- The Washington Times - Monday, October 29, 2001

In his half-century, District native James Brown has filled many important roles, among them All-Met basketball star at DeMatha High School, All-Ivy Leaguer at Harvard, NBA draftee and highly successful broadcaster whose "NFL Fox Sunday" funfest is seen by millions of football fans each week.
Since April 2000, Brown has had a new identity as youth minister at the Rhema Christian Center church in Northeast. And, he says, it might be the most rewarding role of all.
"It's a significant position, and my judgment is going to be whether I lived up to my responsibilities," Brown said. "These young people [aged 9 to 20] are helping me mature and grow as a person."
Brown and his wife, Dorothy, were co-directors of the youth ministry when Bishop Clarence C. Givens asked him to become youth minister last year. (Former Washington Redskins running back Otis Wonsley is assistant youth minister.)
Many sports figures talk a good game when it comes to religious activities, but Brown works at it. His activities with the church's young people have included educational trips, discussions of various careers, religious retreats and just plain "rap sessions." He also speaks "at four or five" high school graduations each spring. Brown's fame gains him attention from children and adolescents, although he says, "This is not about James Brown, celebrity. I like what [former NFL coach] Marv Levy says: 'Your personality is what you show in public. Your character is what you show in private.'"
Brown's values and priorities remain the same as those he learned from his family and legendary DeMatha coach Morgan Wootten. He has so much to give young people, and to his everlasting credit he is giving.

The Knight horror show
Texas Tech basketball coach Bobby Knight has nothing to do with an ESPN biopic about his life scheduled to premiere March 10, and small wonder. It's called "A Season on the Brink" and is based, more or less, on the best-selling book of the same name by Washington-based author John Feinstein, to whom Knight does not send Christmas cards.
All you have to know about the relationship between those two after Feinstein chronicled the 1985-86 season of Knight's Indiana Hoosiers is that when the book was published in 1987, Knight called Feinstein a pimp. Then he called him a whore.
Feinstein's world-class reply: "I wish he'd make up his mind so I'd know how to dress."
Knight did have a suggestion who he would cast in the lead: "Clark Gable."
Uh, Bobby, we know you didn't have much time to concentrate on matters other than basketball during all those tumultous years at Indiana, but … Clark Gable has been dead since 1961.
Besides, wouldn't Brian Dennehy, er, fit the role better?
As you would expect, Knight isn't exactly flacking for the flick. "It amazes me that they think they can do anything authentic without my help," Knight told the Lubbock (Texas) Avalanche-Journal last week. "I haven't heard the first word from anybody about it at all."
Of course not. Everybody's scared to approach him.
"I know what my life is all about," Knight said. "I don't need to do something with a movie."
One last question: Will this be a scary film?
Come to think of it, how could it be anything but?

Thanks a lot, coach
Notre Dame football coach Bob Davie had this to say recently on the Irish's terrible start this season:
"I've gotten to the point where I've seen so many things that I understand that some things are just going to happen and there's no reason to get frustrated about it, and you're kind of above all of it. I don't mean to sound arrogant or to sound like some kind of a martyr, but it's all about what the reality is to me."
Would anyone care to translate? No wonder the guy's job is in danger.

Eminently quotable
Former Los Angeles Dodgers and Olympic team manager Tommy Lasorda, on the current national crisis: "When I was asked to coach USA Baseball, I was honored because I was doing something for my country. Now they are asking all of us to do something for our country. We have to ask ourselves, all of us, 'What can I do to help?'" …
Former Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos offensive lineman Mark Schlereth, who endured 29 operations in a 12-year NFL career, on why he likes broadcasting Broncos games better than playing: "I have yet to have my first media-related surgery." …
Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre, on turning 32 this month: "I realize I am older. I've come to grips that I'm not halfway into my career; it's the latter part of my career. How many years I have left, I don't know and I don't care. I'm just going to play them out like every play's the last and every game's the last. If it ended today, I would be content with what's happened, because I've let it all hang out."

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