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Column: Good to welcome back old familiar friend

By By Josh Taylor/staff writer
August 10, 2003
I remember the first pro football game I ever saw.
It was Super Bowl XXIV and I was 12-years-old. Joe Montana and the San Francisco 49ers put a 55-10 beating on the Denver Broncos. This was Montana's last of four Super Bowl wins.
My dad's name is Joe and the 49ers have always had a special place in my heart because of that.
I played football in junior high for the Northwest Bulldogs. I spent two years at center. Started every game.
My older brother played for the Meridian Wildcats. He was the starting middle linebacker on the 1990 5A state championship team. They used to call him Wild Thing because that's how he played.
My point is that football has always been there in my life. It's like Thanksgiving or back-to-school shopping.
It was something that was passed down from my father to me. For others, this may have been baseball or basketball. In our house, it was always football. It's good to have that old familiar friend back.
Unknown Soldiers
In case you missed it, there were five new inductees into the pro football Hall of Fame last weekend. The most highly publicized and most recognizable names in the Class of 2003 was Marcus Allen and Hank Stram.
Allan, a standout running back with the Oakland Raiders and later the Kansas City Chiefs, is most often remember for throwing his body over a goal-line stance to get a touchdown.
Stram, former Chiefs head coach, is usually seen in his younger days barking commands to his players during one of the early Super Bowls.
A little known fact is that Stram was the first head coach who agreed to wear a microphone during the Super Bowl. He coached the Chiefs in Super Bowl I.
Although that first one was a loss, Stram and the Chiefs came back and won Super Bowl IV over the Minnesota Vikings by a score of 23-7.
While Allen and Stram are larger than life figures, there was another guy inducted into the Hall this past weekend that you may not recognize. His name is Joe DeLamielleure.
He spent a total of eight years on the Buffalo Bills' front line and another five with the Cleveland Browns. He was one of the big reasons that O.J. Simpson was able to rack up all those yards on the ground. A running back is only as good as his offensive line.
The trouble is that offensive linemen don't have statistics to look at or highlights on Sports Center every night. They are the NFL's unknown soldiers. They are the guys that get hit and roughed up every single play. Despite the lack of glory, and often pay, the NFL's offensive linemen continue to do their job day in and day out. They play for respect, not glory.
It's good to see a guy like DeLamielleure getting the respect he deserves.
Hall of Fame Washout
Did you watch the Hall of Fame game Saturday night?
Honestly, I tried to watch it, but I happened to find a replay of Mississippi State's 2000 win over Florida on another channel. The replay was a lot more exciting than the 9-0 NFL game.
The NFL's commissioner Paul Tagliabue called the game with about six minutes left in the third quarter. Lightning was the culprit.
I'm sure it was a good idea to end the game early. Heck, it's only preseason. But, it does scare me a little bit. Could the NFL possibly be following in the footsteps of the MLB (remember last year's goofed All-Star game)?
Saints Watch
Don't forget to watch the Saints on Monday Night Football, tomorrow night. It may be their one and only appearance on MNF all season. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on ABC. The Saints will be hosting the Philadelphia Eagles. So far, the Saints are undefeated.
That is to say that this will be their first game of the preseason.