Strock is much more set in his musical tastes. The radio in his Chevy Blazer is invariably tuned to stations that specialize in what program directors now like to call classic hits. "Oldies," says Strock. "Like me. Both Debby and I love music from the '50s and early '60s. Martha and the Vandellas. Marvin Gaye. The Platters."
And anything at all by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Along with golfing trophies and footballs from memorable games (the earliest, dated Dec. 7, 1975, commemorates Strock's first Dolphin start, a 31-21 defeat of Buffalo in which he connected on 12 of 15 passes), one of Strock's most prized possessions is a photograph of himself with Valli.
"It was taken about six or seven years ago," says Strock. "I was in a restaurant in Buffalo with a friend when I looked over and said, 'That's Frankie Valli!' I sent a bottle of wine to his table, introduced myself and got the picture taken.
"Talk about longevity. Working My Way Back to You has got to be my all-time favorite Four Seasons song. I first heard it when I was between the 9th and 10th grades.
"I guess I have been around for a long time," says Strock, his face lighting up with amusement. "I never thought I'd be here for 15 years. And it kind of amazes everyone else, too, including some of my high school and college teammates who show up at games in Philadelphia or Cincinnati and ask, 'Are you still here?'
"When I tell some of the younger players I played with Paul Warfield, who played with Sam Wyche, who's the coach of the Bengals, they're stunned. Some of my early contemporaries were Carl Eller and Jim Marshall...the list goes on and on. And then you think that some of the guys here were born in 1965.
"Scott Schwedes asked me the other day if I went to Woodstock, and I said some of my friends did," adds Strock. "He just nodded and said his stepmother had been there."
The most likely reason Strock missed Woodstock in the summer of '69 was that he was playing golf somewhere. He claims to have shot 50 for nine the first time he tried the game and says his handicap at the moment is seven.
"He lies," says Griese. "He tells people that his handicap is anywhere from 7 to 13. I'd say it's about a 4. Plus he has all this illegal equipment, all sorts of drivers with real stiff shafts that wiggle a lot. And you have to look real fast to catch his backswing, or you'll miss it."
Strock, overhearing Griese's comments, just grins. If he buries himself in the team during the season, golf grants him time during the off-season to feel free.