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Football Legend

Pleasanton's Rod Woodson to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


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“Rod is God,” the signs in Three Rivers Stadium proclaimed during Rod Woodson’s 10 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Divinity may have been hyperbole, but the defensive back, who went on to play with the Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, and Oakland Raiders before retiring in Pleasanton, scores one of football’s highest honors this month: induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The weeklong celebration, beginning August 2 in Canton, Ohio, includes many events, but Woodson is looking forward most to a luncheon where current Hall of Famers roast the new inductees. “You can’t say anything—you just have to take it,” Woodson says, amused. “But I’m really excited to see all these guys.”

Woodson’s 17-year NFL career is the stuff of legends: three Super Bowl appearances, 11 Pro Bowl invitations, and an NFL-record 12 interception returns for touchdowns. But, to be a Hall of Famer, it takes consistency. “You’ve got to have some God-given natural ability,” he says. “After that, it comes down to will. You have to work hard, hone your skills, and be consistent over time—playing at a high level every single game.”

These days, Woodson is passing along that pro knowledge to viewers of the NFL Network—and to high schoolers as a defensive coach for the year-old football program at Dublin’s Valley Christian High. “Coaching is a good outlet for me; it’s a release. I can give the kids the knowledge I have and watch them grow over time,” he says. “Plus, I like to win.”

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