Ex-Skin Helps Annapolis TD Club feat on football
By Bill Wagner
Rick “Doc” Walker stoked the competitive fires of all who have ever played football Monday night as guest speaker for the 45th annual Touchdown Club of Annapolis awards banquet.
Walker, the former NFL tight end turned television and radio sportscaster, brought down the house with an impassioned explanation of why he believes football is the greatest sport on earth.
Drawing on memories from his days playing youth football in LA, college football at UCLA, and pro with the Cincinnati Bengals and Washington Redskins, Walker talked about the life lessons he learned and friendships he made on the gridiron.
“I’m always excited to be surrounded by gladiators because the game of football meant so much to my life and development,” Walker said.
Walker talked about the toughness it takes to snap on the chin strap, lace up the cleats, and hit another man.
“This is a Neanderthal sport we play. It brings out the beast in you,” he said. “There is no sport that will test you more and give you less. It’s a game designed to weed out the weak.”
Walker, a 6-4, 265 pound behemoth who still looks like he could play, achieved fame as a blocking tight end with Washington teams from 1980-85 that played in two Super Bowls and won one world championship. He was a member of the famed “Hogs” offensive line that included Hall of Famer Joe Jacoby.
“When you’re young, you always want to get the ball. I was a quarterback in high school and a wide receiver in college, but I Found I had to put on a neck brace and get in the trenches to become a champion.”