Happy 51st Birthday to former NFL defensive end Howie Long. Long was born on January 6th, 1960 in Charlestown, Massachusetts. In high school, Long lettered 3 years in football. The surprising thing is that Long had never played football before the age of 15. He also lettered 3 years in basketball as a forward, and 3 years in track & field for the shotput and discus (in both events, Long set state records). Long passed on an offer to stay close to home for college to pursue degree at Villanova University.
At Villanova, Long was a four year starter and an immediate impact player for the Wildcats. He would eventually graduate with a degree in communications from Villanova. After his senior year, Long declared for the draft and was selected by the Oakland Raiders with the 48th overall pick in the 1981 draft. This same draft produced defensive Hall of Famers such as Lawrence Taylor, Ronnie Lott, Mike Singletary and Rickey Jackson. Long’s unique combination of size, strength and quickness made him an instant success with the Raiders.
Over the course of his 13 year career (all with the Raiders), Long was selected to 8 Pro Bowls, 3 First Team All-Pro awards, won a Super Bowl Championship in 1984 and he was named the AFC Defensive Lineman of the Year in 1984 and 1985. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame back in 2000. Currently, Howie Long is a broadcaster for Fox’s NFL Sunday show along with former players Terry Bradshaw, Michael Strahan and former NFL coach Jimmy Johnson. Look for a new Howie Long Mitchell & Ness jersey release later this year. Happy Birthday Howie!