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Howard Michael "Howie" Long (born January 6, 1960 in Charlestown, Massachusettsmarker) is a former Americanmarker football player and actor. Long, who played as a defensive end, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Famemarker in 2000.

Football career

High school

He attended Milford High Schoolmarker in Milford, Massachusettsmarker, and is a member of the Milford Hall of Fame. Long was an all-around athlete, playing football (lettered three years and was named to the Scholastic Coach All-America team as a senior, though he never played football until age 15), basketball (lettered three years as a forward), and track (lettered three years, competing in the shot-put, discus and javelin). Long also set state records in both the shot put and discus.


Long played college football and earned a degree in communications at Villanova Universitymarker. He turned down an offer to play at Boston Collegemarker to attend Villanova. He was a four-year letterman at Villanova and was selected to play in the Blue-Gray game and was named the MVP in 1980. Long started every game as a freshman and had 99 tackles. As a sophomore Long led Villanova in sacks with 5 and recorded 78 tackles. The next season, 1979, Long sustained a thigh injury and missed three games and ended the season with 45 tackles. As a senior Long again led the Wildcats in sacks with 4 and had 84 tackles. He began as a tight end but was moved to the defensive line playing mostly noseguard his first two seasons. After moving to defensive end he earned All-East honors and honorable mention All-American by his senior year. Long also boxed at Villanova and was the Northern Collegiate Heavyweight Boxing Champion.


Drafted in the second round of the 1981 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders, Long would play 13 seasons for the club wearing the number 75. His very rare combination of size, strength and quickness made him a fearsome force on the Raiders defensive line, earning eight Pro Bowl selections. Long had high aspirations early in his career. He told Football Digest in 1986 that he wanted "Financial security, and I want to be in the Hall of Fame...That's my goal...and I'd like to win a few more Super Bowls." Along the way, he was also named All-Pro three times (in 1983, '84, and '85) and second-team All-Pro twice (in 1986 and 1989). The fact that he was often, if not usually, double-teamed by opponents makes these honors that much more remarkable. He was selected by John Madden to the All-Madden teams in 1984 and 1985 and was named to the 10th Anniversary All-Madden team in 1994.

Long was voted both the NFL Alumni Defensive Lineman of the Year and the NFLPA AFC Defensive Lineman of the Year in 1985. He capped off a stellar 1985 season earning the George S. Halas Trophy for having been voted the NEA's co-NFL Defensive Player of the Year (along with Andre Tippett). Additionally he was named the Seagrams' Seven Crown NFL Defensive Player of the year. The following year, 1986, Long was voted the Miller Lite NFL Defensive Lineman of the Year. (Both those awards were taken by polls of NFL players). In 1986 Long was voted to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl and was key in helping the Raiders record 63 sacks and being the number one defense in the AFC. From 1983-86 the Raiders defense recorded 249 sacks, which tied with the Chicago Bears for tops in the NFL over that span.

Long collected 91½ sacks during his career (7½ are not official, as sacks were not an official statistic during his rookie year). His career high was in 1983 with 13 sacks, including a career-high 5 against the Washington Redskins on October 2, 1983. He also intercepted 2 passes and recovered 10 fumbles during his 13-year career. At the time of his retirement, he was the last player still with the team who had been a Raider before the franchise moved to Los Angeles. He won a Super Bowl title with the Raiders in 1984 (following the 1983 season). Long's signature defensive move was the "rip," which employed a quick, uppercut-like motion designed to break an opposing blocker's grip.

Pro Football Weekly (PFW) named Long as one of the ends on its All-time 3-4 defensive front, along with Lee Roy Selmon, Curley Culp, Lawrence Taylor, Andre Tippett, Randy Gradishar, and Harry Carson. PFW based its "Ultimate 3-4" team on the vote of over 40 former NFL players, coaches, and scouts.

After football

After his retirement from the NFL following the 1993 season Long pursued an acting career, focused mainly on action films, including Firestorm, a 1998 film in which he starred. He also appears in the movie Broken Arrow alongside John Travolta. He played a minor role in the movie 3000 Miles to Graceland, alongside Kevin Costner, Kurt Russell, and Courteney Cox. Long also made numerous cameo appearances on TV shows and commercials.

Long was a spokesman for Radio Shack, making commercials with actress Teri Hatcher. He has also been featured in many other national commercials and advertising campaigns including those of Coors Light, Nikemarker, Campbell's Chunky Soup, Hanes, Frito Lay, both Coca-Cola and Pepsi, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Nabisco, Kraft, the Bud Bowl campaign, and currently for Chevrolet.

In March, 1986, Long told Inside Sports, "When I'm finished playing I'd like to stay in touch with football, through broadcasting. I'm qualified to give a certain perspective and I'm articulate enough to handle it." After his retirement he began as a studio analyst for the Fox Network's NFL coverage, where he often plays the "straight man" to the comic antics of co-host Terry Bradshaw as well as writing a column for . In addition, he hosts an annual award show on Fox, Howie Long's Tough Guys, which honors the NFL players whom he deems the toughest and gives "the toughest" a Chevrolet truck. Long won an Emmy Award in 1997 as "Outstanding Sports Personality/Analyst."

He is an alumnus of, and volunteers his time for, the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. He was named Walter Camp Man of the Year in 2001.


Long has been married to Diane Addonizio since June 27, 1982, and they have three sons. One son, Chris, was drafted 2nd overall in the 2008 NFL Draft as a defensive end for the St. Louis Rams after a very successful career at Virginiamarker; another son, Kyle, was a highly recruited high school baseball player (pitcher) played for Florida State Universitymarker before transferring to a community college.Howie Jr. has committed to his oldest brother's alma mater Virginia to play lacrosse. The family currently resides in Ivy, VAmarker, near Charlottesvillemarker.

Long told USA Today, in 1998, that he and his wife always take separate planes in case of a crash. "I couldn't bear the thought of my children going through the rest of their lives without [either] of us."

Further reading

  • Long, Howie (2007) Football for Dummies, 3rd edition. New York: Wiley. ISBN 978-0470125366.


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