DT Joe Klecko with son Dan, who is looking to win his third Super Bowl match this weekend now as a meber of the Colts.
When four-time Jets Pro Bowler Joe Klecko confronted offensive linemen two decades ago, a young boy was there to watch a few of his moves. Needless to say, it paid off for the keen onlooker. Dan Klecko - Joe Klecko's son and biggest fan while growing up - is the proud owner of two Super Bowl rings he obtained with the New England Patriots, and he is now preparing to attempt to win his third title match this weekend as a member of the Indianapolis Colts.
"It is an awesome, awesome feeling in the Klecko house," said Joe Klecko. "It is amazing - my little kids (Dan has three younger siblings: ages 9, 12 and 13) don't really understand what I did. They have no clue because none of them were born at the time. But all they see is Danny all the time, Danny this, Danny that."
Danny Klecko, a 26-year-old defensive tackle, entered the NFL as a fourth round selection by the Pats in 2003. New England cut the former Temple standout prior to the '06 season, but he was courted by the Colts because of – ironically enough - his versatility. Dan Klecko played defensive end, nose tackle, linebacker and even fullback for the Jets' division rivals.
During the Colts' season finale against the Miami Dolphins, Klecko lined up at fullback in a second quarter goal line situation. The Colts offense opted not to follow Klecko's 275-pound frame into the end zone via a run play and instead opted to pass to Klecko for the lead. It was Klecko's first professional touchdown.
"I called him and told him, 'I'm proud of you son. You did a good job - you caught a tough ball there. You did a good thing,'" exclaimed the chuckling father. "He said 'Yeah, just like – oh that's right, you didn't do that, did you dad?'"
In the AFC Championship, the Colts hosted the Patriots at the RCA Dome. Dan Klecko had the opportunity to seek sweet revenge against the team that had cut him a few months earlier. With the Colts trailing 21-13 in the third quarter, Klecko entered the game in the offensive backfield and caught a short pass in the right flat from Peyton Manning before pounding his way into the end zone for a one-yard score. Three linemen scored touchdowns in the memorable contest which brought the Colts back to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 1970 season, when the franchise was in Baltimore
When asked of his son's success in the league in which he too flourished, Joe Klecko had a gracious response.
"In four years, I'm just glad he is still in the league because of the competition out there nowadays," said the Jets' second all-time leader in sacks (77.5). "Danny is not the prototypical lineman; he's a shorter fella. He is just got a heart as big as the Empire State Building. His go-get-em is so big it's unbelievable; it's a lot of fun to see Dan do what he's doing."
Like father, like son.