Fifty-two years ago on this day, Darrell Ray Green was born in Houston, Texas. In honor of The Ageless Wonder’s birthday, I decided to take a peak in the old player file for No. 28.
Everyone remembers the good times in his two decades on the field in Washington: the seven Pro Bowls, the two Super Bowls and the 54 interceptions. In a football sense, Green was an iconic Redskin and one of the greatest to ever take the field.
But if blogging had been around during the pinnacle of his career, he would also have been a constant source of content for his work off the field. Green embraced his role as a playmaker on Sundays, while recognizing that he could make a greater difference on Tuesdays in the community.
Here’s a look back on the man that set the standard for great Redskins to follow:
Two years before Green came to Washington in the first round of the 1983 NFL Draft, he decided to add track to his collegiate résumé at Texas A&I University (renamed Texas A&M-Kingsville). In his first meet, he ran a 10.08 in the 100-meter dash, a mark that still stands as the all-time best in the Lone Star Conference.
In 1982, he was named NCAA Division I All-America, NCAA Division II All-America, NAIA All-America, NAIA Outstanding Performer, Lone Star Conference Meet Outstanding Track Performer, NCAA Division II Champion in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes, NAIA Champion in the 200-meter dash, and Lone Star Conference Champion in the 100-meter and 200-meter dashes.
Green was on All-America first teams in track and field 10 different times. This was in addition to serving as team captain for the football team his senior year.
In Washington, Green’s ability to perform under pressure and play through injury made him a fan-favorite on even the most star-studded rosters. Off the field, he helped to organize charitable events like “Christmas with the Redskins,” designed to provide a holiday experience for underserved kids in the Washington area.
He even saved time to sign autographs for his biggest fans:
Green had a particular interest in providing opportunities for youth. Back in the mid-90’s when fewer than one-third of American homes had personal home computers, Green’s charitable activities included providing them to deserving youth.
Hooray for Windows 95:
In 1986, the International Olympic Committee ruled that Green’s professional football status disqualified him from being eligible to compete in the 1988 Summer Olympics. Crestfallen, Green was robbed of an athletic opportunity he almost certainly would have excelled in.
Eight years later in the lead up to the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Green was the perfect candidate to help carry the Olympic torch through America. Here are some images from his iconic walk:
Since his retirement a decade ago, Green has stayed active and stay involved with charitable work and healthy initiatives. He remains a fan of the only professional team he ever played for, and continues to try and enrich the lives of the fans that cheered him on.
On his most special of days, happy birthday to Darrell Green!