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THE POET
September 02, 1991
Cardinals hit man Ron Wolfley deals with the violence of his job by describing it in verse
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September 02, 1991

The Poet

Cardinals hit man Ron Wolfley deals with the violence of his job by describing it in verse

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Not until Wolfley began to write poetry did he realize his anger and frustration over his parents' suffering were the origin of his violent play on special teams. "I learned to play the physical game I do now under the strain of his dying," Wolfley says. "Now it's a switch that I can turn on and off. When I put on the helmet and the eye black, not a lot of me is left. The 19-year-old kid who was hurting inside takes over."

That realization helped Wolfley to accept his father's death and to reconcile his own contrasting personalities. Now when he watches himself in game films delivering one of those knockout hits he calls "a visit from Judge Dread," or sending an opponent skyrocketing on a "decleater," Wolfley winces a bit. But he still looks forward to reviewing that next time-frozen second.

"When you settle into the attack mode, you've got to figure out some way to survive," Wolfley says. "To walk out in one piece, you've got to be more angry or more aggressive than the next guy. The day I stop hitting is the day I'm out of football. For me, that's all there really is. And I love it."

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