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Greg Lafleur

Chatting With Southern University’s Greg LaFleur

by Courtney Maciasz

October 28, 2009 – LFM: Where are you originally from?
GL: Ville Platte, and I went to Ville Platte High School.

LFM: What was it like to play for LSU?

GL: It was a great experience. We had a good bit of success, but not like the success Greg Lafleurthey are having now. However, we had a fun ride.

LFM: Being drafted in the NFL, is that something you would have ever imagined?
GL: Well, every football player would like to play at the next level. My situation was rather unique, because I was a quarterback in high school. Then, I played wide receiver my first two years, and then, I played tight end my last two years. To go from three different positions and make it at the next level, that’s kind of odd in itself. I was one of the fortunate few that could do that.

LFM: What team did you enjoy playing for the most in the NFL?
GL: I think it was 1983. It was probably our best year in St. Louis. We had a shot at going to the playoffs, but as a matter of fact, we went to the playoffs in 1982, but it was a strike-shortened season. It was not quite the same, but in ’83 we missed a field goal the last play of the game of our last game. A win would’ve put us in the playoffs. We had a pretty good team that year, so that was a fun run that year. It was not the Arizona Cardinals, but the St. Louis Cardinals.

LFM: What is a significant difference you see in the NFL and college football today compared to when you played?
GL: The difference between NFL and college is, one, everybody’s good. Most importantly, in college you come out of high school at 17 or 18 years-old. The oldest person you will play against is 22. So, maybe there’s this four or five year age difference. In professional football, when you’re 21 or 22, you have guys that are 31 or 32. You could play with people that are 12 years older than you, and that’s a big, big difference because of that experience. You can fool them, because they know the game three or four times better than you. So, it’s very obvious when you play somebody that’s played in the league eight or nine years. It’s hard to beat those guys.

LFM: Do you feel that the NFL is made out to be too glamorous these days, and if so, does it take away from the game?
GL: When I played, the media was limited. All you had was three television stations, and ESPN was just coming on, but they had no involvement in professional sports at all when I played, other than just giving the score. We didn’t have CNN, so anything that happened, you didn’t hear about it until the 10:00 news or until the next day. Now, as soon as things happen, it’s glamorized and publicized all over the place. With the salaries today compared to what we made, the players are kind of like little rock stars now. Professional sports are no different than Bruce Springsteen. It’s just that we didn’t look at it that way back in the day, because the media was different. Professional sports are just a higher level of entertainment. Professional entertainment is exactly what it is, and it’s just that we get emotionally attached to it. All it is, is watching a guy run, catch, and tackle.

LFM: When did you become the athletic director at Southern University?
GL: In July, 2005.

LFM: Where were you before accepting your position at Southern University?
GL: I was at Texas State, and then Chicago State.

LFM: What are some interesting things going on with Southern’s athletic programs?
GL: We just completed our new End Zone Complex. It’s our field house at the end of our football field. We have new locker rooms for football, men and women’s track. We have new offices for our football and track coaches. Also, we have a new weight room for all of our sports, as well as a new training room. Then, we have some meeting rooms in the facility.

LFM: How does it feel to be working for a university with such great tradition?
GL: That’s the reason I came here. When I got the call about the job, I was like “wow, I get the opportunity to go to Southern.” Because of the success they’ve had in athletics, I just kind of wanted to be a part of it to see if I could take it to another level.

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