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Virginia Athletic Council
Building Men & Women via Athletics©
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Ashley shares a moment with Roger Brown as he discusses a few of his numerous mementos at his restaurant, Roger Brown's Sports Bar in Portsmouth, VA
For Brown, many memorable moments were during his college years. He played for Maryland State College, now known as the University of Maryland-Eastern Shore (UMES). Brown says back then it was just a small, segregated college.
“I never really thought of it as a Historic Black University,” Brown said. “I was getting an education and I went to major in football and I graduated top of my class.”
Brown says he developed while at Maryland. He mentions he was a DJ for a local radio show and started a band out of the music majors on campus. He named the show “The Big Nyack Rhythm and Blues Show.” He admits to having a business mindset and that he used the radio station as a chance to make some side money.
In college, Brown was known to play for one of the stingiest defenses in college football history at UMES. In response he simply says it was necessary.
“We didn’t want to give up anything,” said Brown. “It’s just like when we got to go into the cafeteria. You had to be stingy and you had to beg for more food because they didn’t give you a big plate of food.”
In addition to making history with his defense in college, Brown played for two of the best defensive lines in the NFL with the “Fearsome Foursome.” After starting with the defensive line in Detroit, and getting traded to the Los Angeles Rams, Brown was able to carry the legacy with two teams.
“I don’t have a favorite,” said Brown. “I just feel lucky that I had an opportunity to play on two of the greatest (defensive lines).”
Brown acknowledges that playing football was tough, and he had a tough mentality. He says he had a philosophy of playing through the hurt, and never letting his staff know when he was injured. In hindsight he urges players today to follow the new rules of football and concussions for the sake of their own health.
Reflecting back to his high school years, Brown remembers when his talents were set apart from others.
“When I was in high school, at Nyack High School in NY State, I had an opportunity to play fullback,” Brown said. “So I was a fullback on offense and on defense I was on the line. So I was pretty fast. I could run a 10 flat hundred at 270/280 pounds.”
Brown also says in high school he started taking cooking class, which ultimately led to his restaurant business today. “The thing that I liked about the cooking class at school was that we got to eat whatever we cooked, so I ate regular,” Brown said. Brown adds that he is proud of his business successes, especially his restaurant Roger Brown’s Sports Bar. He enjoys just being able to walk around and meet his customers.
Former NFL Defensive Lineman Roger Brown sat down with the Virginia Athletic Council after his recent induction into the Black College Football Hall of Fame to discuss what led to his past and current successes.
While walking through hi restaurant named simply, Roger Brown' Sports Bar, Brown shows off his accolades that are framed down his own hall of fame. Against the wall are frames of teammates, other opponents, and some of his most memorable moments.
One on One with NCAA and NFL Legend - Roger Brown
By: Ashley Jones
Ashley poses with Roger Brown's
banner at his restaurant from his recent
Black College Football HOF Induction
Roger shows Ashley a picture of the famous "Fearsome Foursome" which includes Lamar Lundy, Merlin Olsen, Deacon Jones and of course Roger Brown
In addition to the success of his restaurant, Brown was recently inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame. He says he never knew he would be inducted into this hall of fame, and is happy about the opportunity. He says he is now in about ten halls of fame, and is just waiting for the NFL Hall of Fame.
“That would mean to me out of all the football halls of fame that I’m a member of now, that would be the tops,” Brown said. “It would be just as impressive as the black college, the college hall of fame, all of them. Just the idea that I made it, and I’m chosen.”