Randy White speaks to Little Rock Touchdown Club Part 1

I have written a lot about the Dallas Cowboys in the past. One of my favorite stories is getting to ask Pat Summerall a question about Tom Landry and his answer was a classic one. 

I simply asked him if he had a chance to interact with any Christian Coaches like Tony Dungy or Tom Landry about his conversion. He said that he told Landry about his conversion and that was the only time he ever saw Landry smile. Walt Garrison told Summerall that he never saw Landry smile but he only played for him for 9 years.

Recalling NFL reality of yore

White has stories, concerns

 

By Jeff Halpern

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

LITTLE ROCK — Pro Football Hall of Famer Randy White said he would not change the way he played the game as a member of the Dallas Cowboys, but he would like to see change in the way the NFL treats its retirees.

Randy White speaks to LRTD Club

 

Former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Randy White spoke to members of the Little Rock Touchdown Club. The Hall of Famer was a 9-time All-Pro selection. (By David Harten)
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White, who was a nine time All-Pro in a 14-year career, said he hopes players who are retired get better care when it comes to health insurance and current and future players get better information about concussions.

White, 59, who lives in Dallas, hosts a Cowboys pregame show on KTVT, Channel 11, in Dallas and owns Randy White’s Hall of Fame BBQ & Grill in Frisco, Texas, addressed those two issues Monday at the Little Rock Touchdown Club’s weekly luncheon at the Embassy Suites hotel in Little Rock.

White said he started paying serious attention to retirement issues about15 years ago after he and a group of Hall of Famers attended a speech given by the late Gene Upshaw, former NFL Players Association executive director.

“He told us his loyalty was to the current players and not the former ones and that almost started a fight,” White said. “As a player, I never thought about retirement, but all of the players are going to be retired someday and I want them to be taken care of. Sometimes, it seems like the NFL and its union have taken the attitude that [former player and coach] Mike Ditka has referred to as deny, deny and die.”

White, who said he’s going to need to have his shoulder and knee replaced eventually, is starting to feel some of the effects from a 209-game career. He’s also among approximately 3,000 former players who have sued the NFL, charging that the NFL did not do enough to inform them about the dangers of concussions when they were playing.

“When it’s time to for my grandson to play football, I hope the research is there and contains valuable information,” White said. “I know these things filter down and I want them to know what the risks are. We’re suing because we feel some of the information was withheld from us. Me personally, I wouldn’t do anything differently. You can get hurt playing football. Then again, you can get hurt stepping off a curb.”

White also addressed the New Orleans bounty scandal, which drew a one-year suspension for Coach Sean Payon and pending suspensions for four players. White said cheap shots would have been flagged by the officials and he also had a difficult time believing players were being paid to deliver those hits. He said the players don’t need extra incentive and if they did, they didn’t need to be in the NFL.

“I wanted to hit guys hard, but I never wanted to hurt somebody,” White said. “I was never a dirty player and it was never my intention to hurt somebody.”

White said he was stirred up by the Cowboys’ NFC East rivalries and liked to quiet their fans.

He said games against the Washington Redskins were the best because there was usually a playoff berth, division title or home-field advantage in the playoffs at stake.

“We’d go in those places and it would be loud because those fans didn’t like you and it was always a lot of fun walking out of there after beating them and being able to hear a pin drop,” White said.

He said he often disliked rival players, using former Washington Redskins running back John Riggins as an example, until doing a show handicapping NFL games in Las Vegas with Riggins and former Chicago Bears defensive lineman Dan Hampton.

“At first, I said, ‘Riggins, I used to push him and step on him’ and one day he looked at me and said, ‘Randy, I’m not sure I like you, but you’re all right,’ ” White said.

That attitude extended to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who defeated the Cowboys in Super Bowl X and XIII. “Did I hate the Steelers? I didn’t like them, but I respected them.”

Sports, Pages 15 on 09/18/2012

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