By Bill McCaughey
For The Fort Bend Star
On Sunday, Missouri City, in conjunction with the NFL Hall of Fame Players Association, held a Super Bowl pre-game tailgate party at the City Centre.
“We are holding a tailgate party to benefit our new parks foundation and the Hall of Fame Players Association. It’s an opportunity for our residents to mingle with the Hall of Fame players,” Anthony Snipes, city manager said. “The parks foundation is a non-profit organization to provide money and resources to our parks. On Saturday we hosted the Hall-of-Fame Players golf outing. We had about 30 former players here, and we expect about 12 Hall-of-Famers to be here today”
One of those Hall-of-Famers was Jack Youngblood, who was an All-Pro for five years with the Los Angeles Rams.
“I was from a small town in Florida and went to school at the University of Florida, which is in a small town, so when I landed in Los Angeles, it was country come to town. I had never been past the Mississippi River,” Youngblood said. “I arrived just after the ‘Fearsome Foursome’ but Merlin Olsen and Deacon Jones were still there. The toughest guys I played against were Ron Yary, Dan Dierdorf, and Rayfield Wright. I loved playing against the best because they made me better.”
Paul Krause of the Vikings still holds the NFL record for interceptions with 81.
“I was both good and lucky. The 81 interceptions was a team thing. Without a good pass rush, and good linebackers, it wouldn’t have happened. It was my job to first play for the pass, but at some point, you have to decide whether to go for the interception. And you had to have a short memory if you got burned.”
Dave Wilcox played for the 49ers from 1964-1974. They were beaten in the National Football Conference championship game by the Cowboys for three consecutive years, keeping them out of the Super Bowl.
“It was simple. They scored more points than we did,” Wilcox said. “We gave it our best shot and life moves on.”
Roger Wehrli was described by Roger Staubach as the first “shut-down corner” in the NFL.
“I think Roger was being kind because there were quite a few very good cornerbacks back then,” Wehrli said.
Wehrli played all of his football career in the state of Missouri, first at a small high school in northwest Missouri, then at the University of Missouri, and then 14 years with the St. Louis Cardinals.
“Charlie Taylor of the Redskins and Bob Hayes of the Cowboys were the toughest receivers for me to play against,” Wehrli said. “It was different back then in that we could bump the receivers quite a bit. I was lucky when I joined the league because I had Larry Wilson, Hall-of-Fame safety, as my mentor. He taught me how to play in the NFL and prepare for each game.”
Wehrli played when Don “Air” Coryell was the Cardinals head coach.
“We were known as the Cardiac Cardinals back then,” Wehrli said.
Tyson Stittleburg is general manager of the golf course and City Centre.
“The City Centre, which was built in 2012, has three event rooms, a board room, our golf shop and a restaurant. We have over 400 events a year in the City Centre. We are starting to have events with groups beyond the Missouri City area. Coming up we have a NASA Johnson Space Center event. So, we are becoming a regional event center.”
“This is just a great event. We will use our share of the proceeds to make our parks more ADA (American Disability Act) compatible, and add some things such as artwork,” Missouri City Mayor Allen Owens said. “But the best thing is we get our community involved and they get to meet these Hall-of-Famers.”