My Elite Network: Why did you decide to go to Ole Miss?
John Fourcade: I had several schools looking at me but, being from Louisiana, LSU was where I wanted to go. All the other schools were telling me that I wouldn’t play until my junior year. So, that was frustrating because I wanted to play. When the recruiting coach from LSU, Charlie McClendon, told me that I wouldn’t play until I’m a junior, I was just about done. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I wanted to play and waiting until my junior year was not an option. I decided to talk to Ole Miss, just hoping that something would work out. Ole Miss had just hired Steve Sloan as the head coach. Their quarterback coach had spent a lot of time in New Orleans recruiting me, I basically said to the coach if he was here to tell me I wouldn’t play, I was not interested. Coach said that if I was willing to come to Ole Miss, I would start. So, it was a done deal.
My Elite Network: Do you have a favorite memory from being at Ole Miss?
John Fourcade: I sure do. The biggest moment in my playing career was the last game of my college career. I scored the winning touchdown against our arch rival with two seconds left. That was the highlight of my playing career. I still do a lot at Ole Miss though. Recently, I was asked to speak to the hiring committee for the new head coach – they wanted to hear my thoughts.
My Elite Network: How did you end up with the New Orleans Saints?
John Fourcade: It was during the strike season. I had signed with the New Orleans Saints in 1986 and thought I had a great chance to make the rooster. I had a good training camp, but after the 1986 training camp, I was crushed when they let me go. The following season the NFL went on strike and the owners were trying to fill roosters. Owners were literally beating down the door trying to find guys, lo and behold I was contacted by the Saints. I was on my way to the airport to fly to Los Angeles to play for the Raiders. Somehow the Saints got in touch with my agent. I told them that I was very disappointed in the way I was treated when they let me go and that I thought I should have made the team. I was told that I would be the starting quarterback in the ‘87 strike season. That’s when it was all over, I was assured that if I played well, I would be on the roster. I didn’t want to leave New Orleans, that’s my home town.
My Elite Network: What was it like playing football with your brother?
John Fourcade: Well, it’s out of your control who you’re going to play with. My brother was a year behind me and he was given a golden opportunity to play with me. He only played the three strike games, but he played professional football and you can’t take that away.
My Elite Network: What was it like running onto the field in a Saints uniform?
John Fourcade: I ran out of the tunnel and I was excited. As a team, we declared this would happen – we were a team. Back in the day, the Saints didn’t have a winning season, but the team put together good players. They got guys who were cut during training camp and some from the Canadian League. I believed that we had a good team and that we could win. We ended up going 12 at 3 that season. We wanted to play, and we got the opportunity
My Elite Network: Once the strike was over, were you treated differently because you crossed the picket line?
John Fourcade: Oh yeah. We all agreed with each other about the reasons for the strike, I didn’t worry about what the other players were saying. Some big names also crossed the line. We just wanted to play. After the strike was over, I had players thanking me for keeping our team together. Some of the guys were even questioning why they had decided to strike. It was a bad situation all the way around.
My Elite Network: Throughout your life has there been one or two people who have influenced you?
John Fourcade: Of course. My dad was a really good athletic and he was well known around the New Orleans area. He was 6’2” and good looking. He became a police officer and was very well respected. When I was playing for the Saints my father was still alive and it was great to have him being able to watch me play. He passed away about 20 years ago. Also, I have a nephew, an amazing young man who is confined to a wheelchair. He always has a smile. I consider him and his brother my kids. They are my pride and joy.
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