*Each week leading up to a Ravens home game, a different Baltimore Football Alumni member checks-in with BaltimoreRavens.com. Be sure to continue to check back throughout the 2010 season to see what your favorite BFA members have been up to. *View Past "Where Are They Now?" Features »
Years Played in Baltimore: 1965 – 1974
After your playing career in Baltimore was complete, what did you do?
Well, I was actually in the restaurant business before I got out of football. I had a fast-food franchise, and a steakhouse franchise along with that, and that's what I was in for about 30 years. So, I had that started while I was playing football – my father-in-law and I were in business together.
After that, about 10 – 12 years ago, my wife became ill and needed a heart and kidney transplant. Everything was sort of on hold with that, but she is doing remarkably well.
Then I got my real estate license, and I have been doing real estate off and on for the last 10 years or so.
What restaurant franchises were you in business with?
Red Barn (a fast-food restaurant chain) and Ponderosa Steakhouse. It was interesting!
What do you miss most about playing?
After as long as it's been, I don't really miss anything about it. You look back at it and it was a great experience, but as you get older you don't miss all the things you had to put up with – the injuries and the nicks and bruises you have to contend with every week to get ready to play.
But you do miss the camaraderie with your teammates and the excitement about gameday and all of that – you always miss that!
Which of your teammates were you closest with while playing in Baltimore?
We were really a close knit group of guys, so to just name one I think would be unfair because there were so many of them. And like I said, we were close and we looked out for each other – it was a great experience.
What was your fondest memory playing football in Baltimore?
I guess winning the NFC Championship in 1968, but then the lowest would have been losing the Super Bowl that year! They really came close together.
We had a great Championship against Cleveland – we beat Cleveland in Cleveland, then we went to Super Bowl III and of course we lost.
I don't think there is an experience to prepare you for losing a Super Bowl. We worked so hard to get to the game and then came up short.
You get maybe one shot at it in your career, that's it. And a lot of players never get a shot to play in a Super Bowl, but we were fortunate enough to play in two of them. Obviously, lost the one, but nonetheless we did win Super Bowl V. And those were the memories – a lot of fun!
Which opposing defensive lineman did you like playing against the least?
Oh my! I guess the top two would be Alan Page and Bob Lilly. I mean they are two of the greatest defensive tackles who ever played, and it's an honor to say I played against them.
Tough, tough competitors, and you knew you were in for a tough day when you had to go up against them – but those were two of the greatest football players to ever play the game.
Who is your favorite Baltimore Raven player today?
Again, I'd hate to name just one, but you have to admire a player like Ray Lewis who makes it happen every game. It doesn't matter if he's nicked-up or bruised-up, he comes out with that intensity – that's tough to do. You've got to admire his intensity that he plays the game with.
But everyone else on that defense, they just play so well together – and the offense is starting to come along. It's just a lot of fun to watch, and they are a really good football team.
And I admire the coaching staff – I think Coach Harbaugh has done a great job.
The whole organization is a good organization from the top down. I'm really pleased for the city of Baltimore that they have a team like this that they can enjoy.
Do you have any advice for kids today who want to be professional football players?
To get to that level is so difficult, but enjoy the experience. You have to have some breaks along the way – obviously you make your own breaks by being a good player, but you need some breaks and a lot of help from your coaches and your family.
The most important thing though that I always stress is to make sure you get an education. I don't know what the statistics are, but the chances of making the NFL are slim. So prepare yourself for life and get that education first, and if you are good enough, it will happen for you. But you have to put priorities in place, and education should be first.
Do you have anything you would like to say to the fans who are reading this?
I appreciate all of their support all of the years I was playing there. They were just the greatest – made you feel like part of the Baltimore community and family. We were one big family – we really were. It was a great experience, and there was nothing like it. We had our Colt Corrals and all of the events they had for players to participate in. It was a great experience!
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