TOFN podcast: Charles Haley revisits his fifth Super Bowl
The Talk of Fame Network resumes its “5 Games” series of podcasts this week with Hall of Fame pass rusher Charles Haley.
The concept of the podcast is to visit with an historic football figure about five significant games in his career. With Haley, coming up with the list of five was an easy chore – it was his five Super Bowls on the way to becoming the first player in NFL history with five Super Bowl rings. This podcast features his fifth and final Super Bowl in 1996 – a triumph over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Haley almost wasn’t around for that one. He rebounded from offseason back surgery to have a terrific 1994 season, collecting 12 and a half sacks. But after a loss in the NFC championship game at San Francisco, Charles said he was done. He was going to retire. But he changed his mind, received a new contract and contributed 10 and a half sacks to another championship season for the Cowboys. They capped it with a 27-17 victory over the Steelers in the Super Bowl.
Haley underwent surgery on a ruptured disk in his back suffered in the 13th game of the regular season but was back on the field two months later for that Super Bowl.
“I told my teammates if they ever needed me, I would never forsake them,” Haley said. “I said I’ll dress if you need me. I’ll play if you need me. But when I got dressed, I figured I might as well play. I didn’t care. I wanted to win. It’s about sacrifices. I’d sacrifice my career for my teammates. I love them that much. That meant more to me than anything else. Guys understood it was more than talk when I told them I would always be there for them.”
Not only did Haley play, he picked up the last of his Super Bowl record 4 ½ career sacks. Super Bowl MVP Larry Brown also played, intercepting Neil O’Donnell twice, including a game-saver in the closing minutes.
“Neil found somebody open twice – and it was Larry Brown,” Haley mused. “He might have should have looked at that jersey number. But he found him wide open and threw it to him.”
Haley also talked about the most satisfying of his five Super Bowls. He revisited his stunning departure at the top of his game from the 49ers and closed by signing the theme song from the TV show, “Love Boat.” Subscribe to our podcast and listen for free at @ iTunes or VokalNow.com