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Story Archives: Moore looks back at career
|Moore looks back at career|
Mack Moore laughs when asked about "bountygate."
Overblown is an understatement to the Ferriday native, who played nine years in the Canadian Football League and National Football League. Especially back in his day.
Moore, who was inducted into British Columbia's Wall of Fame two years ago, said players had enough incentive back in his playing days.
"We were paid to get after the quarterback," said the former All-CFL defensive lineman. "Guys now are getting paid a million dollars to go after the quarterback. It's not like a thousand dollars is going to make a difference. Now if you paid someone a million dollars to do that you could probably get any kind of help you wanted off the street. I'm not sure how all that got out. It must have been from somebody who got released."
Moore, 51, spent two stints in a Lions uniform and set the standard for bringing pressure to the opposing quarterback from the interior lineman spot.
He joined the club in 1981 as a rookie free agent signing from Texas A&M after having been drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the sixth round.
"At that time it was about the money," Moore said of his reason for playing in Canada. "Back then it was me and Fulton Walker taken in the sixth round. David Overstreet was a first-round pick for the Dolphins. This was before free agency. And this was also around the time of the strike. Miami was a more expensive place to live and I had a wife (Susan Denise Lee Moore) and two kids."
Overstreet was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the first round, the 13th pick overall. A contract dispute with the Dolphins led him to sign with the Montreal Alouettes, who, under the ownership of Nelson Skalbania, tried to buy a big money winning team.
Moore said he had to adapt to a passing league after playing in the Southwest Conference.
"At Texas A&M, I did nothing but stop the run," said Moore. "When I got up here I had to learn how to rush the passer."
As a rookie, Moore started every game at defensive tackle, was named the team's Outstanding Rookie and began a stretch where he increased his sack total each season.
Moore also had to adapt to playing one yard off the ball and the wider CFL field.
"You had to have a certain amount of Canadians on the team and most of them were offensive linemen and not as big as the linemen in the NFL," he said. "I had to work on coming off the ball faster," he said. "I had to make up that yard and the offensive lineman was already backing up. I had to work on running faster to the ball, as well. I was more suited to the running game, so I had to make an adjustment."
Moore was all-CFL in both 1983 and '84. He finished with a CFL total of 56 sacks in 92 games.
His career high as a Lion came in 1983 when he led the club and was fifth in the CFL with 15 sacks, remarkable for an interior lineman.
After four seasons at British Columbia, Moore decided to give the NFL a try.
"My contract was up and the Dolphins had drafted me, so I decided to give it a try," Moore said. "I had some good years, but had hurt my Achilles heel. But I really enjoyed it."
After two years with Miami, Moore spent one year with the San Diego Chargers.
"I'm still very involved with the Dolphin alumni association, playing in golf tournaments and such," Moore said. "I also would like to get involved in recruiting. There are so many athletes with so much speed in Florida. But I wouldn't want to coach, that's too much stress."
Moore returned to the CFL and the Lions in 1988. His final two seasons with the club were just as productive with 17 more sacks. He was named to two Western Division teams (1983 and 1984) and only three players have recorded more sacks for the club all-time.
Moore graduated from Ferriday High in 1977.
"We had a lot of fun," Moore said. "We only had 13 guys on our team. You would start getting tired and look over to the sideline and all you would see was the kicker. We had to stay on the field the whole night."
Moore played football at Alcorn before joining San Francisco City College.
"I was redshirted at Alcorn and only played one year," Moore said. "I was going against five-year seniors one on one."
Johnny "Rip" Woodruff talked Moore into trying out at San Francisco City College.
"It was a different caliber of football," Moore said. "My dad gave us a one way ticket to San Francisco and the rest is history. It was either that or go to work for Ashland Oil. So I decided to give it a try."
It was also eye-opening for the Ferriday standout.
"The coach was mad one day and called us all in and said he could get some guys out of Joe's Bar to play because you guys are dogging it," Moore said. "I knew that was true, because I wasn't even the best player at Ferriday High."
Moore committed to UCLA, but also visited Pittsburgh where Hugh Green of Natchez was playing.
Florida, Florida State and Miami were also very interested.
But he decided to head to College Station, Texas.
"Texas A&M had married student housing, so that was a big selling point," Moore said. "They also had a very young defensive line. Hugh Green had an uncle living in Ferriday and we would go hunt together and wrestle around a lot."
Moore was inducted into the British Columbia Ring of Fame two years ago.
"That was unexpected," said Moore, who now resides in Pembroke Pines, Fl., where he works as a fire prevention supervisor.
"I was very honored to be a part of that."
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