In ex-Washington Redskins lineman Russ Grimm, the Pro Football Hall of Fame chooses a perfectly deserving Hog
Sunday, February 7, 2010
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.
Russ Grimm lay on the field, his belly protruding from his jersey. His position coach took a hard look at his young offensive guard -- still lying in the dirt and gunk.
"Russ, get up," Joe Bugel said in the middle of a blocking drill. "You look like a hog layin' on the ground."
The next day at practice every offensive lineman showed up with T-shirts with the word "Hog" written on the front.
"Whaddya guys doin'?" Buges asked.
"We're in solidarity with Russ, sir," they said.
This was nearly 30 years ago, before family men put on homely dresses and plastic pig snouts and steam-cleaned their wigs, calling themselves the "Hogettes," their charitable tribute to the most recognized group of offensive linemen in NFL history -- a position on a football field that has gone, for most of a century, unrecognized.
This was before Russell Scott Grimm, who teammates say perfectly represented Bugel's description of a "snot-nosed Sluggo" more than any of them, got the call from Canton on Saturday, his name among those called for 2010 Hall of Fame enshrinement.
"The name 'Hog' came from Russ Grimm, that's why it's so appropriate," said Jim Lachey, a contributor on the last of the Washington Redskins' four Super Bowl-qualifying teams, and the third to win a title, in a 10-year-span -- an era as laden with glory as it was grit.
And the grittiest of them all and -- okay, and the grossest -- was Grimm.
"Grimmie!" exclaimed Rick "Doc" Walker, a tight end on those teams, hearing of the news late Saturday afternoon. "Grimy. He had so many nicknames. I'm so happy for him. Russ was not only an elite player, he was that rare cross between Hell's angel and football player."