Written by Laura Beshire
Ted Hendricks played for three teams during his NFL and will be representing the Oakland Raiders
for Taste of the NFL this year alongside Chef Paul Arenstam of Summer Kitchen + Bake Shop. No stranger to Super Bowl week, Hendricks has four Super Bowl rings of his own. Since Hendricks is new with us, here’s some information to help you get to know him better.
Q: What have you been up to following your football career?
A: I am involved with a lot of charity programs supporting Special Olympics, Cystic Fibrosis, Birth Defects and Advocacy. Currently my major focus is on my own Ted Hendricks Foundation. We support projects aimed at both youth and seniors. For the youth part we support the Boys and Girls Clubs, Pop Warner Football and Children's Hospitals. Our senior initiatives involve research projects aimed at Dementia and Alzheimer’s protocols as they relate to head trauma and quality of life.
Additionally my Hendricks Foundation sponsors a nationally acclaimed award recognizing the best Collegiate Defensive End in Football. Winners of this award must demonstrate not only athletic achievement but achievement in the classroom and involvement within their communities.
Q: What was it like to have been coached by John Madden?
A: Coach Madden was a great motivator. His coaching style was similar to his broadcast style; very animated and knowledgeable about the game.
Q: What is your favorite Super Bowl memory?
A: Winning the 1st Super Bowl for Al Davis, our owner of the Raiders was special. The Raiders had been in the playoffs multiple times and made it in to the Super Bowl several times, but had not won the Big Game. After that we won 2 more Super Bowls to add to the Raider image.
Q: Which teams have a shot at making it to the Super Bowl this year?
A: Several teams are looking strong at this point: Atlanta and Bears among others.
Q: Can you think of a significant way the game has changed since you were in the NFL?
A: I think the significant rules changes that have given the offensive part of the game a big advantage. As a defensive player, I am wondering when the defensive rules will catch back up.
Q: How did you get involved with Taste of the NFL?
A: I do a lot of cooking on the grill and am a big Food Channel fan. Living in the Chicago area we have many opportunities to visit some of the best restaurants in the country and we try to take in many others on the road. I attend many of the annual Super Bowl activities and the only event missing was the Taste of the NFL. One of my good friends has been a celebrity chef and had great things to say about being involved.
Q: What do you think you will enjoy most about being involved with Taste of the NFL?
A: I will probably enjoy meeting the different chefs involved with every city and the different cuisines they will be presenting.
Q: Why should fans attend Taste of the NFL in New Orleans this year?
A: To support the mission of Taste and enjoy the opportunity to meet and greet chefs and players from across the NFL.