When Russ Grimm is enshrined in the Hall of Fame tonight, he will be presented by Joe Bugel, his first and longtime offensive line coach. The two blue-collar guys from Pittsburgh pretty much gave the original Hogs their identity in the early eighties, and they began a friendship that continues to this day.
I was able to sit down with Bugel and Grimm today for an interview for the Redskins Broadcast Network, and nothing made their relationship clearer than the two answer that came when I asked Grimm if he had had any doubt who would be his presenter, then asked Bugel if he had had any doubt what he would say.
(I shot this video on my Flip camera; the finished piece will, of course, look and sound much smoother and more professional whenever it airs.)
Here’s the transcription, which completely fails to capture the awesomeness of the fist-bump a few seconds in:
To Grimm: Was there ever any doubt that Buges was gonna be your presenter?
GRIMM: “No. No. He started it, and for me this is like the end of the road. When you’re in high school you dream of playing in college. In college you dream of playing in the pros. You dream of winning the Super Bowl.
“I’ve never dreamed of being here. I played the game because it was fun. I played the game because I didn’t wanna let the guys who coached me and the guys who I played beside down.
“So, no, there was never any doubt. It all started there, and it’s been a great weekend so far.”
To Bugel: Was there any doubt about what you were gonna say in your speech?
BUGEL: “No, there was never a doubt. I’ll tell you what, we talked to each other about fifteen minutes after he got inducted, and he said, ‘Buges, I want you to do it.’ I’ll tell you what, I was standing next to my lovely bride and we almost hit our heads on the ceiling. It was happiness throughout that family. My kids are home right now, my two girls, they got it ready to tape this show tonight. I mean, they’re ready to go.
“This is something it’s … you wait for a lifetime. As a coach, you wanna see one of your own — ’cause I love and respect this guy. He’s my best friend. We go out for dinner; we did it during the season. Once we got to know each other, hey, we did a lotta things in the summertime. Went down to Georgetown, had dinner, rented limos … we had more fun than anybody in the world. It’s the best group of linemen I’ve ever coached and this guy, he’s like a son to me.”
Tags: hall of fame 2010, joe bugel, russ grimm
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