Henry Stuckey doesn’t talk much about his time in the NFL. Or his part as a backup during the Miami Dolphins’ perfect season in 1972.
But it got brought up in court Friday as he was sentenced to three years’ probation for an assault in Atlantic City, where he has lived several years.
Stuckey, 67, said he was in fear when he got into a struggle with William Jasper last July at the Baltic Plaza, where he both men live.
The retired NFL cornerback doesn’t look back on his years in football fondly. Five concussions have left him “almost a fruitcake,” he said.
He’s had back issues, hip and knee injuries and his neck is shorter from the pressure of a helmet, he says.
But they aren’t an excuse for punching Jasper, Stuckey said: “I should have just run.”
His quick running is what got him into professional football.
Stuckey wasn’t big, but he could outrun most, he recalled.
Running into them was a different story.
Standing outside the courtroom at the Atlantic County Criminal Courthouse in Mays Landing, he recalled a hit he took in 1973, when he collided with the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Franco Harris.
He doesn’t remember it, but he’s seen the film. He was dragged off the field only to be sent back on 10 minutes later.
“That was a major concussion,” he said of hitting the hulking fullback who outweighed him by about 70 pounds.
It’s part of why he says, if given the choice between his Super Bowl ring or a life as a tailor — his trade for many years — he would choose “a normal life.”