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Brown willing to protect his assets

By ROGER MILLS, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 1, 2002

[Times photo: James Borchuck]
A Dallas lineman may have gotten under Lomas Brown's skin, but the Isleys can cool him right down.
Through 18 NFL seasons, left tackle Lomas Brown has seen it all. Today he shares his wisdom on topics like Monopoly, Barry Sanders, players today and Thanksgiving food.

* * *

RM: If life was a game of Monopoly, where are you on the board?

LB: I would have to say I'm turning the last corner and landing on (the green properties). I'm on the final stretch here but I'm still a ways away from Park Place and Boardwalk.

* * *

RM: How does that game reflect the NFL?

LB: In the NFL there are chances taken in terms of where you are, what your place is in the league, how long you're going to play the game, how many setbacks or injuries you can overcome, how successful you're going to be? Well, it's like taking that dice, rolling it and seeing where you land, over and over again.

* * *

RM: With an important exchange of money.

LB: Exactly. There's ownership, there's protecting assets, there's determining what's valuable to you and what isn't. That's football. All the things that are in the Monopoly game, are all the things that are in the NFL.

* * *

RM: Where do most of us live on the board?

LB: The majority of people probably live in those rows of property right around the first corner. Those seven properties. Not every one can be as fortunate as professional athletes and able to live the way we're able to live. I think most people are trying to turn that corner.

* * *

RM: Personally, I always want to be the banker.

LB: Who doesn't love handling the money. There's a lot of things the banker holds. He's like the quarterback: he holds all the livelihood of all the players in his hands.

* * *

RM: You land on Chance and pull the wrong card, you can get sent to jail. What's NFL jail.

LB: That must be Cincinnati. I tell you what, you hear the guys on the team tell you don't feel sorry for them, but you almost start feeling sorry for those guys, the organization and the city. It's been a long time. So many teams have taken steps forward, and they seem to be taking a step backward every year.

* * *

RM: Do you shout, 'Rent!" when someone lands on your property.

LB: No. I like to sit back and let everybody make their own responsible decision. Every man has their own responsibility. You land on someone's property, there's a price to pay.

* * *

RM: Shoot, you better not play at my crib. I'll slide right on by without paying a cent.

LB: That's wrong. But you hope there's enough people around who won't cheat and will overlook and keep the cheaters to a minimum.

* * *

RM: When do you feel old?

LB: Going to bed at night. You know I was told by a relative that the older I get the less sleep I need. And now, I'm a regular night hawk. It's nothing for me to be up at 1 o'clock in the morning. It's kind of weird. I was a late night owl as a young man and I thought it would change, but it hasn't.

* * *

RM: Angriest moment in a game.

LB: I got into an altercation with (Cowboys defensive lineman) Ebenezer Ekuban about two years ago. I really lost control and I hadn't done that in the past. Everything kind of boiled over. I was embarrassed by the way I acted on the sidelines. I got into some interaction with one of the fans and it was an elderly woman. She's there all the time and is a heckler, a nice heckler. She said, "Lomas, what would your mother say about such behavior? Lomas, you should wash your mouth out with soap!' She was so nice about it. I didn't really snap on her, but I did lose it.

* * *

RM: The saddest moment.

LB: That was after the Super Bowl (loss to the Ravens). I can't lie. I had a tear coming down.

* * *

RM: The happiest moment.

LB: After the win over Minnesota (in the NFC Championship game). Just knowing that after 15 years, I was finally getting a chance to play in a Super Bowl. It was overwhelming.

* * *

RM: Most memorable teammate.

LB: Barry Sanders. He epitomizes not only the running back position but the game. The class he had. He never spiked the ball. Even though we tried to get him to do it, he never would. He just handed it back to the official. He always sat on the sidelines with his helmet on, not wanting to attract any attention. He stayed that way the whole time and is still that way today, a truly humble man.

* * *

RM: Were you surprised that he walked away when he did?

LB: Not at all. I was in that franchise for 11 years, I knew how it was and how it wore him down. How it was molded. They wanted to hold on to the old ways and didn't want to embrace the free agent system the way they needed to. So, Barry started getting tired of it. We all did.

* * *

RM: There was no chance of him coming back?

LB: Nope. Once he walked away I knew he wasn't coming back. Barry never wanted the attention. I remember he needed nine yards to win the rushing title one year and he would not go back in the game. We pleaded with him and he simply refused. He had $250,000 riding on that, plus the prestige of being the NFL's leading rusher, and it didn't matter to him.

* * *

RM: Players today....

LB: Really don't know the history of the game. Look back at it. How it was built. Guys coming in today don't recognize how it was built, who paved the way. When (former Steelers and Hall of Fame center) Mike Webster died, I asked four of five offensive linemen who he was and they didn't know, much less what happened in his life.

* * *

RM: Players tomorrow....

LB: Are of a different breed. There will be more spoiled athletes because of how the money is growing in the league. Now, it's only a select few who will be doing wrong things, but they'll be in the media's eye.

* * *

RM: Worse call by an official?

LB: The coin toss with Jerome Bettis in overtime a few years ago. That had to be the worst of all time. It cost them the game.

* * *

RM: One word. NFL officials?

LB: Good.

* * *

RM: NFL fans?

LB: Great.

* * *

RM: NFL media?

LB: Whew.

* * *

RM: I'm guessing you have some Isley Brothers in your music collection.

LB: Isley Brothers, Ronald Isley. It's amazing to me how Mr. Biggs has been able to stay. He and maybe Barry White, has been able to make the transition through to today. He's come right into the hip hop generation. He's got it all. He's making cuts with R Kelly.

* * *

RM: I feel for the turkeys. All they do is get carved up.

LB: Yeah, but it's better than eating veal. I saw this special on television years ago where they put this calf, almost out the womb, in this little cage where it cannot move and cannot stand up and they feed it for a few weeks before killing it. Because it can't move, the meat stays tender. I stop eating veal since then. That's a bad life.

* * *

RM: That's worse than a turkey's life.

LB: At least the turkey can run around.

* * *

RM: Who has it better, the wild turkey who can get shot by a hunter or the farm turkey waiting on the luck of the draw?

LB: I would rather be the wild turkey. At least you can fly a little bit for a while. You have a life. But when you're a farm turkey, you're getting fed and they're treating you nice. Yet, you're wondering why they're showing you so much love. Then you start getting the good food, the double rations. You start wondering. That's torture.

* * *

RM: Reason for Thanksgiving?

LB: I can't speak for anybody else but I have had a great life and I'm grateful for it. Out there, there's a lot of questions. Life has to have balance, people will be born, people will die and it's going to happen every day. I think Thanksgiving gives you the perspective to deal with that. There are things we can't understand -- why people would fly a plane into a building, why a woman would drown her five children, why the people in Middle East have such hate. Thanksgiving reminds me to try to make the best of what I have with that in mind.

Back to the Bucs

Today's lineup


  • 'He can get it done'
  • Chucky's Chalk Talk
  • Bucs have argument of their own
  • Side line
  • High Profile -- Tom Tupa
  • Brown willing to protect his assets
  • Letters: Sapp's hit stirs up differing emotions

  • Rays
  • Can Piniella build bridge to Tampa fans?

  • Lightning
  • Lightning is out to sustain edge against Rangers

  • Other sports

    College football
  • Title defense in Miami's sights
  • Rix elixir
  • Husker dud may cost jobs on coaching staff
  • Big East: West Virginia quarterback tops his rival at last on bigger stage
  • State: Marks fall for Knights
  • ACC: Terps feeling peachy after battering Wake
  • C-USA: Freshman RB leads TCU to Liberty
  • I-AA: Bethune-Cookman falls in first round
  • Big 12: OU blows fragile shot at title game
  • SEC: Volunteers extend dominance of 'Cats
  • Pac-10: Trojans take fight to Irish
  • Nation: UNLV ends season with upset victory vs. Colorado State
  • Game's allure falters with clubs' fortunes
  • Florida let opportunity go by
  • Florida/Florida State quotebooks
  • Kid has big day for FSU
  • Florida/Florida Stateby the numbers

  • More sports
  • Stewart handles change well
  • Highs & lows
  • St. Anthony's Triathlon
  • Sports briefs
  • Hampton eyeing new start
  • Carolina wins, takes over first
  • NHL Slapshots
  • Hawks can't handle Magic
  • Mickelson leads Skins after Day 1
  • French take Davis Cup lead at 2-1
  • Texas goes inside to wear out Seton Hall
  • Duke cruises; UCLA falls to 0-2
  • LSU can't close gap against Texas A&M
  • Self-taught Cougar tops county
  • Seahawks say best revenge is a victory
  • It's time to cast about for schools of mullet
  • NFL Game Day: Week 12
  • Outdoors: Daily fishing report
  • Back to Top

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