Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Did you know that Chris Long is Howie Long's son? No kidding! The media really has been doing a swell job keeping that tidbit under wraps. Yes, Long is the scion of the Hall of Fame lineman and impeccably-coiffed FOX analysis android. Howie Long was so spectacular in his playing days that a pass rush move, the Howie, was named after him. How many people are cool enough to have a move named after them? Dr. Heimlich, Dorothy Hamel, Humpty Hump, Rerun ... it's a pretty short list.

Howie tried to keep a low profile during his youngest son's playing career, avoiding team workouts and hiding in the stands during Virginia games. Maybe that's because Chris wasn't always a top athlete. In little league, he would pick daisies in the outfield. I can relate: my son picks up dirt in the tee ball infield. Hey! Since dirt is tougher than daisies, my son must be tougher than Chris Long was, and by extension I'm tougher than Howie. C'mon, Villanova snob, lemmee show you how we did it at 20th and Olney. Oh crap, none of the websites I write for provide health care. I take it all back, Howie old FOX colleague and buddy.

Long eventually discovered football, and he proved to be just as intense and dangerous to a quarterback's health as his old man was. He became a standout two-way lineman in high school, then went to Virginia to learn defense from Al Groh, a former Bill Parcells disciple and Jets head coach. Long worked out at defensive end and linebacker in the off-season, but the Rams will probably keep him on the line, where he can join last year's #1 pick (Adam Carriker) to form the young nucleus of a great front four. The Rams' leading sacker last season was middle linebacker Will Witherspoon. That shouldn't happen again.

Howie casts a long shadow, but here's hoping that Chris can match dad's accomplishments (a Super Bowl ring, the Hall of Fame, 91.5 sacks) without making the same mistakes (Backdraft, those "are they married or just doin' it" Terri Hatcher commercials). It all may start with the hair. Chris, keep that pretty boy wave a'flowin'; it's your last link to the daisy-picking kid who didn't want to join the family quarterback-killing business.


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