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Catching up With: Raymond Berry

The 2013 season is the Colts’ 30th in Indianapolis. On Tuesdays during the season, will catch up with a player of the past. Today: Raymond Berry.


Who was the opposing head coach you least liked to face in terms of how well he prepared his teams?

My least favorite coach to face was **George Allen (click here)** of the L.A. Rams.  You knew going against them they would be ready to play.  He was driven in competition and prepared each game to the finest detail.

What was your favorite road stadium to play in and why?

I liked playing in **Kezar Stadium (click here)** in San Francisco and the **Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (click here)**.  Why, California, of course.  For a number of years we played out there in consecutive weeks.  That's something not done in today's NFL.

What opposing player did you respect the most and why?

I had quite a few – Abe Woodson of San Francisco, Irv Cross of the L.A. Rams, **Dick LeBeau of Detroit (click here)**, Dick Lynch of the N.Y. Giants, Jesse Whittenton of Green Bay.  All of those guys were great man-to-man corners.  There were some great players in the league and these in particular were formidable.

Who was the NFL player you wanted to meet the most before you made the league and why?

It was Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch of the Rams.  He was a great receiver.  I saw the movie, **“Crazylegs” (click here)** about his career and life when I was 18 years old.  I wanted to catch passes like Elroy.

What was your most memorable Colts game and why?

It was the 1958 NFL Championship game in Yankee Stadium against the New York Giants.  We won in overtime, 23-17, and had to tie it on a late drive to force sudden death, the NFL's first such game.  **It was my greatest day as a pro (click here)**.

Who was the toughest teammate you had and why was he the toughest?

John Unitas was the toughest teammate I had.  He was beyond intimidation.

What was the hardest thing you ever had to do in a game?

The hardest thing to do was to get open against the games top cornerbacks, those being Abe Woodson of San Francisco, Irv Cross of the L.A. Rams, Dick LeBeau of Detroit, Dick Lynch of the N.Y. Giants, Jesse Whittenton of Green Bay, in my opinion. 

What was the hardest thing about playing on the road?

I liked playing on the road, especially in California.


What was your favorite road win?

In 1959, we ended our season on the West Coast, as usual, playing the Rams and 49ers.  We had to win both games.  We did, and we won the championship.

What did your jersey number mean to you?

Nothing in particular.  That was the number (82) they gave me when I was a rookie.

If you didn't wear your favorite number, what number would that have been and why did it mean something to you?

I would have picked number 87, my number at SMU.

What was the most fun thing about training camp?

The most fun thing was Big Daddy Lipscomb, Jim Parker and Art Donovan.  They were our equivalent of The Three Stooges.  They were a laugh a minute.  You needed that in such a setting, and they provided it.

What was the toughest thing about training camp?

The heat and humidity were the biggest challenges.  I liked the work.

What advice would you give to players heading into the NFL?

I would tell every player to concentrate on doing their job, go 100 percent on every play and don't look to the right or the left.

If you could pick three people to share a meal with, who would they be and why would you include them?

I would choose any three guys, as long as they were U.S. Marines.

If you could pick one historical figure to meet, who would it be?

I would pick three – Jesus Christ, Winston Churchill and General George Patton.


When was the loudest you heard Memorial Stadium and what was the circumstance?

Every week when we were playing, doing well and winning – which was most of the time.  We had the greatest fans.  

What was the best prank you played on a teammate?

I once put a dead mouse in Jim Parker's locker.  You should have heard the loud scream. 

Who were the best pranksters among your teammates?

Art Donovan and Big Daddy Lipscomb.  They were in a class of their own.

What was the best overall prank you saw pulled?

I put a dead mouse in Big Daddy Lipscomb's locker as well as Jim Parker's.  Big Daddy went bananas.  It was the best.

Which of your head coaches gave the best pre-game speech?

Weeb Ewbank was the most memorable.  He gave one right before the 1958 NFL Championship game against the New York Giants.  I wasn't paying attention.  I was thinking about the Giants, but the guys said Weeb was good.

Which of your teammates gave the best pre-game or locker room speeches?

Gino Marchetti gave the best talk.  He said, 'There's a party at my house after the game.  Let's go win this game and we'll have a great party."  He said that in 1958 when we played San Francisco at home.

What is the best NFL uniform (other than the Colts) and why?

I like the current day New England Patriots uniform.  It is a great overall combination.

Who is the opposing head coach(s) you find always had his team prepared the most thoroughly?

Vince Lombardi and Weeb Ewbank were the ones I thought had their teams most thoroughly ready to play.  Each did it on the highest level for many years.

If you could have played under any head coach in history (even beyond the NFL) for whom you didn't play, who would it be and why would you want to play for him?

I would pick **Vince Lombardi (click here)**.  He kept it simple.

What is your all-time favorite stadium (not necessarily in the NFL) and why?

Mine is the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.  We always had a crowd of 100,000, and we usually played in good weather.  You couldn't help but love it, plus it was such a historic place.

What are some of the strangest or funniest sideline moments you remember?

I made a great catch in front of the Green Bay bench one time and Vince Lombardi yelled out, "Did you see that (expletive deleted) catch?"  I remember it well.

What is the greatest sporting event or individual performance outside the NFL that you saw in person?

It was watching Doak Walker at SMU do his magic against the University of Texas in Dallas' Cotton Bowl in 1947.

What was your favorite team growing up and why?

I followed Army when I was age 12-13.  It was before television, about 1944 or 1945.  I followed them because of Glenn Davis and Doc Blanchard, their great fullback and halfback.

Who was your favorite NFL player growing up and why?

Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch of the Rams and Doak Walker of the Lions were my favorite growing up.

Who is the best pure athlete you have had as a teammate?

**Lenny Moore (click here)**, the club's halfback from 1956-67.  What a dynamic player he was, a real threat every time his hands were on the ball.

Was there a person you wish you could have met during your career that you didn't get to meet? If so, who would was that and why did you want to meet him?

I was in the L.A. Airport once and saw Clark Gable.  I followed him around for a while, but I didn't have the nerve to approach him.  He was as impressive physically as he appeared in the movies.

What do you remember the most about Colts fans?

They were the greatest fans.  A unique dynamic was going on in Baltimore during those days.  I've never seen anything like it.

Please describe what you currently are doing and where you live as well as any family information you wish to include.

I currently am involved in speaking and writing, and I am involved with a company called HBW.  It's an insurance and financial services group out of Simi Valley, California.  I am a consultant to the CEO.  I speak to HBW people at conventions and training sessions.  I am on the phone with a lot of various writers and radio/TV people.  One writer has a book in mind and it is in the works.

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