A TRIP TO REMEMBER

A TRIP TO REMEMBER

Recently, Norm Evans, my offensive tackle from the championship years with the Dolphins, visited me in Alaska.  He brought his son, Ron (whom I’ve known since he was 5), and his grandson, Jaggar.

Norm was our All-Pro offensive tackle from ’68 – ’75.  He was a team captain and a pillar of the championship years.  He was on the offensive line I ran behind for seven years with the Dolphins.  I learned how to read Norms blocking techniques by keeping his feet in my peripheral vision.  He was a finesse blocker.  This is not to say he couldn’t handle down and dirty, straight ahead football.  He absolutely could.  But he also had the ability to, instantaneously, position himself perfectly at the snap.  If carrying the ball in his direction, I would watch his feet out of the corner of my eye.  This would tell me where the hole would be….every time.

norm evans action

 

One thing I miss most about our championship years is that look I’d get from my entire offensive line  – Moore, Little, Kuechenberg, Langer and Evans – when Griese or Morrall would call my number to carry.  Without words, they clearly said “follow me!”  “If you get in trouble, come to me, I’ll get you there!”  I miss those moments with those guys.  We had tremendous confidence in each other’s abilities on the field.

Norm, Ron, Jaggar and I traveled to Soldotna and Jimmie Jack’s Seascape Lodge for a few nights.  Audrey and I first met our friend, Jimmie, several years ago while featuring him and his guide service in our North to Alaska TV series.  He has since expanded his operation to include a new beautiful lodge on the bluff of Cook Inlet.  Spectacular views, great service and gourmet meals all exceeded our expectations!

 

lodge pic

 

One day of fishing is, unfortunately, all we had time for.  Typically, the Coho or silver salmon run is in full swing on the Kenai River by now but we could only find a few among all the Humpy’s (pink salmon) in the river this year.  Still, we had a great time!  Salmon fishing in Alaska was a new experience for Ron and Jaggar so it really didn’t matter which species we were catching.  Many of the Humpies were chrome bright, fresh from the saltwater of Cook Inlet, so they provided lots of action!

fishing 2

 

 

After a full day on the Kenai, we returned to the comfort of the lodge where loads of red king crab would be served for dinner.  Apparently, the Time Bandit (of “The Deadliest Catch” fame) caught this crab.  They were some of the biggest crab legs any of us had seen!

 

crab 4

 

A few other teammates have visited us in Alaska – Jim Kiick, Mercury Morris, Charlie & Leslie Babb.  Our trip with Jim and Merc was quick but memorable!  We enjoyed some quality time with the Babb’s but didn’t get to do any fishing together.  And now Norm.  In addition to fishing, we spent some time around our backyard fire pit – throwin’ the bull, smoking cigars and reminiscing about our years together with the Dolphins.

 

cigar pic

Larry Csonka Chillin

Good times!

ZONK

Learn more about Jimmie Jack’s Alaska Fishing – Click here! 

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Showing 12 comments
  • Roger Shephard
    Reply

    Great article. I grew up in central New York and followed you from your days @ S.U and then when you became a Miami Dolphin I felt that I only the Dolphin fan in the Central New York area. Lol.
    When I played I had to have a helmet lIke yours. Glad to see you are doing well. 72 Dolphins forever

  • Inky
    Reply

    It sure looks like you had a great time with your former teammate! Loved the pics and especially the crablegs!Yummm!!!

  • John Hendricks
    Reply

    I think that’s so cool to still be giving love to your linemen. That whole Dolphins team in the 70’s was really one of the best ever, including the running backs and linemen! Good to see what a fun life you’re leading!

  • Beverly Buckeye
    Reply

    Hi Zonk, I really enjoyed this story as I do all of them. You sure know how to reminisce & show everyone a good time. The fishing looks like a lot of fun & I sure wish I would’ve been involved with your team other than just a season ticket fan. I am from Tallmadge, Ohio. so I am a true Buckeye. My daughter is an ardent angler & when she was 8 years old caught a 3 lb. 3 oz. White crappie at Muzzy Lake in Rootstown. She held the record for the largest white crappie in Ohio for 17 years. She has a burning desire to go to Alaska so wait till I show her this pictures of the fish, she will want to go more than ever. We have been in Florida since 1970, Keep sending the pics. I sure do enjoy them.
    Thanks,
    Sincerely Beverly Mittiga Buckeye

  • Gene Csonka
    Reply

    Great article, still glad we met you here in Estero, Fl at Bass Pro. Hope to get up there and go fishing as soon as I can get wife Tina to retire. Miss the fishing show but keep up with you on FB

  • Joseph Meyers
    Reply

    You are the most gracious host Mr. Csonka. A fishing trip to Alaska is definitely on my bucket list and would appreciate any recommendations for lodging and a charter trip or two.

    Lifelong Dolphins fan

    • Larry Csonka
      Reply

      Joseph, can’t beat the fishing up here. Check out JimmieJackFishing.com to see if his operation suits your needs. If you’re looking for a remote lodge, we can make other recommendations. But Jimmie Jacks is easier on budget and offers great fishing and fly outs to remote rivers as well.
      ZONK

  • Greg Prevatt
    Reply

    Csonk, I grew up as kid in Miami during those glory years. What an incredible memory all of you provided for us young Miamians. Went to the same church as Norm and Bobbie in Hollywood toward the end of the era. Even today, I still display some memories from that era in my office.
    Thanks for all the great memories! 72 Dolphins will always be the greatest ever.
    By the way, I am taking my 17 year old some to Alaska in Sept for a week of fishing. Can’t wait.

    • Larry Csonka
      Reply

      Greg, thanks for your comment and good luck on your upcoming Alaska trip. Not sure what you’re going for but Sept is great for silvers and fat rainbows and char. Enjoy!
      ZONK

  • Paul Paduano
    Reply

    great story about you with Norm! Brought back some great memories too! Zonk, these stories awesome!

  • chris conner
    Reply

    biggest fan of you.love your show.dolfan since 5 years old.may no one beat your undefeated season

  • Jeanne Ruff
    Reply

    Hello Larry! You and the ‘fins were Miami’s hero’s back then! I’m a native Miamian, an optometrist, now living in Virginia but the Orange and Teal will always run through my veins. I was only 7 yo but remember that season. Giro Yupremian lived in my neighborgood and we use to walk by and hope to see him. Back then, players typically played for their home team and did not move around for the best $ as they do today; players had ‘heart’ as they say. I’m glad you’re doing great and wish you well.

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