Roy Green, shown here in 1989, will be inducted into the Cardinals' Ring of Honor at halftime of Sunday's game against the Rams.
Roy Green is nicknamed "Jet Stream" for the breakneck speed he possessed during his NFL days.
But as the former Cardinals great awaits his Ring of Honor induction on Sunday at halftime of the Rams game, he's preferred to slow things down.
"The reason I'm going in, it makes me sit back and reflect on all the years and everything that happened," Green said. "All the people I ran across, the special relationships. I think of all the people that assisted in me getting where I got."
Many will be on hand for the ceremony, including his dad, sister, two brothers, two daughters, three grandchildren, former teammates and friends. They will all enjoy recapping an incredible football journey.
Green didn't start playing organized football until his junior year of high school and attended NAIA Henderson State.
He was selected by the Cardinals in the fourth round of the 1979 draft and played with the team for 12 seasons, spanning its time in St. Louis and Arizona. He was named a Pro Bowler in 1983 and 1984, starting his professional career as a defensive back before making his mark as a star wide receiver.
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians remembers the on-field exploits well of the 16th person to join the Cardinals' Ring of Honor.
"He was so versatile," Arians said. "He had that outside speed, but he could play in the slot, do a bunch of things. He was tough as nails. I don't know too many young players today that are like him, that had everything. Smart, tough, he had all the things you were looking for in a football player."
This won't be a welcome back afternoon for Green, as he is still around the organization often. Last year, he met with team president Michael Bidwill and his sister, Nicole, to discuss a role with the Cardinals. Soon thereafter, he was added as a broadcaster, and Green said he has really enjoyed being back in the mix.
"It's always good to be around," Green said. "It gets the juices flowing and it reminds you how it was, how much goes into it. Football is the ultimate team sport."
One player who is always happy to see him is star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. The two have had a strong bond for more than a decade.
"Roy's been unbelievable," Fitzgerald said. "The day I walked into this building, he reached out to me and was always helpful, in terms of trying to help me learn the game. And not only learn the game but with the community – make sure I'm serving the community. He stands for so many great things. I've been very fortunate to be able to call him a friend."
Green is second in team history with 69 career touchdowns and had 8,496 receiving yards during his Cardinals career. Legendary football coaches Bill Parcells and John Madden have spoken of his greatness before, but Green is deferential when praised.
"I played against great football players, and to be considered one of those leaves me in awe," he said.
While Green is one of the greatest receivers in team history, he's most looking forward to being a giver on Sunday. He's excited to have his grandchildren stand by him during the induction.
"They love football," Green said. "They talk about it and they've always wanted to go on the field. Now they actually get a chance to go on the field."
Green will be the first wide receiver in the Cardinals' Ring of Honor. He joins owner Charles W. Bidwill, Sr., coach Jimmy Conzelman, tackle Dan Dierdorf, halfback John "Paddy" Driscoll, halfback/defensive back Marshall Goldberg, cornerback Dick "Night Train" Lane, halfback Ollie Matson, halfback Ernie Nevers, safety Pat Tillman, halfback Charley Trippi, quarterback Kurt Warner, cornerback Roger Wehrli, cornerback Aeneas Williams, safety Adrian Wilson and safety Larry Wilson.