Q&A Larry Csonka

The NFL Hall of Fame running back, 58, is the host of OLN's Hunting for the Holidays, which premieres on Dec. 1
November 28, 2005

SI: Have you always been an outdoorsman?
Csonka: As a kid [in Stow, Ohio] I liked to be in the presence of the critters--pheasants, rabbits, groundhogs. I had pet hawks, crows, raccoons. If it was furred or feathered, I had one as a pet.

SI: In September, returning from a reindeer hunt in Alaska, you and five others had to be rescued from your boat in the Bering Sea after it encountered 45-knot winds and nearly capsized. Did you ever lose your faith?
Csonka: I was never at the point where I thought we were about to die. But I was at a point where I thought we would be in the water. We were thinking about [what to do] when the boat went over or upside down. And we did that all night, minute to minute, for 14 hours.

SI: You signed a football for the Coast Guard petty officer who rescued you. How did you inscribe it?
Csonka: THANKS FOR PULLING MY ASS OUT OF THE SEA. LARRY CSONKA #39.

SI: Are you worried about the Colts' matching the '72 Dolphins' perfect season?
Csonka: I know Archie Manning and met Peyton when he was just a little guy. I remember Peyton asking me about football stories. I said, "When you grow up, you'll make your own football stories." I didn't know the little rascal was going to have me concerned about my undefeated season. [Laughs.]

SI: Even while playing for the Dolphins, you were dreaming of being an outdoorsman, right?
Csonka: Coach [Don] Shula used to demand complete attention. He would get in my face and say, "I don't know where you are, but I know you are not here. Would you please tell me where you are?" He was right. Where I was was in a stream in Alaska.

• For more from Larry Csonka, go to SI.com/scorecard.

PHOTOKEVIN MAZUR/WIREIMAGE.COM (CSONKA) PHOTOCOURTESY OF OLN (CSONKA HUNTING)
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)