Darrell Green, National Football League Player, 1960-
In a world where morals and ethics are afterthoughts, and in a sport where "Show me the money!" pretty much sums up the entire end-all aims for most players, Darrell Green was, and continues to be, a paragon of excellence, both on and off the field.
Playing for the Washington Redskins throughout his entire NFL career, #28 Darrell Green, also known as "Mr. Redskin", was the last player selected in the first round of the famed 1983 NFL Draft. Playing for an astounding twenty years in the NFL -- even more amazing for a player in his position -- Green's career is chock-full of highlights and records. Just a few of these are of those are:
As a cornerback during the heyday of the NFC East, Green's amazing speed and agility more than made up for his shorter 5'9" stature, making any fooball thrown his way a dangerous option. On the occasions that it did occur, Green feasted on opposing quarterbacks, gaining at least one interception in nineteen consecutive years. Totalling 54 interceptions over his career, he ran back six of those for touchdowns2.
For all his athleticism and achievement, however, Green has shown, year after year, to be a gentleman in everything he does. Near the end of his NFL career, rather than attempt to steal that last bit of spotlight, Green stepped back, mentoring his eventual successor, Champ Bailey and later, Fred Smoot; judging by both players' performances in the NFL, Green's influence on these two cornerbacks can, in no way, be underestimated. As an aside, it also might be noted that both players were mere toddlers when Green first began playing!
Outside the NFL, however, Green has had an incalculable influence as well. A strongly-devotional Christian, he has been involved in many speaking engagements for church organisations, and has done motivational speaking outside the confines of his faith. Furthermore, in 1988, Green started the Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation, whose mission is "to help children develop into leaders who positively influence their families and communities.3", mentors children and focuses on educational enrichment and leadership skills.
When the time comes that Darrell Green is eligible to be nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame
, there are no doubts that he will be elected, but nor are there any doubts that his work off the field will be held with just as great a regard as his work on it.
Works Referenced and Cited
Pro Football Reference: Darrell Green. http://www.pro-football-reference.com/players/GreeDa00.htm
NFL.com: Darrell Green. http://www.nfl.com/players/playerpage/3532
Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation: Mission Statement