For Tim Lang, just tossing the pigskin meant so much more than it used to.
Lang planted on his prosthetic right leg and hurled a few passes into a secondary of former professional football players Saturday as his Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team beat a squad made up of Redskins and NFL alumni in a flag football game at Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington, Va.
“This is such a huge, significant step for so many of us guys,” said Lang, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps 124 Charlie Co. in Fallujah, Iraq.
“It’s a declaration that we’re okay. We’re all better. We’re not broke. We’re no longer even challenged. We’ve accepted our new life and we’re doing the things we used to do now. We’re loving life now.”
Lang shared quarterback duties with University of Maryland and NFL alumnus Stan Gelbaugh.
Former Redskins running back and kick returner Brian Mitchell hosted the fundraising event attended by distinguished Washington alumni such as linebacker Sam Huff, 1972 NFL MVP Larry Brown and two-time Super Bowl champion Ravin Caldwell.
Mitchell said his competitive juices were flowing, but he would probably need a massage after the contest. He played quarterback and defensive back for the alumni team, who fell to the veterans, 28-21.
“My dad was in the military for 20 years. He taught me how to respect the uniform,” Mitchell said.
“This is probably the one area of society where they go out and do the most for us and get the least amount of respect. Any chance I get to give them respect and try to honor them, I’ll do it.”
Former Virginia governor George Allen served as the honorary coach of the Redskins & NFL Alumni team. He snatched a red arm band to act as a challenge flag should he need it.
Allen said in comparison to the NFL legends, the wounded warriors are the “real heroes, the people that protect our freedom.”
“Many are missing a leg or two legs or an arm or a hand, and they’re here playing football,” Allen sad.
“I think this is just a great way for us to celebrate and express our gratitude to those who risked their lives for our freedoms. Truly this is just such a wholesome, important thing to do no just on Veterans Week but every day of the year.”
Miami Dolphins kicker Garo Yupremian attended the game to join Mike Bass and reenact his bungled pass attempt from Super Bowl VII, a pick-six NFL Films named the No. 1 football folly.
Yupremian was a good sport when he greeted Allen.
“I was your father’s favorite player,” Yupremian said. “I was the only one who scored for him that day.”
Tags: Brian Mitchell, Brian Mithell, Garo Yupremian, george allen, Mike Bass, sam huff, super bowl vii, washington redskins, Wounded Warrior Amputee Football Team
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