Collected Wisdom: Kenny King, former Oklahoma and NFL running back

by Michael Baldwin Modified: March 15, 2014 at 4:01 pm •  Published: March 15, 2014
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When I moved to Denver in 1990, my NFL career having just ended, I was unemployed. I started out as a part-time handler for UPS and worked my way up into management, and have been in the warehouse industry the past 25 years. I’ve worked with UPS, FedEx, Ameri-Co Logistics and I’m now working for GENCO Technologies.

I like the fast pace of warehousing. A month ago my team was challenged with processing 129,000 pieces in an eight-hour shift, which is virtually impossible. Using my football background, I told my team they could do it if they worked as a team. We got it done. It’s very rewarding to complete projects whether they’re large or small. It’s the same concept as football.

I have three wonderful kids that aren’t kids anymore. They’re now (age) 31, 22 and 21, but I’ll never forget those three days they were born, all Caesarean births.

It was a blessing to play with Hall of Fame running backs. When you cut down a linebacker, it was so much fun to watch Billy Sims, old crazy legs, run down the field. Marcus Allen could juke a linebacker and leave them grasping at air. I never got to block for Earl but I watched him up close and played against him at Texas. He was a bruiser with so much God-given talent.

I suffered some consequences from playing football. But after being involved in the NFL concussion lawsuit, I’ve run across a lot of players that they’re sitting in their living room and don’t know where they’re at. That’s a scary thought. It’s unfortunate some players are suffering playing a game they loved.

There’s been a lot of progression on concussions. There’s a lot more awareness compared to when I played. Back then they gave you smelling salts and you went back on the field. Nowadays can’t get their helmets back until they’ve passed a lot of tests.

When someone asks my advice, I tell them it takes hard work and dedication to accomplish your goals. It has to come within. Others can’t provide that for you. If you don’t have that then you probably won’t be successful.

If I had to do it all over again I’d still play football. That was my love, my passion, my dream, my ticket out of a small town. I don’t regret anything. I have so many accomplishments to show for it. Sure, there’s some wear and tear on the body, but that’s part of the game.


by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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