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HOWIE LONG IN NFL HALL of FAME

Howie Long
Howie Long was selected to the NFL all-pro first or second team five times during his 13-year career.

 

 

James Loving - National Radio Text Service

 

During his childhood he had to travel a bumpy road on which he endured not having a stable upbringing. He came from a broken home. His mom and dad separated when he was 11 years old. They divorced a year later. He was an unwanted child. He found himself on the move being passed from family member to family member and often had to sleep on couches. There were times when food was hard to come by.

 

Howie Long made his underdog life TOP DOG

Thursday August 3, 2000

Newly inducted NFL (National Football League) Hall of Fame member HOWIE LONG didn't have much when he was a child. He wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Long came from virtually nothing. What he did have was an oversized body, good looks and the will to succeed.

During his childhood he had to travel a bumpy road on which he endured not having a stable upbringing. He came from a broken home. His mom and dad separated when he was 11 years old. They divorced a year later. He was an unwanted child. He found himself on the move being passed from family member to family member and often had to sleep on couches. There were times when food was hard to come by. He would go to his grandmothers or his aunt Edie who would feed him.

Through sports he survived the tough Charleston section of Boston, Massachusetts. Since he was the big kid on the block Long was often challenged to fight. One of his uncles forced him to fight so he could learn how to protect himself. It was something he didn't care to do but it was a means of survival. It was a case of, do Ya gotta do what ya gotta do. The experience served him well as he later became the Northern Collegiate boxing champion.

Sports became Longs' tool of sustenance. It helped him to eventually earn a football scholarship to Villanova University located in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area where he lettered for four years. His collegiate football careers shining moment came when he was selected the MVP of the 1980 Blue Gray collegiate all-star game. With that acclaim his value as a future pro player was enhanced.

In 1981 the Oakland Raiders drafted the 6-5/275 defensive lineman in the second round, 48th overall. Long became an all-pro star within two years. He was a member of the Raiders Super Bowl Championship team in 1984. During his 13-year career he was selected to the NFL all-pro first or second team five times.

From my experience Long was the strong mostly silent type but would talk a lot when he wanted to. When I entered the sports journalism business in 1989 Long had eight NFL seasons under his belt. At that point Long was a legend in his own time. I knew nothing about his childhood experience. He was simply recognized, as a well liked, hard working, great football player.

Long took the pro football business and games seriously. He studied films the night before a battle. If the encounter didn't go well I would often see him deep in thought while sitting in front of his locker after the contest.

I recall often seeing him pondering, slumped over, with his hands clasped and his elbows resting on his knees. You knew it was the time to approach him cautiously or not at all. Conversely Long had a subdued sense of humor that occasionally jumped out.

On one occasion after a Raiders win I asked him where his teammate Bob Golic was. Golic played on the same defensive line with Long and their lockers were side by side. Golic was a great interview for radio. He had a quick wit, spoke clearly at a good pace. He told funny stories relating to the game and was a popular interview for journalists.

After sharing my personal appraisal of Golic, Long laughed and quipped, "He'd talk to a wall if it had a [reporters] notebook attached to it."

After interviewing Long for several years that was the first time I had an insight to the humorous side of his personality. I could also see that he would do well as a Hollywood actor. He had human depth perception. There was more to him than that icy cold stare he showed his opponents on the football field.

Long's final NFL year was 1993. He became a sports analyst for Fox Sports. He also became a part-time actor. His action packed Firestorm film has been shown on television in Asia numerous times in recent months. Ironically Golic also became a television sports analyst; radio sports talk host and an actor.

Longs rags to riches, from poor humble beginnings to success and achievement shows what determination and hard work can do. Long took charge and developed his life game plan… to the NFL… Hall of Fame.


NOTES

NFL HALL of FAME INDUCTEES:

Three of this years five NFL Hall of Fame inductees were members of the San Francisco 49rs. JOE MONTANA, RONNIE LOTT and DAVE WILCOX. Pittsburgh Steelers owner DAN ROONEY was the other inductee.

Montana and Lott were teammates on FOUR Super Bowl winning teams in the 80's. The 1989 teams Super Bowl victory was actually played on January 28, 1990 a smashing 55-10 triumph over the Denver Broncos at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.

***

DICK VERMEIL was the coach of this past season Super Bowl champion St. Louis Rams. Prior to that accomplishment he was considered at 60-something too old to communicate with his young players. He retired after his success and proved that he indeed could communicate.

Vermeil is now communicating by doing speaking engagements. He commands $30 thousand per engagement and has had over 30 engagements since the Super Bowl. If you can make around $1 million for talking obviously Vermeil has the ability to communicate.

***

ANNA Kournikova receives a great deal of attention because of her beauty. The 19 year-old top ranking Russian female player is ranked 18th in the world. In her five years on the WTA Tour she HAS NEVER won a tournament. [See: WTA Teen Queens ]

This past week she proved she could win by defeating LINDSAY DAVENPORT the worlds No. 2 ranked player 2-6, 6/4, 7-5 at the Acura Classic in Carlsbad California.

As of July 24 Kournikova has earned $350,230 this year. MARTINA HINGIS is the top money winner with $1,523,222. Thailand's No. 1 female player TAMARAINE TANASUGARN is ranked No. 39 on the money list winning $143,111.

***

LAKERS coach PHIL JACKSON is reportedly having a relationship with Lakers owner Jerry Buss' daughter Jeanne. Hmmmmm…

***

KAREEM ABDUL JABBAR was arrested for using marijuana. Police stopped the former Lakers star while he was driving in Los Angeles. Jabbar says he uses the herb for medicinal purposes for his migraine headaches. Jabbar was an assistant coach with the LA Clippers last season.

 

© Copyright: National Radio. Any use of these materials, whole or in part, is prohibited unless authorized in writing by National Radio. Contact: nationalradio@yahoo.com All rights reserved.

 

 

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