The following interview is from a phone conversation that I had with Ken Harvey on Thursday. We wanted to bring you all the info you needed to know about the upcoming Ken Harvey Football Fan Classic. Once again we thank Ken for taking time out of his really busy schedule to sit down and talk with us.
BossHog: Ken, you and Melanie* have worked really hard to put together the Football Fan Classic. It has to be one of the best collections of former Redskins I can ever remember seeing in one place. You have to be excited...
Ken: We are. Splashdown Waterpark really made it all possible and I called in quite a few favors to try and make it a very special event. It's our way of giving back to the fans and a way to reach out and get in touch with everybody.
* - Melanie Pierce is the Marketing Director for JAKA and the Redskins Alumni. She's also BossHog's pal and is the one responsible for our proud association with Ken and the Alumni.
BossHog: Your marketing company JAKA Entertainment is putting on this event. What exactly is JAKA, and what is their primary function?
Ken: Basically JAKA is a marketing company put together to take a lot of different people that are doing a bunch of things and put it all under one roof. Melanie manages many different events and books speaking engagements for players, entertainers, announcers etc.
BossHog: I know she's been working really hard putting together this line-up.
Ken: Definitely, like I said, we called in a lot of favors.
BossHog: Just a couple of questions about the event itself to give our viewers some specifics, what time does the event start?
Ken: The event will start at 12:00pm and run until 5:00pm.
BossHog: What type of activities do you have set up for the fans?
Ken: We're going to have some really fun things. Mark Moseley will be doing some kicking drills, Ricky Ervins will be doing some running back drills. We want it to be like you're in your backyard playing with your friends.
Editor's note: On top of the activities, you can use the waterpark, there are autograph sessions and you can eat lunch with the players.
BossHog: It's going to be great. It's impressive enough to have Darrell Green, Art Monk, Charles Mann, and Larry Brown, but for a guy that runs a website called TheHogs.net I'm just as excited to see Hogs like George Starke, Raleigh Mackenzie and Rick Walker. So it led me to thinking different people like different players for different reasons, so what football player did you like growing up? Was it a linebacker?
Ken: Well actually I grew up in Texas, so I was a Cowboys fan and actually the player I liked most was running back Robert Newhouse. On defense it was Ed 'Too Tall' Jones. I also really respected L.T's abilities and Pat Swilling was a great player. His initial burst was incredible.
BossHog: In our last interview you stated that Steve Spurrier would have a lot of say in the personnel moves in the offseason. Obviously you were 100% correct, so how about another round of insight into the upcoming season?
Ken: Well Steve really wants to win and they made enough additions to the offense that they could put up some big scores. The defense should be fine too. A lot of the Redskins success will come down to Special Teams this year. They definitely hurt them last year and not re- signing a guy like Eddie Mason yet isn't going to help much.
BossHog: I'd like to read you an e-mail that I received from one of our surfers (thanks again Jennifer) if you don't mind...
I saw your post regarding Ken Harvey and I had to write. Now that I live in CA, I rarely hear information regarding retired players and Ken is one that I been wondering about. He is truly one of the sweetest, kindest professional athletes that I have had the pleasure of meeting and hopefully he is still doing well after football.
About five years ago I was teaching my sophomore English class how to write a business letter. It was met with the usual grumblings and to fight that I wanted to show students how this skill could be applied to real life. I wrote a letter to Ken Harvey thanking him for his heart on the field and more importantly, off the field. A few weeks later I was shocked when Ken called my house to thank me for the letter. I was at work but I saved that message for a long time. He was so unassuming and down-to-earth that I was really impressed by how humble he was. A week or so after that I received a package in the mail that contained a thank you letter from Ken and one of his jerseys that he had autographed for me. To this day people are amazed by the story and I have it framed in my sport's office to remind of what professional athletes should be.
To make a long story short, I would love to hear what Ken Harvey is doing today and please give him my (and I assume many fan's) best wishes in his future. My husband works in the sports industry and so I have been fortunate to meet some of the top athletes of our time and NO ONE can hold a candle to Ken. Good luck with your interview and let him know that this fan in California will never forget him!
I just thought that you might like to hear that.
Ken: Wow, that's really great. I'm certainly glad I answered that mail. It's not a concerted effort, hopefully, you're just being you. Letters like that make it all worthwhile.
BossHog: Melanie also told me that you had some exciting upcoming news about the preseason... but she wouldn't tell me what it was and told me that I'd have to ask you. So I'm asking...
Ken: Ahhh, I can't tell you yet.
BossHog: Well how about giving me the scoop first when you are ready to announce it.
Ken: That I might be able to do.
BossHog: How about your two new children's books, The Leftovers and The Fridge Games, are they done?
Ken: They are both finished and they will be available very, very soon.
BossHog: OK Ken, well that's about all I have for you today. Well unless I can stay at your house when I'm at the event and at training camp?
Ken: Er... I already have a house full. (We both laugh)
With that, the interview was pretty much over but we talked for a few minutes further. I told Ken that I was really looking forward to meeting him in person, as were all of theHogs.net staff and that we would see him in two weeks.
Thanks again Ken and Melanie. We really appreciate everything.