NFL Legend Tony Fisher Recalls Supporting His Community as a Player
Welcome to Why We Play, a series of discussions with current players and NFL Legends about their youth football experience and why they play the game.
Tony Fisher grew up in the midwest football hotbed of Ohio.
He began playing Pop Warner Football in Euclid, Ohio, just outside of Cleveland, when he was nine years old.
"You learn a lot subconsciously just from being out there and playing on the team," Fisher said. "For me, I just wanted to do whatever as asked of me, whatever it took to win."
Fisher learned quickly. He played running back and wide receiver, eventually become the bell cow back for Euclid High School. In 1997, he won the prestigious Mr. Football Award as the best player in the entire state. Other notable Ohioans to win the award include Pro Football Hall of Famer Charles Woodson and Minnesota Vikings running back Robert Smith, who won the award twice.
"Coming from Ohio you take pride in winning that award," Fisher said. "It really is an honor, especially when you see some of the other players who have won it."
Fisher became accustomed to the bright lights during his college and pro career. He played at Notre Dame in college before signing as an undrafted free agent with the Green Bay Packers.
Fisher played four seasons in Green Bay before finishing his career with the St. Louis Rams in 2006.
He came back to Euclid after a knee injury ended his career in 2007. He retired to his old high school and coached there for four years.
"It was cool," he said. "It gave me the opportunity to mentor the high school kids and even the middle school kids. That’s where my passion was.
"All the things I was able to learn coming up through the ranks of college and the pros I passed on to them. And when you’re able to teach those things you learned, not every student athlete gets those opportunities, so I felt that was very important."
In 2013, Fisher returned to Green Bay where he works for the Packers as the team’s player alumni specialist. Fisher is happy to be involved in the team's community outreach as a Packers Legend.
"When I was a player for the Packers, I did a lot of work in the community and was always involved with different things," Fisher said. "Playing for the Packers, it’s kind of embedded in you. It’s the only community owned team, so the community expects you to at least show face. A lot of guys take heed to it and enjoy doing it."
Fisher still makes many return trips to Euclid. Eight years ago, the Cleveland News-Herald, came up with an award to honor its best high school football player — The Tony Fisher Award.
"Having an award in my honor — that’s very special," Fisher said. "I look forward every year coming back to present that award to the winner."
Photo: AP/G. Newman Lowrance
- NFL Players and Legends
- High School Football
- Youth Football