Maryland native Chuck Foreman was a standout at Frederick High School where he starred on the football gridiron, on the basketball court and in track and field. The multi-sport star attended the University of Miami where he was a standout in the Hurricanes backfield.
The talented runner was selected with the 12th overall pick in the 1973 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. The dual threat running back made such an impact his first season in the league that he was named the NFL offensive Rookie of the Year. Foreman was honored with a Pro Bowl appearance in each of his first five professional seasons. He truly was ahead of his time, spearheading a potent Vikings offense as a true dual threat pass catching running back in an era when that was not common practice. Foreman was part of three Vikings teams to reach the Super Bowl.
After battling injuries later in his career, “The Spin Doctor” retired after the 1980 season playing a lone year for the New England Patriots.
Considered one of the premier backs of the 1970s and a borderline Hall of Famer, Foreman was named to the Minnesota Vikings 25th and 40th Anniversary Teams. As a part of the team’s 50th Anniversary celebration, Foreman was named one of the 50 Greatest Vikings of all time.
Active on Facebook, he’s still a popular figure with fans more than 30 years after his final carry. We caught up to him to chat about his current involvement in the hobby, being told of his appearance on a trading card for the first time, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell hanging his picture in his office and much more.
Tony Reid– When did you sign your first autograph for a fan?
Chuck Foreman-It was at a college all-star game that I played in. That was my first experience signing things. As I got to be a professional it became more often.
TR–How have your experiences been over the years with the fans in Minnesota?
CF-My experience here in Minnesota with the fans every day that I have met someone it was a positive experience and a positive reaction.
TR-Being an NFL Rookie of the Year, a multiple time Pro Bowler and a Vikings all-time great, do you have a collection of memorabilia from your illustrious career?
CF– We moved and bought a new place so that is in progress. In my other home I had my own space. I got have that! She can have the whole house but I need that one room. That is my space. That is the understanding in the household. That is my space and that’s it. I had a lot of stuff that I had in storage and I forgot about. We are in the process of displaying it and it will be really nice when it’s done. I have my MVP portraits and trophies from 1975 and 1976. Those are two that I really value. I was MVP twice. Getting it once is a big deal but getting it twice is even bigger. They came with trophies and portraits and are really, really nice. I have a ton of stuff from my college career and from the pros. I have a nice little collection of things.
TR–You’ve been an active signer and very active online with your own website. How have you managed a new business and your own brand in retirement?
CF-My kids had been trying to get me to do this for a long, long time and I just refused to do it. I am not technically dialed in like that yet and I would have to have someone to really put it together for me and show me the way. We finally had this conversation and my kids asked what I was waiting on, that I wasn’t a spring chicken. Why hold on and wait? Just get out there nod see what the experience will be like. That is what I decided to do. I won’t be going out on the road and doing much of that anymore. I might pick one or two shows but I want to have control of everything I have. Everything will be limited.
Some of the stuff that we have on the website you can only get at the website chuckforeman44.com. I’m actually surprised at the reaction we have had someone we put the store together. My son took me online and had me look at all of the people selling my stuff. When it got to over 100 I quit looking. I decided to try to do it myself and have people realize they can get it from me. If you want it you can get it directly from me. My guys are being really creative in how they are presenting my items to the public.
TR-Are you involved in the sports card industry at all or are you sticking with your personal memorabilia?
CF-I am trying to figure out the value of my cards. I have tons of cards. I don’t know what the value of those cards are. You go to the book and you look and see, you think you have something valuable, but it’s worth two bucks. Dang, come on man, I am disappointed and heartbroken.
I’m not an avid collector but sometimes I come across cards. I’ve had people call me and tell me that they are collectors and they want me to do some things for them and I do it and then they give me some cards and it turns out they are worth two dollars. We went from $35 down to two dollars.
TR–Your rookie card is found in the 1974 Topps set. Do you remember the first time you saw yourself on a trading card?
CF-The first time I saw myself on a card was when one of my friends from back home told me he had one. Frankie T. told me he had my card. What do you mean you have my card? He said there was a football card of me out there. That was my first experience of knowing that there was a card of me out there. It is an interesting life I have been blessed to live, to be quite honest with you.
TR–What do you think of the cards being produced of you to this day?
CF-I got a lot of them. I see all of these cards come out. They are really nice. I have done a lot of things with Panini. They are pretty cool. They are really creative in the work that they do. I enjoy working with them.
TR–I have seen a lot of posts from you recently with beautiful Chuck Foreman artwork. How much does it mean to you to have someone create an original piece of art based on you?
CF-It’s unbelievable. To me, it’s all exceptional. Those are pretty popular items and you can only get them right there. It’s been quite some time since I played football but fans are fans and collectors are collectors. They are very committed to their collections and their craft. They know everything. They know the value of cards and all their items. I say ‘Damn.’ When it comes to collector’s knowledge of everything.
TR-Speaking of someone who must be a big fan of yours is NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. It came out recently that one of his favorite images and one hanging in his office is that classic image of you, running with ball in hand, snow falling, facing the Green Bay Packers. That had to be pretty cool to hear that.
CF-I was at the NFL Draft in New York last year representing the Vikings and I ran into Roger Goodell there. I must say, one of the nicest people I have met. He has a hell of a job to do, keeping thirty plus owners happy and appeasing them and appeasing all of the players. You have to be made of something special to do that job. When I spoke to him he told me he had that picture in his office. That was very complimentary to me.