DETROIT — While there may be no crying in football, Lions legendary defensive tackle Roger Brown broke down when he got word that he would be added to the Pride of the Lions, a ring of honor at Ford Field. The ceremony takes place at halftime today.
“I cried, absolutely. I have been down to Ford Field quite often through the years for the homecoming and to be out on the field and to look at all the names and never saw my mine. And I wished mine was up there and now it’s happening. Now I bet I don’t get invited back. I’m excited very much so,’’ Brown said in a pre-game press conference.
He will be honored with wide receiver Herman Moore and the late Alex Karras who was Brown’s teammate and fellow member of the original Fearsome Foursome with Darris McCord and Sam Williams.
“It’s always special to go in with the groups you played with, your teammates. Alex and I spent a lot of years together. And I learned a lot from him and likewise from me,’’ Brown said. “It’s too bad he’s not physically here, in spirit he’s all over.’’
Brown who played for the Lions from 1960 to 1966 was a five-time Pro Bowler and a two-time AP All-Pro player.
“The thing I’m waiting for now is Canton, Ohio, the National Football League Hall of Fame,” Brown said. “One of the original Fearsome Foursome should be in that Hall — Alex or me or Darris or Sam. I guarantee I’m going to stay vertical until they call me and say, ‘Come on in.’ I’lll be ready,’’ said Brown who is a spry 81.
He thinks his chances of getting into the Pro Football Hall of Fame are about 1 in 100 and thinks today’s honor by the Lions might help.
“My life would be complete then as still as I’m still on the other side of the dirt,’’ Brown said.
His biggest game perhaps was the Thanksgiving win over the undefeated Packers in 1962. In that win, Brown sacked quarterback Bart Starr seven times including a safety. But sacks weren’t official NFL stats until 1982.
He said his trademark was the head slap.
“I started what they called the head slap. And for a big 320-pound guy not too many people could run faster, I caught a lot of halfbacks, a lot of quarterbacks, got past a lot of people,’’ Brown said.