Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sports with the professionals

Last night, this topic came up, what professional athletes have you played sports with or against:
* Vernon Maxwell was the starting Q/B on our 12 year old pop warner football team until he broke his arm. (I moved from tailback to QB after that, and we won the 12 year old City league that year) Vernon later played for years in the NBA, winning some championships, fighting with some fans, failing to pay his child support.
* When Emmit Smith was in the first few years of his contract with the Dallas Cowboys, he came back to Gainesville during the summers to finish up his degree. While in Gainesville for those summers he played on my Men's league softball team. He is now the all time leading rusher in the NFL and a damn good human being as well, although his ability as an announcer on ESPN needs some help.
* In 1982 Palatka High School won the state football title in the 3A class. They had a running back named John L. Williams, who later went on to become a first round pick out of the University of Florida by the Seattle Seahawks. In High School, he was only held for less then 100 yards one time that season. My team was the opponent. I tackled him allot that night, but only one time by myself, I hit him face mask to chest, driving forward in what would be a perfect form tackle, except, instead of knocking him backwards he ended up running me over and I hung on to his legs as he gained about five yards while he kind of just tripped over my body and my efforts at tackling him.
* I once pitched a two hitter in an 11 to 1 ten run rule win in a high school baseball game. One of the hits however was a Home run hit by Ricky the Rocket Nattiel, who later on, would be one of the Three Amigos in Denver, for the Broncos, play and score a touchdown in one of the early Elway Superbowls. (as a side note the other hit by them that day was by a kid that went on and played a little Minor league professional Baseball, his was a ground rule double)
* Chris Doering caught about two Touchdowns for the Redskins and has also hit a home run off me, although I don't feel as bad about it as the Ricky the Rocket home run, because the various bombs Doering hit were when we were playing coed Softball.
* I have Occassionally played Golf with Casey Weldon, who, while at FSU, was the runner up for the Heisman Trophy the year Desmond Howard won it, and who went on to play several years in the NFL, as well as the Birmingham franchise in the one and done XFL.
Thats it, Professional athletes I played sports with or against, some before they were Professional athletes and some after.


Brian in Mpls said...

Damn our school must have sucked I played Basketball and Baseball and no one went on to do much...I drank way too much in school and kind of missed out on hanging with the Athletes.

One guy on my current softball team played a few seasons in the farm leagues but that is all i got.

Clinton said...

At UT, I had a math class with Ricky Williams. I remember him not being there a lot, and yet still passing. Odd, that.

Bill From Gainesville said...

Bryan, that still counts. Pro athlete would be the most awesomest job of all, my problem, even if I was a pro athlete type of guy, which I am not, I would have already had to have retired by now at my age. so basically I could be retired right now if I had enough sense to have been born a better athlete.
Ricky Williams was probably out smoking his bong and stuff while wearing his helmet. I once tailgated with Steve DeBerg. The weird thing was he was wearing one of his own Bucs jerseys when he walked up to the tailgate, and at first I thought, wow that guy looks alot like Steve Deberg, and he is wearing a number seventeen creamsicle Orange Bucs jersey of Steve Deberg, Oh my goodness, it is STEVE DEBERG

PhoenixHearse said...

Wow, the only famous person I ever met was Mary Lou Retton. She's short and kinda bitchy.

Bill From Gainesville said...

Phoenix, that saddens me that Mary Lou is Bitchy...

Quin Browne said...

i watched ricky play in denver.

well, it was on tv.

and, my uncle was zeke bonura, he was also good friends with joe dimaggio who pinched my cheeks when i was a kid. then he served me some coffee.

i'm lying about the last part of the paragraph.

Native Minnow said...

Here's the list of professional athletes I have played against:

There you go, short list eh? However, I was next door neighbors, and friends with the starting center for my university's football team the year they finished fourth in the nation. He got drafted by the New England Patriots, and later played for Miami, but as far as I know he never did anything more than special teams. I've lost contact with him, but I'm pretty sure he's out of the league now.