Lomas Brown didn’t play in the National Football League forever.
It just seemed that way.
Brown was a seven-time Pro Bowler, making six of those trips while toiling at left tackle for the Detroit Lions from 1985-95.
After 11 years in Motown, he also played for the Arizona Cardinals, Cleveland Browns, New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers before retiring after an 18-year career following the 2002 season.
He started 251 games in his career, which currently is the seventh-most in history. This wasn’t just some guy; he was one of the good ones.
In April, Brown and his wife were part of a group that sued the NFL, alleging the league’s “failure to face the truth” about concussions and the violent nature of football.
There are hundreds of former players who have filed suit against the league so that alone doesn’t make Brown unique.
What does is what he said on ESPN Radio last week. While appearing as a guest on the “Scott Van Pelt Show,” Brown admitted he intentionally blew a blocking assignment in the hope that his quarterback would be knocked out of the game.
Brown said that during a November 1994 game against the Green Bay Packers at Milwaukee County Stadium, he wanted to facilitate a switch at quarterback after the Lions had fallen behind 24-0.
At the time, quarterback Scott Mitchell was 5-for-15 and had thrown two interceptions. No, he wasn’t having a good day. But he didn’t deserve this.
Brown whiffed on his block and defensive end Sean Jones hit Mitchell basically unabated. Mitchell was out of the game, all right. He had a broken hand. He wound up missing the rest of the season.
Full disclosure: I covered that game in Milwaukee and I remember Mitchell getting hurt. Honestly, though, the Lions had played so poorly to that point—as a unit, not just Mitchell—that Jones’ sack on Mitchell didn’t set off any alarm bells.
Rather, in my mind, it was just another bad play by a team having a bad day.
For his part, Mitchell told the “Dan Patrick Show” on Wednesday that Brown’s actions were “reprehensible.”
As part of the lawsuit in Georgia, the filing attacks the NFL for not seeing players as people but rather as armored gladiators who are encouraged to believe in their own invincibility.
For what it’s worth, I still see Lomas Brown as a person after his little story.
Just less of one.