Bill Curry is a coach, but he’s also a walking historian.
One of the more interesting things about covering Georgia State is you never know what story Curry will tell. They are always well told, always interesting, and they always are relevant to whatever question has been asked.
Curry took it a step further at Tuesday’s practice, inviting one of his former teammates, Tom Brown, to practice. I’ll let Curry tell the rest:
“Tom Brown was the starting safety for the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl I and II
“When they won three world championships in a row, he played every play in all those seasons.
“Before that, he was a starting first baseman for the Washington Senators. He went from the University of Maryland to starting Opening Day for the Senators.
“I didn’t know this until just a few minutes ago but he went 0-for-15. He said that December – the Packers had already drafted him – [Vince] Lombardi called him and said, ‘Brown, we’ve been looking at your batting average. We think football is the thing for you.’
“So Tom was my teammate. The two years I was with the Packers, Tom started in the secondary that included Willie Wood, Herb Adderley and Bob Jeter. He was sort of the other guy that started, but he was reliable and always in the right place.
“In the NFL films, in the NFL championship game between us and Dallas that we had to win to get to Super Bowl I, he’s the guy that made the fourth-down interception in the end zone. It’s the very famous picture you see.
“He played in the Ice Bowl, he was there for all that great stuff.”
On what Brown said to the players at Tuesday’s practice:
He said this: “He had been on those great, great football teams. At that time, they were already considered to be one of the greatest of all time. That was before they won three in a row. Nobody else has done that. Nobody else has won five out of seven, and I don’t think they’re going to. That’s what those guys did.
“He said that things coach Lombardi used to say to us still resonate with us and that’s the truth. He said what Lombardi used to tell us is you can have a few guys on the team that are All-American or Hall of Fame. But, just a few.
“Most of the guys are going to be role players. I was a role player. My teammates, who were Hall of Famers, knew that I would be where I was supposed to be. They knew I was going to make the plays I was supposed to make. That made me feel good and made me want to do my job better. So whether you are a role player or a future Hall-of-Famer you’ve got a part to play on this football team. You’ve got a chance to build something from the very beginning.”
Brown now lives in Salisbury, Md., where he runs the Tom Brown’s Rookie League. Curry said there are two rules: everybody gets to play every inning of every game, and the parents aren’t allowed to say anything negative to the players.
Other links for you:
Lastly, because a few of you asked, here’s another photo that accompanies the blog about the three key transfers.