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As far back as I can remember I visited Euclid Beach amusement park in Cleveland, Ohio every summer with my family.  My dad worked in Akron for Goodyear Tire & Rubber who rented the park for one day every year for employees and their families.  It was a big event for us farm kids.  Our dad would cook breakfast (which he rarely did), pack the six of us up in the Nash and we’d drive an hour to the park.   Once on the road, Dad would NOT stop for any reason so Mom made cookies or fudge to keep us entertained (and quiet) in the car.  Food bribes were common and they worked – still do!  We rarely left the farm so this was an exotic trip for us all….probably the equivalent of a kid’s trip to Disney World today.

The park had many exciting rides for a young boy and I took in as many as I possibly could in our allotted time.  But my favorite (and most terrifying) attraction was a trip through the Fun House.  Moving through dark, dusty corridors with evil demons jumping out at me from every direction was intense…. and exhilarating!

Power running in the NFL would sometimes remind me of those visits to Euclid Beach – exciting, spontaneous, adrenaline-charged.  So when I was shown this highlight reel featuring me and set to CCR’s “Run Through The Jungle,” I had a total flashback to that childhood amusement park!

A power runner in the NFL is seldom going to out run those demon defenders…..so we get low and get mean!  If you run with rage and have the instinct to attack first, you have the ability to be a power runner.  Add five All-Pro offensive linemen to the mix and you’re there!

Mean Joe Greene, Dick Butkus, Bubba Smith, Ben Davidson, Roy Winston and others were my demons in the jungle!

Hope you enjoy the clip….


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Showing 21 comments
  • Lyonel Leonard

    To watch after having done each one of the plays, the soul must be able to relive each along with the brain rushing with brushing punishment that took place such a blessing to see
    A legend in your own time is pretty special. Thanks for sharing

  • William Murphy

    Great !!!

  • Kelly Waldrop

    Best Power Runner in the game.Glad I was able to see you.

  • Richard Sweetz

    My childhood idol, best power runner ever

  • Mitch Herrick

    Loved it as a kid growing up in Massachusetts. I’ve loved the Miami Dolphins since 1971. Ate and breathed with Csonka, Kiick, Warfield and Griese as my idols. You will always be the definition of “Power Back” and synonymous with the Dolphins and toughness. Love your blogs and memories. Keep em coming!!!

  • Greg McGehee

    So if I’m in Alaska next summer, is there a way to go fishing with you or at least meet for a cookout? It would be bucket list for me!

  • Gary Houchens

    You were a BEAST! Loved to watch you just beat the other team to death! Alway Awsome Zonk!

  • Joe Setticase

    To me the best,my dad,mom,brother and me loved watching you care the ball and laughing at the defense scared eyes when you were running at them. I met you several times.You signed a few things for me.I followed you in Syracuse when they used to call you lawn mower.I have some dolphin girl friends Cheryl and Jan.

  • terry spears

    The Zonk was the best

  • Patricia Klein

    So awesome!! It was like you were running in slo-mo. What an athlete. Love my Phins.

  • chuck lewis

    Zonk-That was awesome to see!!!-You are the best. Brought me back to 8 years old again watching the Perfect Season Super Bowl. Oh how I wish we had power running back like you were on todays team!!

  • Andy

    Thanx Zonk 4 all the great memories! i became a Dolphin fan when we moved to Miami in 1973 and the 1st game i ever went to was the championship game when i watched you run all over the hated Raiders. you were the greatest fullback of all time and as a Fin fan that means we have had the greatest coach quarterback and fullback of all time and thats awesome!you epitomize what rushing ATTACK means watching this clip sent me back to being a nine year old and enjoying those days of Miami dominance which we have never seen again.hopefully Gase will become the 2nd best Dolphin coach ever. God bless you and your family. again thank you!!!!!!!

  • Denny Freshwaters

    Hey Larry, watching that clip and reading your comments about going to the park as a kid brought back memories of my childhood days, particularly during hay season when we were bailing, I remember going to Bud Appleton’s farm to work and get timothy hay. Hope all is well, we live in Simpsonville S.C. now, after 30 years in Cape Coral Florida. Our son’s and their families are still there. Have a blessed day.

  • Gary

    That brings back good memories Zonk. I remember in third and fourth grade when we played football on the playground at school several times my teacher pulled me from the game and made me sit and watch because I was throwing stiff arms and she thought I was being to rough and trying to hurt the other boys, when really I was trying to be like my favorite player Csonka! It’d make me so mad but I never stopped throwing stiff arms.

  • Sandra Cruz

    OMGosh!!!! Now that is how you run through a defensive line!!! This is when football was great and players played with heart. Started my love for the Dolphins in 1970 when you guys were a force to be reckoned with, through the Undefeated Season, and will forever be a Dolfan!!! You rock Zonk!!! Thanks for sharing yourself with us!!!

  • Allen Drake

    First book I ever read “Csonka”. I bought it during the book sale at Pembroke Pines Elementary school. It was the 70’s and the mighty Miami Dolphins lead by legendary coach Shula were the center of my boyhood universe. Thank you very much Mr Csonka for great childhood memories.
    By the way, I still have the book.

  • Daniel DiCenzo

    You are my favorite football player. I grew up in Hollywood FL in the late 60’s and 70’s watching the dolphins play. I loved watching you run though the defenders. I met you at the club in Ft Lauderdale that I think you owned. I hope the perfect season never gets broken!!!

  • Logan woods

    Hey Larry it’s logan woods it’s nice to know that you are a part of my family through my grandpa Bill Csonka. You are an inspiration to me and hope that someday I will get the chance to meet you and talk football with you

  • Tim Chestnut

    Tough …durable ….lean ….game after game hard nosed football….as a kid growing up in the 70s I watched you pound out yards taking defenders with you on your way
    Today more than ever with me at 55 years old I realize l witnessed the best years of all major league sports
    Today it’s entertaining and fun … SURE… BUT
    SOMETHING …is not the same….
    BackntheDay……I miss it!!!!

  • Jim Flax

    That was awesome. So many fun surprises and laughs you and the team provided back in the day. Helluva of ride for us too…without the bumps,bruises, breaks,etc that you endured

    Still a big fan of the team to this day. I have a theory that some of the most hardcore current fans are right around my current 55 years of age. That is, we were 11 in 1972- old enough to really understand the game but young enough to totally be into hero worship. The passion for the aqua and orange never left us

    Go back a long way with my season tickets. Been taking my 11 year old son for about 5 years and so happy that the ride has finally been a blast for him this year.

    Thank you for all the thrills.

  • John henry

    Hi Mr.csonka. you were the best f.b ever. I really miss watching you play for the best nfl team the Miami dolphins.

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