Q & A With Larry Brown
By: Scott Hurrey
Category: Washington Redskins News
GSPODS: Authentic Larry Brown Washington Redskins merchandise is next to impossible to find. How would a fifty-eight year native New Yorker who became a Washington Redskins fan because of Larry Brown obtain a signed jersey, helmet or football? Is there a specific charity or company you work with?
I relive the 1972 NFL season in my head every year. I have to, because even NFL Films doesn’t seem to have a Larry Brown MVP film. I’d like my two young boys to see on film what I only see in memory. Do you have any suggestions?
What would you most like people to know about Larry Brown outside of football?
What music CD(s) never leaves your vehicle?
Larry Brown: I would be happy to personalize an autograph picture or any football memorabilia. You can send it to my attention at NAI Michael Companies, Inc. (4640 Forbes Boulevard, Suite 300, Lanham, Maryland 20706). Currently, I am a Commercial Real Estate Broker with this company and in my spare time I support the Prince George’s County Special Olympics.
Regarding NFL footage, I would suggest you contact NFL Films and request the Washington Redskins highlight films from 1969-73. I sure you and your sons will enjoy them, especially the 1972 season. The contact information is below:
One NFL Plaza,
Mt. Laurel, New Jersey 08054
Voice mail: 856-638-6843
I am a jazz and rhythm & blues (oldies) enthusiast. I can’t drive my car without listening to Peter White, George Benson, The Temptations and Four Tops. I also exercise every day, enjoy watching mystery movies, playing golf, keeping up with the stock market and following politics.
DEHog: What RB’s do you like to watch in todays NFL and is there one who reminds you of yourself??
LB: Clinton Portis, Brian Westbrook, Steven Jackson, Adrian Peterson, LaDainian Tomlinson are the RBs I enjoy watching perform. Clinton is the one that bears a resemblance to me because he’s an all-purpose back who is tough and can play every down, if necessary.
Jake: THANK YOU MR. BROWN! Your time is very much appreciated here.
I actually have two-questions.
What were your interpretations of Vince Lombardi before he came to D.C.?
And what is the most memorable thing you learned from him during his one season here?
LB: I read Lombardi as a Field General, like George C. Scott’s portrayal of Patton, with vast leadership, motivational skills and a tremendous thirst for perfection.
Lombardi made punctuality a very important issue at all times. I understood his message to mean that a person should place the same value on other people’s time as placed on theirs. I have practice this so long that it’s now habitual for me on a daily basis.
Fios: Aside from the jaw-dropping contracts, is there any aspect of today’s NFL that you prefer when compared with your era, and vice-versa?
What is your take on the efforts (both by the players and the league) to assist ex-players struggling with complications from their injuries?
LB: Free agency would have been nice to experience during my era although I realize the team/fan loyalty diminishes to some degree under this condition. But maybe not nearly as much, since the NFL televisions contracts weren’t as large as they are today. Furthermore, this additional leverage would have allowed us to increase our monetary value a little more relative to punishment our bodies received.
It also would be interesting to see the game played today with many of the rules that existed in my era, such as, the crack back block and chop block. Also, I would include the rule that prevented the offensive lineman, while pass blocking, from having their hands outside of their shoulders. I think this makes the game tougher, the way I like it.
I think both the players and owners are moving in the right direction. However, I would like to see the pace increased substantially because many players are hurting with injuries sustained from playing football and need instant assistance now.
Warmother: Who was the hardest hitting player you went against? Hit’s in practice also count.
LB: Willie Lanier (MLB, Kansas City Chiefs) and Dave Wilcox (OLB, San Francisco 49ers) hit me the hardest.
KazooSkinsFan: When I was a kid in Michigan and realized my local team was the Lions, there was a point I could have gone either way between the Redskins and the Cowboys. Just the thought makes me shudder even today. Fortunately, in all seriousness, I had a Larry Brown poster on my wall and turned out all right. But how do we make sure kids don’t make the wrong choices in life? Things like booze, cigarettes and the Dallas Cowboys?
LB: Many teens and adolescents act out as a result of peer pressure and the need to feel accepted by their peers. On the other hand, there are kids who have the ability to draw the line, because they know if they do something wrong they will have to face the consequences of their actions. Most likely they benefited from having strong parents and role models, such as teachers and counselors who were involved in their growth and development. By instilling in them good morals and values and demonstrating that we care, we can each help build their confidence levels so that they are encouraged to make the right decisions for their lives. As for growing up a Dallas Cowboy fan, there’s no remedy for a misguided childhood.
yupchagee: What is your most memorable moment as a player?
LB: I would have to say being named the NFL 1972 MVP.
KazooSkinsFan: The Vince Lombardi story with the hearing was a great story. Is it reallly true that he personnally figured out you were deaf in one ear? Is there a story behind the story?
Football was hugely popular in the 70s and you were certainly one of the real stars of the era. But as JansenFan pointed out there were not multi-million dollar contracts then. I'm curious if the generations that came after yours who owe you a great debt of gratitude for paving the way pay that debt. Do they recognize what you and your generation did for them?
Who are some of the most personally interesting people you knew in the NFL?
How do the players feel when all the massive cuts come toward the end of training camp? Obviously it's a competitive business, but it has to be hard from an emotional standpoint. Players are your friends, competitors, teammates and it's their dream to play in the NFL, which suddenly gets fulfilled or crushed.
LB: It’s true. Vince figured it out. One day while watching game footage in slow motion, he asked me why I was late moving on the snap count. I told him I had difficulty reading the defensive alignments. I thought my answer would satisfy his curiosity and put the issue to rest. Later in the week, I was sitting in front of my locker at RFK Stadium when I saw two men approaching me in long white coats and I said to myself, “What could I have done to deserve this kind of treatment?” I remember thinking “St. Elizabeth Hospital (insane asylum) here I come!” Fortunately for me, these men were there to give me a hearing examination, which confirmed that I was deaf in one ear. Shortly thereafter, Vince got permission from the NFL Commissioner to install a hearing aid in my helmet. The day we tested it, he asked me to put the helmet on and go to the other side of the locker room. He said, “Larry can you hear me?” I said, “Coach I have NEVER had any trouble hearing you.” We had a good laugh and the rest is history!
I believe the new generation does realize the contribution we have made to the game and how it has positively benefited them. As a result of their efforts, many of us former players have received an increase in our pension benefits, participate in a discounted prescription drug program and are waiting for details on a health insurance program. So, to date there has been some recognition, but not nearly as much as our contribution has done for them.
One player that comes to mind is Duane Thomas. Most people probably remember him as being problematic and difficult to coach, but I think this was his way of getting even with the NFL for a wrong he felt they inflicted on him. I sensed that he was extremely bright and knew exactly what he was doing. I remember during an interview he was asked, “What it was like to play in the ultimate game (Super Bowl)?” He said, “If it’s the ultimate game, why do they play it every year?” Duane is currently an artist and doing very well on the west coast.
Obviously, getting cut in training camp at any given time is not a good feeling. My suggestion, although it’s difficult, is to not get too complacent and focus on working hard and making the team. The reality is that people get fired every day and then move on to possibly better opportunities. The same holds true for athletes in sports.
NC43Hog: Thanks for being such a great running back and idol of mine as a youngster.
December 16, 1973 - Philly at RFK and it was snowing (how perfect is that). This game was maybe one of your best ever - 4 touchdowns (3 through the air), 150 yards on the ground and the win (38-20) clinched a wild card playoff birth.
Did your linemen really have to carry you back to the huddle after each run, or was that just a ploy to sucker the defense? Which ever it was, it worked - you saved your energy for the runs and had an awesome day.
What was the coaching style differences between Allen ang Lombardi? Of the modern day coaches, who would you have liked to play for?
Thanks for the memories.
LB: Thanks for bringing back those great memories!
The offensive lineman never had to carry me back to the huddle, but I took the “beltway” back, which allowed me to get a breather so I could carry the football again.
Vince Lombardi’s approach was direct in your face, like George C. Scott’s portrayal of Patton. George Allen’s was less confrontational and focused on incentives to motivate his players.
Regarding modern day coaches, it would have been a pleasure to play for Tony Dungy, Bill Belichick and possibly Andy Reid.
GSPODS: A final thank you and a promise I’ll be annoying the veterans committee on your behalf for induction and enshrinement in the Hall Of Fame. Now that the pencil pushers have come around on Art Monk, it’s time to right several other wrongs, beginning with #43.
LB: Your support is very much appreciated! Thank you.
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