was your biggest paycheck? What did you do with your bonus money?
A: Our biggest paycheck I guess would have to be the '58 championship game. We got $5,000 as our share and some benevolent people gave another $5,000 each because we won the game. Who it was I never asked. I know National Boh and Mr. [Jerry] Hoffberger donated so much,but who else, I don't know. It was none of my business, I took the money like a thief in the night and I ran. I used it to put a fence around the country club here.
Q: Jerry Jones and Jimmy Johnson, the owner and the coach of the Cowboys, were roommates when they played at Arkansas. Did you ever see a coach and an owner that close? Is it a good thing?
A: Arkansas. Great. That means we got three clowns now. Those two guys and the President. I wonder if they play a saxophone.
Who knows? It took them to the Super Bowl. I guess you can't get much better than that. I'm not a Jimmy Johnson fan because when he coached that Miami bunch, they were nothing but a bunch of gangsters evidently. And when they went to the bowl game against Penn State, they all showed up in Army fatigues. I wonder what they'd do if they heard a gun go off. So then Penn State goes out and shoved the ball down their throats sideways.
Q: Marv Levy, coach of the Bills, reads history books and quotes Churchill. Did you ever know anybody that smart? Did you ever know it to help them play football?
A: [New York Giants general manager] George Young is brilliant. He reads books. Me, I'm not that smart. I went to college to play football. I guess I learned something, probably by osmosis. The priest that taught us religion said, "I don't like what you do, [but] as long as you come to my class, I'll pass you. You'll learn something just by sitting there."
But I don't think quoting history is going to help you win football games. If that was the case, then General Patton and General MacArthur would have been the greatest football coaches of all time.
Q: This is the last Super Bowl before free agency. Did anyone else ever want you bad enough to try to get you away from the Colts? And would you have gone?
A: Nobody came after me, first of all. I take that back. One time they wanted me to go to Canada, but I didn't go. I knew how great I had it here. Would I be crazy to leave Baltimore and go someplace else for a couple of years? There's no way. I met my wife here. I raised my kids here. I did very well financially here. Why would I want to go anyplace else?
The only other thing I was ever going to do -- after the '54 season, I was going to quit and become a cop in New York. It didn't work out, so the best thing that ever happened to me was I stayed here. I'm serious. By now, I'd be a retired inspector in the department or I'd be a dead cop.
Q: Buffalo has a bunch of seasoned veteran guys who have been to two Super Bowls. Dallas has a bunch of cocky kids, guys who have plenty to be cocky about. Which would you rather have playing beside you?
A: Hey. Dallas got to the Super Bowl, didn't they? They played better teams than Buffalo did. Who'd they play? The Jets twice, the Patriots twice, the Colts twice, the Little Sisters of the Poor, the Blind . . .
Q: You have two good quarterbacks in Troy Aikman and Jim Kelly. Two good running backs in Emmitt Smith and Thurman Thomas. If you were playing in a game this big, who would you want the outcome to rest on -- a quarterback's arm or a back's back?
A: I don't care who wins, but I might pick the Bills because the guy who is their general manager [Bill Polian] went to the same high school I did in the Bronx. I never met him, but they tell me he is a very smart guy. And given my druthers, why wouldn't I root for him instead of those creeps from Dallas? They're in another world anyway, those people in Texas.
Hey, but anybody who reads what I think is crazy in the first place.