Dwight Hicks the Former Wolverine and 49er
On January 16, 2015 the World Premiere of X’s and O’s [A Football Love Story] began at the Berkeley Rep in Berkeley, California. The promotion includes: it’s a story about football and America’s love for the game. For this play, K J Sanchez and Jenny Mercein interviewed players, their families and their fans and examined the country’s passion for this generous and dangerous sport. They present the story that is visceral, emotional and highly theatrical. In fact, one of the actors is none other than Dwight Hicks.
Dwight was recruited by Bo Schembechler In 1974. He received, All-American honors in 1977, and then in 1978, played for the Toronto Argonauts for one season and then joined the San Francisco 49ers. There he had four consecutive Pro Bowl appearances and two Super Bowl rings [he made a pivotal interception against the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1981 Super Bowl game]. Dwight Hicks was also selected as a member of the 49ers all-time team.
In an interview in the February 1, 2015 edition of The New York Times, Hicks talked about football injuries, and stated “I’ve seen some of the guys that I played with, that I played against, and that were dear to me. I’ve seen some of these issues that were talking about happen to them.”…. “This is the thing about playing football in the NFL; if you play, the risk of injury is 100%. It’s just a matter of to what degree.”
All the University of Michigan players that I interviewed In Bo’s Warriors, left, professional football because of injury. For example, Reggie McKenzie, the All-American, all Pro with the Buffalo Bills and the Seattle Seahawks told me of an injury he sustained in 1984 when his Seattle Seahawks were playing the San Francisco 49ers, at Candlestick Park, in a preseason game. “Seattle had the ball with second down and long. In the 49ers defensive backfield was all Pro Ronnie Lott along with another safety. Back then, employing a cutting block was legal, and Reggie wanted to cut both of them at their knees. He figured that since one, was behind the other, he could take both of them out in one shot. He had done the same thing many times before. He made a terrific block and took out Lott, as well as the second safety. In fact, it was such a good block that Seattle made a first down on the play. Unfortunately, Reggie did not get his right hand extended as he fell to the ground, and his opponents landed on his elbow. The impact tore up his right shoulder. Reggie ultimately lost his muscle in his joint and never was the same afterward.” That was Reggie’s last season of professional football. We know that NFL stands for “Not for Long” as that is one of the reasons.
Reggie didn’t say that one of the players [the unnamed safety] was Dwight Hicks. Anyway, Hicks the football player is now the actor. And McKenzie runs Reggie McKenzie Industrial Materials Incorporated, and gives back by way of the Reggie McKenzie Foundation.
Good work men. Go Blue!