- “The fact that I played 16 years of pro football against Gale Sayers and O.J. Simpson and Walter Payton and those kinds of guys was thrilling to me,” Hilgenberg told The Register in 1987. “I look back now at what kind of great athletes they were, and the fact that I was competitive against them amazes me.”
Earlier this year, Scout.com wrote a story about Hilgenberg:
- During the twilight of his career, he recalls re-entering Met Stadium shortly after a win that helped get the team into the playoffs once again. Forty-five minutes previous, he said the stadium was so lively and now when he went back to sit in the bleachers to think about the win, the stadium was not just cold and empty.
“I looked at my wife (Mary) and said, ‘That’s a lot like my life,’” Hilgenberg recalled.
Mary said she had been trying to tell him that feeling was because he was missing Christ in his life. She had come to faith six months before and prodded him to start thinking about it. Wally recalled sitting in a hotel room during a road game and finally getting out his King James Bible and started to really feel connected to his faith.