Al Del Greco was a kicker in the NFL from 1984-2000. Joining the Oilers in 1991, Del Greco ranks #1 in Titans/Oilers scoring history, and ranks 14th all-time in points scored in NFL history. Del Greco is also a member of the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.
Titans Sized’s Kellen Barton: Wow. Al, thanks so much for answering some questions today.
Al Del Greco: Sure. Great to be with you.
TS: Well, first thing’s first. Nashville’s a pretty close knit town, and we really get a chance to recognize the faces, well I guess of our heroes really, and you certainly were no exception. If you don’t mind, tell us a little bit about your “Three Point Special.”
ADG: What about it?
TS: Living in Nashville in the late Nineties and early Oughts, it was hard to escape the incredibly fair deal that was “Al Del Grecco’s Three Point Special” featured at local Sir Pizza Restaurants (and the excellent advertisements). As a poor college student, the value of a variety of different pizzas (dessert pizzas included), served until vomiting was the only alternative to stopping, had a huge impact with my demographic in the community. And all for the price of $3.00. Do you think there’s something in your past that shaped and formed the Al Del Greco “personal mission statement” in a way that would lead you to this avenue of service?
ADG: Not really. They came to me and asked me to do some commercials for the restaurant. I kicked field goals, the food cost three bucks= three points. Whatever. I was never one to turn down a little bit of change in my pocket, you know.
TS: Haha, I just put that together. Three point special. And some of you don’t believe in fate. Regardless, I was a big fan of the eight meat, taco supreme, under the sea and cran/apple cinnamon chocolate varieties. What would you say Al Del Greco’s favorite choices were?
ADG: Well actually, I never ate there.
TS: Really? Alright. Really? I guess let’s get down to some football talk, then. You obviously had a very long and successful career in the NFL. While you played with three franchises, you spent the bulk of your career with the Titans/Oilers. Out of all of the great players you played with over the years: Warren Moon, Mike Munchak, Bruce Matthews, Frank Wycheck, Eddie George, Steve McNair, etc, who would you say your best teammate was over the years?
ADG: That’s a really tough one, Kelvin. When you have a career as long as mine was, you get to battle with so many great guys. But if I were to have to pick one, I’d have to go with Eddie George.
TS: Well, that’s a great pick that no one could argue with. We’d love to know some more specifics as to why, if you’d be so kind as to indulge us.
ADG: Eddie was the type of guy who could really rally the team. Nobody I ever played with had the enthusiasm that George did, and the ability to get everyone pumped up. He also really had the ability to pick guys up when they were down.
TS: How so?
ADG: During the end of my career, my leg wasn’t quite what it had been. During the 1999 playoffs I hit seven field goals in three games going into the Super Bowl. In the beginning of the game in Atlanta, I missed two field goals, which pretty much changed the momentum of the game. Trailing 16-0 early in the second half, Eddie put the team on his shoulders, as we tied the game with 16 consecutive points- featuring two Eddie George TDs. We didn’t pull out the win, but when anyone thinks about the game, they certainly don’t think about my 1-3 performance.
TS: I guess you’re right, I had forgotten about your two misses.
ADG: It doesn’t end there, Keller. The next year we were prohibitive favorites throughout much of the season. Needless to say, after I pretty much single handedly cost us our first home loss in Adelphia Colisseum history by missing a PAT against Baltimore, I was pretty nervous going into the playoffs. I was a little bit more nervous when I saw who we were playing. Eddie playing like the warrior he was, got into the endzone our first drive of the game. We were in control. The only problem was that I couldn’t hold my own against the Ravens. We were tied 10-10 in the 4th, when they blocked me for the second time of the game, returning it for a 90 yard TD. I was getting pretty down on myself when Eddie came up to me and said, “Al, don’t worry about it man. Let me tell you something. We can’t come back. Not today, not against this team. I’m gonna hand the ball over to them, let em score again. It’ll be on me. Everyone’s gonna leave you alone.” At first I was going to try and stop him, but I realized it wasn’t my place. Eddie was just being the best teammate a fella could ask for.
TS: Al, that’s some ridiculously candid and shocking stuff, but come to think of it, Eddie has bailed you out a number of times, and has to be included in any discussion of best teammates of all time. What sacrafice. With that being your last game, would you say you have any regrets? Anything that you left out on the field?
ADG: That’s not a question I’m interested in answering, to be honest. I try not to let myself go back there, you know, mentally.
TS: Well, before we go, would you like to give us your prediction for the game on Saturday.
ADG: No. You couldn’t pay me to watch.
TS: Thanks again!
***Al Del Greco Had Absolutely Nothing To Do With This***