Clint Longley

Discussion in 'History Zone' started by NewEraCowboy, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. NewEraCowboy

    NewEraCowboy Member

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    I've read recently that Longley was a mental case etc... what was the deal with him? I remember watching highlights and hearing about the great thanksgiving game against the skins.

    But what happened after that?
  2. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    He sucker punched Roger Staubach because he wanted to get released. Roger promptly stomped a mud hole in him and walked it dry.
  3. morieeel

    morieeel Member

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    Past tense: 30 years later, Longley still an enigma
    09:08 PM CST on Saturday, November 20, 2004

    By MATT MOSLEY / **************

    CORPUS CHRISTI - Clint "The Mad Bomber" Longley is doing 80 mph in his
    beat-up green Ford pickup truck.

    The former Cowboys quarterback, whose name was immortalized on Thanksgiving
    Day 1974, is barreling down a narrow beachside road in an attempt to throw a
    reporter off his trail.

    Clint Longley (second from right) and former Cowboys linebacker D.D. Lewis
    (second from left) at a Corpus Christi restaurant. Lewis has prayed for a
    reconciliation between Roger Staubach and Longley. He succeeds.

    Longley, 52, hasn't granted an interview in 20 years and intends to keep it
    that way. He was a 22-year-old rookie when he replaced a woozy Roger
    Staubach early in the third quarter and led the Cowboys to a stunning 24-23
    comeback victory over George Allen's Redskins 30 years ago on Thanksgiving.

    Offensive lineman Blaine Nye famously described Longley's performance
    (11-of-20 for 203 yards and two touchdowns) as "the triumph of an
    uncluttered mind."

    In an otherwise undistinguished NFL career that lasted just over three
    years, that game was enough to make Longley a folk hero among Cowboys fans.

    Unfortunately for Longley, the story doesn't end here.

    Less than two years after that memorable day, Longley was traded to the San
    Diego Chargers after he landed a blindside punch on Staubach during training
    camp in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

    The infamous "sucker punch," as most former Cowboys describe it, occurred
    two days after Longley and Staubach had fought over a derogatory remark
    Longley made about receiver Drew Pearson.

    Also Online
    Multimedia: Audio interviews, original DMN coverage, more (large file
    requires Flash player)

    Game summary: Cowboys 24, Redskins 23
    Staubach eventually said he'd "knock those Bugs Bunny teeth" out of
    Longley's mouth, and Longley was up the challenge.

    "They put me in charge of distracting [assistant coach] Dan Reeves so he
    wouldn't break up the fight," said former quarterback Danny White, who was
    in his first season with the team. "I started trying to make stuff up to
    talk to him about and then we looked back up the hill and Roger was just
    waling on Clint."

    Safety Charlie Waters was having lunch with Longley two days later when
    Longley told him he had figured out how to get traded.

    "I asked him how," Waters said, "and he told me I'd find out that

    Waters knew how unpredictable Longley could be. The season before, Waters
    had agreed to let Longley keep his new pony on three acres of land he'd
    purchased near the team's practice facility.

    Clint Longley carries the game ball after leading Dallas to an improbable
    24-23 victory over Washington on Thanksgiving Day 1974. "He pulls up in a
    1957 Cadillac," said Waters, "and the horse's head was sticking out one of
    the back windows and its *** was hanging out the other side."

    Hall of Fame defensive tackle Randy White, in his second year, said Staubach
    was trying to slip his shoulder pads over his head when Longley threw the
    punch that caused Staubach to crash into a nearby set of weight scales.
    Defensive end Ed "Too Tall" Jones and linebacker D.D. Lewis restrained
    Staubach, who still has a scar above his left eyebrow.

    "Clint looked like Donald Duck the way he was flopping around in Randy's
    arms," said Waters, who had rushed over from his locker. "Randy asked what
    we should do with Clint. When we decided to let him go, he sprinted back to
    the dorm. The whole thing was premeditated."

    The headline in The Dallas Morning News on Aug. 14, 1976, read "Clint says
    he hates Roger" and the story quoted Longley saying, "If Roger wants me,
    I'll be in Dallas next week and he knows where he can find me. If he wants
    to go 15 rounds in Memorial Auditorium, he can even promote it."

    Staubach, who recently said he's forgiven Longley, hasn't spoken to him
    since the altercation.

    Of all the former Cowboys players interviewed for this story, offensive
    tackle Ralph Neeley was the only one who seemed to sympathize with Longley's
    role in the fight.

    "He was in a no-win situation," Neeley said. "I don't believe that it was
    premeditated. I mean if the same thing happened between two offensive
    linemen, no one would've ever heard about it."

    Former Cowboys fullback and current director of alumni affairs Robert
    Newhouse said he's made a "couple of runs" at Longley over the years, but
    never has been able to reach him.

    Lewis thinks he may be the only former Cowboys player to have seen Longley
    over the past 28 years. A suitemate of Longley's when he used to shoot
    prairie dogs with a .22 rifle out of his dorm room, Lewis was on a fishing
    trip when he tracked down Longley in Corpus Christi just over a year ago.

    The former teammates posed for pictures and signed autographs at a local
    Italian restaurant. Lewis said his curiosity got the best of him so he asked
    Longley why he had punched Staubach.

    Like several other Cowboys, Lewis always figured Longley was upset because
    Staubach bonded so quickly with White.

    Lewis got a different answer.

    "Clint told me he never had any animosity toward Roger," Lewis said. "He
    just decided that punching Roger was the best way to get traded."

    Lewis now wants to facilitate reconciliation between Staubach and Longley.

    "I even prayed about it," he said.

    Cuts off contact

    Staubach isn't the only one who hasn't spoken to Longley in a long time.

    Longley last spoke to his 46-year-old brother, Kevin, and his sisters, Kathy
    and Cozette, at his father's funeral two years ago.

    None of them has heard from him since.

    Family members say he hasn't talked to his mother, Lois, in years.

    Until his father died, Clint did maintain a relatively close relationship
    with his stepmother, 75-year-old Billie Longley, who now lives in Dallas.

    "Clint was a great comfort to me when Howard died," said Billie, who was
    married to Clint's father for almost 25 years. "He spent a week with me and
    then drove home and has never talked to me again."

    Wally Bullington coached Longley when he led an Abilene Christian team that
    included future Philadelphia Eagles running back Wilbert Montgomery and
    boxer turned actor Randall "Tex" Cobb to an NAIA national championship in

    Bullington, now a fundraiser for the school, chuckled at the mention of his
    former quarterback's name. He said Longley could sidearm a ball 70 yards. He
    still holds the school's season passing record with 3,167 yards in 1973.

    Bullington, who used to fish with Longley when he was in school, hasn't
    heard from him in more than 15 years.

    "I've called him several times over the years," Bullington said. "We just
    kind of lost him. But we'd take him back in a heartbeat."

    Jim Reese, now an assistant coach at ACU, was Longley's backup and roommate
    in college. He was thrust into action when Longley left school a year early
    and declared for the NFL's supplemental draft.

    He said Longley and his constant sidekick, "Diamond Jim" Sullivan, now a
    farmer in Ennis, captured rattlesnakes, which they kept in a trash bags
    inside the dorm. Longley wore boots, a cowboy hat, cutoff jeans and a
    holster with two .38 pistols when he was hunting.

    "I'll never forget how Clint answered the phone," Reese said. "He either
    answered, 'This is the magnificent Clint Longley, This is the Purple
    Vindicator or Longley's house of pleasure.' "

    According to Reese, Longley called up co-eds and identified himself as
    "Clint Longley, the quarterback at ACU" before asking them out.

    "Sometimes it worked," said Reese, "but the smart ones said no."

    A strange path

    Longley's post-NFL career has taken many turns: Oil; real estate, a sports
    writing gig in Rockwall; managing a bar; taxidermy and selling Chevys in
    West Texas.

    Abilene Christian quarterback Clint Longley holds two Western Diamondback
    rattlesnakes in 1973. Longley even played lead guitar in a country band
    called Shade Tree.

    Lt. Larry Frymire, now in charge of the Abilene police department's youth
    division, was a 24-year-old patrol officer in 1978 when he first met
    Longley, who had just finished his NFL career.

    "It seemed like every time I heard about a fight at a local bar," Frymire
    said, "He was right in the middle of it."

    Frymire said Longley often greeted him by saying, "Don't you know I'm Clint

    "I told him I knew exactly who he was," said Frymire, who watched many of
    Longley's games in college.

    A few years later, Longley began managing a bar in Abilene called Western
    Swing. To help lure patrons, he built a boxing ring in which he and Cobb
    wrestled black bears.

    "I'd say they were about six foot when they stood up on their hind legs,"
    said Vince Rangel, who used to frequent the bar. "Clint would stir up the
    bear with a few punches and next thing you know the bear would pin him to
    the mat."

    According to a search of state criminal records, Longley was arrested on
    March 22, 1986, and later sentenced to 30 days in jail for a liquor license
    violation while managing the bar.

    Island life

    In typical Longley fashion, he met his wife under the strangest of
    circumstances. He was on a date with a different woman in West Texas one
    night when he got pulled over for speeding.

    The officer spotted several guns in Longley's car and asked if he could run
    the serial numbers. Longley, who'd been on a hunting trip, quickly agreed to
    the search, which revealed a stolen pistol. Longley produced a receipt for
    the gun he'd recently purchased at a gun show in Fort Worth.

    The gun was eventually returned to its original owner, who had reported it
    stolen while displaying it at a gun show in Dallas.

    That owner's name was Patti Hillman, and she's been married to Longley the
    past 17 years.

    Paul Iverson / Special to DMN
    One of Longley's favorite Corpus Christi hangouts is Irma's 2 Seas Bar and
    Grille, where a football autographed by the former Cowboy is displayed
    during NFL games. Patti, who owned a pharmacy in the Fort Worth area,
    eventually sold it to Eckerd's in the late 1980s in what Billie Longley
    called the "deal of a lifetime."

    In the 10 years before he and Patti moved to Corpus Christi, Longley worked
    in the auction business. The couple also spent a lot of time traveling to
    places such as Ruidoso, N.M.

    The Longleys now live in a 3,000 square-foot home that backs up to the
    Intracoastal waterway. About 7,500 residents live in this remote part of
    Corpus Christi known to locals as North Padre Island.

    Anyone wearing long pants is considered an outsider.

    Patti works 12-hour shifts Friday, Saturday and Sunday at a pharmacy and
    Clint is retired. On most weekday mornings, they walk a street over and
    shoot baskets at a public park.

    Mo Herrera, who along with his wife, Irma, owns Irma's 2 Seas Bar and
    Grille, said Longley stops by at least three or four times a week.

    His regular drinking buddies include retired district judge Bill Johnson of
    Victoria and a retired engineer know only as "Gentleman Jim." They rotate
    among four bars on the island, but The Lighthouse seems to be their favorite
    stop. Longley prefers Crown Royal and diet Coke.

    Longley almost always wears his 1975 NFC Championship ring when he leaves
    the house, although friends say he rarely discusses his playing days.

    His stepmother said he often refused to give his real name when making
    dinner reservations, but never seemed to mind when people asked for

    Each Sunday at 2 Seas, some of Longley's friends take a football signed by
    him off the wall and place it in an area they call "Cowboys Corner" during

    Longley's best friend on the street, a Canadian named Randy Litwin, said
    Longley still watches every Cowboys game. But he's more interested in the
    History Channel these days.

    Depending on whom you talk to on this street of stucco houses with slate
    roofs, Longley is either the nicest guy on the block or the most annoying.

    For at least two years, he seemed to get along with everyone. He transported
    lime trees from his former home in the Fort Worth area and delivered baskets
    of limes to his neighbors.

    And when he mowed his yard, Longley would also mow several neighbors' yards.

    "I was back in Canada," said Litwin, "and he took care of my yard without me
    ever asking him to. I'd never had anyone do something like that for me."

    Longley, who appears to be at least 40 pounds heavier than his 6-1,
    195-pound playing weight, even took it upon himself to maintain a 40-yard
    stretch of public property in the middle of the neighborhood.

    According to neighbors, Longley spends hours watering his lawn each day and
    is so meticulous that he sometimes uses scissors instead of an edger. They
    even credit Longley's green thumb for increasing nearby land value.

    But a dispute over dogs has divided the neighborhood in recent months. After
    Longley made repeated requests for a neighbor to keep his dog out of his
    yard, he had enough. He eventually reported the owner to animal control and
    later posted a sign warning neighbors to leash their pets.

    A few weeks later, the sign turned up missing.

    Longley reported it to the Corpus Christi police and a story regarding the
    theft showed up in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.

    Longley used to show up at neighborhood parties and play country music on
    his guitar. But the recent dispute has caused a decline in the number of
    social events.

    Less than a year ago, Longley actually answered the phone one afternoon. On
    the other end was his former ACU tight end and roommate Greg Stirman.

    "Clint?" Stirman said anxiously.

    "Who wants to know?" Longley snarled.

    Stirman tried to convince Longley to attend a 30-year reunion for the 1973
    championship team, but Longley wasn't interested.

    "I think his whole dream was professional football," Stirman said. "But his
    dream collapsed and he didn't have another one."
  4. Yeagermeister

    Yeagermeister Active Member

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    Dude was/is a character :D
  5. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    As I recall Longley and Roger got into an altercation and that was the end of Longley.
  6. trickblue

    trickblue Not Old School...Old Testament...

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    Randy White always said Roger was a "bad man"...
  7. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    Just don't give Roger chewing tobacco. Just ask Walt Garrison about that. LOL
  8. notherbob

    notherbob Well-Known Member

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    Morieeel -

    Welcome to the board. Great start.

    BARRYRAY Well-Known Member

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    Am I the only one that sees QC with a story like this in 20 or so years. At least this guy was able to make a living and not under a bridge...
  10. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    Roger was a really tough guy- but being an altar boy at the Naval Academy and everything else -people did not believe it. When Mel Thom sucker punched him during a game in 71, Roger said he wanted 5 minutes with him behing the stadium. And he MEANT it.
  11. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    I'm not sure I follow you.
  12. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    My favorite Staubach moment was when he was being compared to playboy Joe Namath. He said, "I like sex every bit as much as Joe Namath. I just prefer it with one woman."

    Great man.
  13. burmafrd

    burmafrd Benched

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    Some of the stars of the NFL from back then are really down on their luck, remember, the pay was pretty low back in the 70's. If you didn't have something to fall back on, you were SOL.
  14. Doomsday101

    Doomsday101 Well-Known Member

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    I remember that. It was Phyllis George with CBS NFL Today interviewing Roger.
  15. Eddie

    Eddie Well-Known Member

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    I'm not old enough to remember Longley's comeback victory, but I've seen the final play numerous times.

    I think the best Thanksgiving comeback in MY time was the game against the Packers ... Troy out, Rodney Pete hurt, and Jason Garrett was starting for the first time.

    After a jittery first half, he lit it up ... and torched GB for 3 TD's in the 2nd half. His wife gave him the best advice ... "Throw it high to Alvin".

    Those were the days.
  16. Hostile

    Hostile The Duke

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    I loved owning Green Bay in those days. Made my family full of Packers fans so mad. That game had me smiling all week and beyond. I heard "shut up" so many times and I never said a word.
  17. Bungarian

    Bungarian Butt Monkey

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    Got his butt kicked then sucker punched him. I would have let Roger have him after that.
  18. morieeel

    morieeel Member

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    Thanks Notherbob,
    Been here for a few years mostly trolling, but some reason what little posts I did had, were wiped out on the post count along with my original join date.

    Sounds like Longley was a "minnie me" version of TO, but I am old enough to remember that awesome game against the foreskins.
  19. Juke99

    Juke99 ...Abbey someone

    22,271 Messages
    4 Likes Received almost made up for the Packers owning us through the 60's :banghead:

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