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Transcript: Sam Cunningham Interview

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Sam "Bam" Cunningham talks with the media on Wednesday, August 11, 2010.

Q: First of all, congratulations.

SC: Thank you. Thank you very much. It's definitely an honor. Like I told John Hannah last night, 'Wow, I get to sit at the table with you guys.' Thank you very much.

Q: What does it mean to you to be inducted at this point?

SC: I've had plenty of time to think about this, and I still don't know what it means. I will try to make something intelligent here. For me, it means, that the work we put in many years ago was appreciated. I came 3,000 miles away from California to play back here. I didn't know what it was going to be like or how it was going to turn out. And I got the opportunity to hook up with a bunch of great players, a bunch of great coaches, and we did as well as we could do for what we had for as long as we could. For the fans to appreciate that and remember 30-something years down the line and bless me and my family with this honor, it means an awful lot. It really does. It's special. Because my mom and dad aren't here anymore, and it's just us four boys who are left and our kids, so they get a chance to appreciate some of the stuff that I've done and we've done as athletes to appreciate it a little bit and use that as foundation for their lives. To come here and see all these people watching training camp here, I mean we had people watching our training camp, but it wasn't like this. They had to come a long way. They had to go to Amherst when I first got here and then Bryant College after that. But I was always kind of going to work in the coal mine. We kind of worked out and didn't have this much grass or this clean a grass. It was fun. It was what it was and we worked as hard as we could. And now, that hard work is being paid off just by being able to be back here and see how it has improved and changed and all these microphones in my face.

Q: You got a chance to talk to Laurence Maroney. What did you guys talk about? You talk about the game or you just talk about things in general?

SC: No, we talked about more than just the game. The game is just a little bitty part of it. What kind of advice can I give him other than play hard and have fun with it, which is what I've always tried to do. We talked more about how it's a short time in our lives that you need to put as much into it as you can because afterwards you and your family get to appreciate what you did for that little short time. He kept saying it [39] was my number, and I said it's our number. And we kept arguing. 'Come on Laurence. My number had my name on it. Your number has your name on it.' I just want him to just have fun and enjoy. When you start it, it seems like it's going to be forever but it isn't. And then when it's done, you wish you had more time to do something with it. Then, 30 years down the line, you receive some of the benefits and some of the appreciation of what you did. So that's all we talked about.

Q: Is it nice to know that people are remembering your generation of players to be able to come back now and have this honor for you?

SC: Well, it's not a validation of anything. We came, we put in our work as hard as we could and much as we could and for the fans and the people to appreciate it. At the end of the day, that's all you want. You make your money, you spend your money and you do whatever you do. The appreciation factor is something that never goes away. I enjoyed so much playing with the guys that I played with and playing for the coaches that I played with that if we could play today, I'm sure we would go somewhere and play. Obviously we can't. Just to be appreciated and to be remembered is the thanks that I really enjoy as I'm sure my teammates do also.

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