I was lucky enough to get a chance to speak to Chiefs legend the ‘Nigerian Nightmare’ Christian Okoye. Here’s what he had to say about the Chiefs, London and his transition to football.
TC: What are you up to these days? Tell us about your foundation.
CO: I currently help manage Christian Okoye Foundation and the California Sports Hall of Fame, which I founded in 2006
TC:Growing up in Nigeria, what sports did you play as kid?
CO:Growing up, I played soccer and then Track and Field
TC:You moved to America to pursue a career in athletics, when did you decide to start playing football? Must have been weird switching sports.
CO:I decide to switch to football in 1984 after my Jr year in College, football was new to me, so it was difficult when I first started to play.
TC: Did you watch the sport before playing? Did you ever imagine you would one day play in the NFL.
CO: I never watched football fully before I started playing.
TC: What was the feeling like being drafted by the Chiefs? Where does it rank in moments of your life?
CO: It was a miracle to me when I was drafted, because I never thought I would be in that position.
TC: Is Marty Schottenheimer the best head coach the Chiefs have ever had?
CO: There is an argument for that, he is to me because he coached me, but many would say Hank Stram.
TC:Who was the best player you played with?
CO: Derrick Thomas hands down
TC:Who was the best player you played against?
CO: Barry Sanders for sure
TC:What was the highlight of your career? Was it winning the rushing title in 89?
CO: I have many, winning the rushing title is one of them, including making Pro Bowl and All Pro teams. But #1 is playing in the NFL.
TC: How would you describe your time in Kansas City? What is your enduring memory of playing there?
CO: Kansas City has the best fans in sports period. I love the town and people in it.
TC: Who thought of your nickname?
CO: Irv Eatman was the guy who called me Nigerian Nightmare in Practice and it went from there.
TC: There have been some great RBs that have followed you at the Chiefs, which one is the best?
CO: You know I can’t pick one, it would not be fare, they all good, Priest Holmes is probably at the top.
TC: Who is the best running back in the league at the moment in your opinion?
CO:Adrian Peterson, even though he is not playing at the moment.
TC: How far away the current Chiefs team away from a Superbowl?
CO: Not sure, I hope close, very close.
And finally . . .
TC: How do you feel about the Chiefs giving up a home game for London?
CO: It will give the organization a foreign experience I suppose.