Longtime defensive back Rod Woodson is set to be inducted in to the Professional Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio next month. Woodson was an 11-time Pro Bowler and a 6-time 1st Team All Pro during his 17 year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens and Oakland Ravens. He is third all time with 71 career interceptions, 1st in interception return yards and touchdowns, and was named the Defensive Player of the Year in 1993. He will join Bob Hayes, Bruce Smith, Derrick Thomas, Ralph Wilson, and Randall McDaniel as this year’s class of inductees. Woodson joined KNBR in San Francisco to talk about the upcoming ceremony and to reflect back on his illustrious career.
“Well, I don’t know how good I look in yellow, but I’m going to accept it and wear it proudly. You know, I try not to think about it. If I think about it too much, I get nervous – I get nervous about the speech, you know, the over/under of if I’m going to cry and how long I’m going to cry is out there. And I tell them, real men do cry. So I might shed a tear here or there, but it’s going to be worth it.”
On which of the four teams he played for – Pittsburgh, Baltimore, San Francisco and Oakland – that he would choose to be inducted as if he were forced to choose:
“If you’re a Steeler – once a Steeler, always a Steeler. I mean the Steelers faithful travel extremely well. But as an individual, if they made me choose a team going in to the Hall of Fame, I would have chosen the Pittsburgh Steelers, but as a whole, I have to thank every single team that I played with. I enjoyed the ten years that I had with the Steelers, it was remarkable, it was my start, but it wasn’t my finish. I think the vast majority of the body of work was done in Pittsburgh but the four years I spent in Baltimore, I got the ring, I transitioned positions in Baltimore, met a lot of great individual players, have a lot of great friendships from there. Same thing with the 49ers and same thing with the Raiders, so you know, it’s kind of hard. I’m a bi-racial person in life, I’m a mixed race, and I’m a mutt in football. I played on multiple teams and it was fun.”