AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Clap it up Amarillo! You’ve got a two-time hall of famer in the city as Ziggy Hood will be the 200th inductee into the Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame at a ceremony at 2 p.m. on June 11.
“I always told myself, I’d be part of a hall of fame,” said Hood, an 11-year NFL veteran, former Missouri Tiger and Palo Duro Don. “It didn’t matter which one, but I’m just glad I got put in this one.”
“To be honored is a great honor. Because like I said, it took a village and took a whole family for me to get there,” Hood expressed. “So this is award is more based upon my parents, my friends, my family, more than just me.”
Hood, who was the 32nd pick of the then-defending Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2009 NFL Draft, was inducted into the Palo Duro High School Hall of Fame in 2016.
Hood told KAMR Local 4 News that even as a kid, his reasons for wanting to play in the NFL went beyond the field.
“As kids we watched “Any Given Sunday,” “The Program,” “Little Giants,” “Remember The Titans,” “Necessary Roughness,” movies like that, you know. That’s what inspired me to run out in the backyard, and try to replay those plays in my mind knowing that envision how I want to be on the football field. That’s what pushed me and not only that, just trying to build up a reputation for my family’s name,” Hood explained.
Hood had a crucial sack against Aaron Rodgers in Super Bowl 45 in 2011, when the Pittsburgh Steelers took on the Green Bay Packers in the Cowboys’ stadium. A game that the Packers went on to win, 31-25.
What was that like in that moment in that game in that stadium for him?
“It was surreal. You know, we had a fire, we had a fire blitz, and fire blitz means five men are coming. You know, so somebody was going to be free and thank God, it was me! But, probably one of my top five was my very first one against Joe Flacco when I was with the Pittsburgh Steelers, because that’s your very first one,” he said excitedly.
But Hood’s impact is felt beyond the field.
“One thing I know about Zig was he never turned his back on nobody that he loved and trusted,” said his close friend Jacquel Love.
Hood’s advice to young athletes: “You’ve got to showcase your skills even more. You got to prove yourself each and every day because somebody else’s training somebody else’s doing. So where do you fit on the totem pole? And the only way to get there is working.”
The Panhandle Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony will take place at the Amarillo Civic Center’s Grand Plaza. It’s free for the public to attend.