It’s super bowl weekend, and as we prepare to watch the Rams and Bengals in super bowl 56, let me take you back to super bowl 22 in January 1988 between the Washington Redskins and the Denver broncos.
The quarterback for the Redskins that evening was 32-year-old. Doug Williams.
And by halftime, Williams had made NFL history. In the second quarter alone, he passed for $340 yards and four touchdowns. The Redskins ended up as super bowl champions, and Williams was the game’s MVP.
He was the first black quarterback to start and win a super bowl.
A couple of years later, he wrote an autobiography called Quarterblack.
And even though this interview is 30 years old, it still seems very relevant today, especially in light of the Brian Flores lawsuit against the NFL.
So here now, from 1990, Doug Williams.
Doug Williams of 66 now. He’s an executive with the Washington Redskins, now known as the Washington Commanders.
The national football League is over 100 years old, and in that time, football fans have enjoyed some breathtaking games, spectacular plays, some of the most colorful athletes we’ve ever known, and more than a few moments of spectator sport agony.
In 1994, The NFL participated in publishing a huge coffee table book reflecting on the first 75 years of the league. And to write the forward to that book, they chose legendary Chicago bears, middle linebacker Dick Butkus.
Now I grew up in the Chicago area, so I knew the name Dick butkus very well — and his reputation. An opponent once said that when he was tackling you, Dick Butkus was aiming not to put you in the hospital but the cemetery.
But when I met him to talk about that book, I found him to be a very warm and personable guy with lots of fun stories.
So here now, from 1994, Dick Butkus
Dick Butkus celebrated his 79th birthday last week. He’s active in several charities through the Butkus Foundation.
It’s September 29th. And on September 29th, 1954, a young baseball player made a name for himself with a defensive play that to this day remains one of the greatest ever.
It was the first game of the 1954 world series, between the New York Giants and the Cleveland Indians. Playing center field for the Giants that day at the Polo Grounds was the young Willie Mays.
In the eighth inning of a tie game, Vic Wertz of the Indians came to the plate. He lofted a Fly ball to deep center field, and maze made a heroic run for it. With his back to home plate, Mays reached up and caught the ball over his shoulder.
The play was so amazing that to this day, it is usually simply referred to as The Catch.
In the years that followed, maze quickly established himself as a superstar, not only for his ability to smash home run after home run, but his speed on the bases, he was so fast, he was actually run out from under his cap. More on that in the interview you’re about to hear…
In 1988 Willie Mays finally wrote his autobiography, and that’s when I had the chance to meet him.
First, a little context. You’ll hear a reference here to Willie Mays being banned from baseball. What? Yes, in 1980, the commissioner banned Willie Mays because he had signed a deal with and Atlantic City casino, to be a greeter and autographed signed her. He was eventually reinstated.
Also, this interview took place at a time when the Baltimore Orioles, under the managerial leadership of Frank Robinson, we’re having a horrible year.
And we did this interview just a few weeks before the historic first ever night game at Chicago’s Wrigley Field.
So here now, from 1988, Willie Mays.
Willie Mays is 90 now. He’s been in the Hall of Fame since 1979.