Interview with Christian Okoye

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.

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