Former Vikings defensive end Chris Doleman lives in Atlanta now, but he was at Winter Park on Wednesday after learning that he will be inducted into the team's Ring of Honor at halftime of their Oct. 23 game against the Green Bay Packers.
In 15 seasons, Doleman collected 150.5 sacks, fourth-most in NFL history. He led the NFL in 1989 with 21.0 sacks.
I asked Doleman, who began his career as a linebacker, about his pass-rushing ability and he said his motivation was pretty simple.
"I’m not a big quarterback fan," he said. "I’m serious. I’m just not. ... I realize the game has changed a lot. They’ve put even more of a premium on quarterbacks, but what you’re going to have is everybody is going to want to be a quarterback and nobody wants to do the other side."
Doleman was named to the Pro Bowl eight times in his career. He came out of retirement to play one final season for the Vikings in 1999.
"This was the last hurrah," he said. "This was the last hour before they close the bar, or whatever you want to call it. It was a great time to play football and it never felt like work. It just felt like getting out there and just having fun with your friends. We looked forward to the film on Mondays and see how well you played and see what level you were playing at, so I really enjoyed that time. And the last sack that I had, was pretty big. I went over 150 and it was against Green Bay so I mean, come on, what more can you ask for?"
Doleman was a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010 and 2011. He believes he's worthy of enshrinement, but said it won't "define" him.
"If it happens it happens, but I am not going to sit up here and hold my breath," Doleman said. "Amongst defensive lineman I finished third in the history of the league and I’m still waiting. It doesn’t make sense, but I’m still waiting. If they call me and I’m alive, maybe I accept it, maybe I won’t. It might be, ‘You should have called me 50 years earlier’, I don’t know. But my point is that it’s not going to define who I am. As everyone goes into that stadium and you look around the rafters and you see your name there, you know that you have made your mark."