Ken Harvey Interview
By: Mark Solway
Category: Washington Redskins News
Mark: Mr. Harvey, how long have you been the president of the Redskins Alumni?
Ken: I've been the president for about a year now.
Mark: How did you come to be so?
Ken: Actually I was approached by Bobby Mitchell last year. They were looking for someone that was old enough to relate to the older alumni members but also young enough to relate to the current team. I guess I fit the bill.
Mark: What is the role of the Redskins alumni?
Ken: The main role of the alumni is raising money for the Caring for Kids charity. We have set up a board to determine exactly what charities that the money raised by Caring for Kids will go to. There are many charities in the Washington area run by former Redskins... Darrell Green, Art Monk, Charles Mann.
The second role of the alumni is to be like the 'Love Boat'. The show would always bring back actors that were often no longer in the spotlight. That's what we'd like the alumni to be. We just want to show the community that there are many former players that are still a very productive part of the community and we hope that it will allow these guys to continue to shine.
Mark: How much of an affiliation with the current Redskins team do the Alumni have?
Ken: We have some and it's getting better.
Mark: How can people help out the Alumni other than by attending the event(s) that we're going to talk about today?
Ken: Right now attending the events is the best way to help us out. We have been talking about setting up a membership club that would allow us to establish a community for the fans of the alumni. We'd like to be able to give members an autographed 8x10 or something like that with their memberships. We want to make sure that the fans get something for making a contribution.
Mark: As you said, the events are the best way to help the Alumni and on March 22nd, you have the Skate With Alumni and Auction in Ashburn, Va. What time do the festivities kick off at the Ashburn Ice House?
Ken: The event starts at 6:00pm and runs until 8:00pm.
Mark: Can you skate?
Ken: (laughs)... well I'm going to give it a try. We hope that's one of the draws of the event. We're just regular guys and we hope that the relaxed environment will be appreciated by all.
Mark: I understand that you guys go out there and coach the 'kidskins' for the second hour. That must be a thrill for both the kids and their dads.
Ken: I like analogies... it's one thing to watch the president of the United States go by in a car, but it's another thing entirely for him to come up and shake your hand. We hope that's a bit like what these Alumni events will provide the Redskins community.
Mark: I know that Ricky Ervins, Mark Moseley, Mike Bragg, Ron McDole, Pat Fischer, Bobby Wilson, Tom Carter, Marshall Cropper, Clarence Vaughn, Reggie Evans, Joe Mickles, and Darryl Pounds will be in attendance, do you have any names to add to that list?
Ken: Charles Mann, Art Monk...
Mark: (cutting off Ken I think)... wow, those are a couple of amazing additions... it's a long drive from Canada to Ashburn though. (both laughed)
Mark: Your website also says that there will be a silent auction with some exclusive Alumni memorabilia... can you sneak us any previews?
Ken: Not yet, but there will be lots of good stuff... helmets to sign etc.
Mark: Maybe we can leak some of the items for the auction on www.thehogs.net just before the event?
Ken: Maybe... I'll let you know.
Mark: I know that there will be a signing room at the Ice House where the Alumni will be signing autographs... what was your most prized autograph as a kid?
Ken: Definitely Dr. J... Julius Erving. I met him in Las Vegas and got to actually shake his hand. I was tongue tied when I met him but he was very gracious and treated me with respect.
Mark: Admission to the Ice House is just $5 folks... anyone in the Virginia area should really try and get out and support the Redskins Alumni. Did I forget anything about the event Mr. Harvey?
Ken: No, I think you covered it all.
Mark: Well while I've got you, maybe I could ask you a couple of Redskins related questions?
Mark: We have developed a big draft section on our website, I don't know if you've had a chance to see it yet, but we've set up a database of the top 200+ prospects in the country. Sorry for the shameless plug. My question is two-fold:
a) What position do you think the team needs to draft for with their number one pick?
b) Who do you think will be making the bulk of the draft day decisions?
Ken: I think Steve Spurrier will definitely have a lot more say in the personnel this year. In his first season, he came in and had to pretty much accept the players that he already had and see what he could do with them. But now that he's had a chance to see the players perform in his system, I think he has a much better idea of the players that he will need to be successful.
As far as positions... I think they definitely need a guard or defensive line help but as for specific players, I think they need to not just look at a guy's numbers and pick somebody with attitude and a lot of heart. It's amazing how much a little bit of leadership and attitude can make a difference. We had guys like Tre Johnson.
Mark: Speaking of Tre, obviously being called thehogs.net, we have great love for the big man. Do you think he will return next season?
Ken: I hope so. I think the team would want him to be in better shape though. He definitely provides attitude and leadership.
Mark: Allow a die hard fan one gracious moment... you were always considered by the media to be a 'quiet' leader that led by example. But many of us fans remember one particular incident where you probably surprised even your teammates with a little more emotion than they were accustomed to in a certain helmet throwing incident. Can you PLEASE tell us what happened?
Ken: Well it wasn't really anything specific. It was just that we were playing the Cardinals, my former team, and we were losing and there was no way we should be losing to the Cardinals. We were just better than that. I had had enough of us not playing up to our potential and I was saying stuff like 'COME ON GUYS. WE JUST CAN'T LET SOMEONE COME INTO OUR OWN HOUSE AND BEAT US LIKE THAT! WE'VE GOT TO HOLD OUR HEADS HIGH."
Editor's note: At this point Ken and I both had a really good laugh. Ken had started telling the story very quietly and had worked himself into a slightly frenzied state and was obviously quite stimulated by just the recollection of the event. I honestly think that if he had a helmet in his hand, he would have thrown it again.
Ken: As you can see I still can get a little emotional about it.
Mark: Oh man Ken, that was great. I sure wish that I had been taping this. The passion you played with obviously still very much exists.
Mark: Well I'll end the football questions on that high note Mr.Harvey. I just had one more question. I know that you have two children's books already available and I also know that you have two new ones coming out... 'The Leftovers' and 'The Fridge Games'... when will they be available?
Ken: Wow you really did do your homework, I just finished one of them last night. My wife said that it was the best one yet. They should be available soon at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Mark: Are people surprised when they find out you're an author of Children's books?
Ken: A little bit. I originally just wrote two books for my own children. I just think that people are very mmuch who they are because of the ideals they learn in their formitive years as a child. I try to make sure the books have a message. A former Redskin, Terry Crews did the artwork for my first book.
Mark: What with the books and the Alumni, I know that you have a very full schedule and I just want to thank you for taking the time to talk to me today and I hope that we can do it again. You have provided a guy sitting in his basement in Canada a thrill of a lifetime.
Ken: No problem Mark... any time.
And with that our interview was over... not brief by any means. We did talk for a few more minutes about things like hopefully doing this again and other ideas we had for cross website promotions. All the work I put in on this website permits me the odd editor's note, so I'm going to insert one here. If you ever have the opportunity to meet Mr. Harvey.... please... don't hesitate. Any nerves I may have had were quickly dispelled by the grace with which he handled the interview. Obviously he learned a lot from meeting Dr. J, because the same calming influence that he must have had over Mr. Harvey back then was exactly the same as the way he made me feel. I look forward to doing it again and I hope that you will all try and support the Alumni at their events and keep checking back with us for other ways to help.
As always, we welcome your feedback at www.thehogs.net. Send us your impressions, suggestions or just comments about this article and if you've got a question for Ken Harvey for the next interview, just drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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