Sep 20, 2007

Machine Gun” Kelly Entertains at FCSports Speaker Series

Florida Citrus Sports welcomed former Buffalo Bills and Miami Hurricanes quarterback Jim Kelly to its quarterly Speaker Series this morning as it hosted a breakfast at the Citrus Club in downtown Orlando.  The Hall of Fame quarterback joined a full house of FCSports members for breakfast before sitting down and being interviewed as part of the event.

WFTV sports director Zach Klein served as the event’s emcee, interviewing Kelly for over 30 minutes.  Topics ranged from Kelly’s days in Miami to his feelings on the Super Bowl, his early days in the NFL and USFL and finally on his charity, Hunter’s Hope.

Hunter’s Hope was established in 1997 by Kelly and his wife Jill after their infant son, Hunter, was diagnosed with Krabbe Leukodystrophy, an inherited, fatal, nervous system disease. The Foundation is the Kelly’s life long commitment to increase public awareness of leukodystrophies as well as to increase the likelihood of early detection and treatment. Their ultimate goal is to raise money to fund research efforts to identify new treatments, therapies, and a cure for Krabbe and other leukodystrophies.

At the end of the breakfast, a drawing was held and two FCSports members won footballs that were autographed by Kelly and ultimately thrown to the respective member.

As part of the interview, Kelly was read questions that were submitted by fans to  The questions and his answers are below:

From Ken Delp, Orlando

Q: Who was the toughest linebacker to ever blitz you?

A:  �Andre Tippett of the New England Patriots.�


From Steve Stutzer, Orlando

Q: Yourself not included, who do you think was the best quarterback to come out of the infamous 1983 draft?

A: �Wow.  Everybody has the great things that they did.  Marino with his quick release.  Elway with how he was able to escape.  I ran the no-huddle offense.  I can�t answer that.  That�s too tough.  Both Dan and John are good friends of mine, I like them both and we are very close friends.  So I would say the best player to ever play was Joe Montana…how�s that sound?�


From Jody Miller, Orlando

Q: What is your fondest memory of playing in the USFL and do you think your career would have been any different in the NFL if you had chosen not to play for the Gamblers?

A: “My greatest moment in the USFL was, we were playing against Steve Young and losing by three touchdowns with like seven-and-a-half minutes to go in the game.  There was a Sports Illustrated article that called it the �Greatest Game Nobody Saw.�  We played in the L.A. Coliseum � and we were losing , I think it was 35-13 � and we came back to beat �em 38-35.  I threw for 574 yards and I think Steve Young threw for 450.  Imagine the L.A. Coliseum.  I am not sure what it holds but its something like 100,000.  I think there were 7,500 people there.�


Question from Carrie Miles, Orlando

Q: You seem more like a Northeastern, blue collar guy … what made you choose to go to Miami out of high school?

A: �Well, I chose it because Joe Paterno wanted me as a linebacker.  And also, it was my first trip to Florida when I took my recruiting trip down there.  They picked me up and put me on a plane and when I got to Florida, it was my first time seeing palm trees and they fed me steak and lobster.  Lou Saban was the coach at the time and when they were recruiting me he said �we�re gonna throw the football, run a pro-style offense…you are the perfect fit for this team.  We need to turn this program around.�  Boy, he sold me.  So I cancelled trips to Notre Dame and Tennessee and Kentucky…said thanks, but no thanks.  And that crushed my parents.  My parents and grandparents wanted me to go to Notre Dame and I cancelled my trip to visit.  So when I get there, we end up running the veer offense � and you�ve all seen me run and I am not an option quarterback � and I was going to transfer.  Then Howard Schnellenberger came, brought Earl Morrall in as quarterbacks coach and the rest is history.�


UP NEXT FOR FCSPORTS MEMBERS: Feast on the 50, Thursday, Sept. 20, Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium



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