The Great Washington Redskins Offensive line man George Starke

Washington Redskins "the hogs" fan photo

There were enough examples in the history of the NFL when, in place of an offensive lineman, teams invited players who had experience in playing soccer . Often they turned out to be veterans who could still hit the ball strongly and accurately, but could no longer play 90 minutes of the match at a high pace. But there was a reverse example

 - on July 18, 1994, the New York Jets signed a contract with the goalkeeper of the US national team Tony Meola, who had just performed brilliantly at the World Cup. Meola spent almost three months at the Jets, but did not make it to the squad. A year later, he played in a musical, and then returned to soccer, played more than two hundred games in the MLS and went to another world championship.

Seventy-two years old today marks George Starke, the great offensive lineman Washington Redskins, leader of the hogs and winner of Super Bowl XVII.

George Laurence Starke was born on July 18, 1948 in New York into the family of a school teacher and a nurse. His maternal ancestors belonged to the Mohawk Indian tribe. On the high school team, Starke was a star and after graduation he had a fair amount of sports scholarship offers. These included strong programs like Notre Dame and Virginia, but he preferred New York's Columbia College, now part of Columbia University. For his football team, George played in the position of the tight end, was one of its best hosts. He also did well in school and was the center of the nation's second-highest college basketball team.

Washington Redskins the hogs offensive lineman

In 1971, Starke was drafted by Washington in the 11th round at number 272, but his start in professional football turned out to be very difficult. He spent only two weeks in the Redskins camp and was sent home. George traveled to Kansas City and spent the rest of his pre-season training at the Chiefs. It seemed that the goal was close, but it was he who became the last expelled player of the team before the start of the season. The year was lost, and in July of the next Starke went to California, where they were preparing for the Cowboys season. One and a half months of training ended again with expulsion. After that, he was in the Redskins for the second time and was finally able to get a place in the training squad.

George was on the main roster of Washington only in mid-1973. He managed to join the gang of veterans "Gang Over the Hill", which was coached by George Allen. In 1979, Stark was chosen as one of the team captains. A few years later, the new head coach Joe Gibbs put together a young offensive lineman , nicknamed hogs. George became a mentor for young partners. Largely due to his leadership and playing qualities, the Washington of the 1980s was one of the best NFL teams. In the seasons of 1982 and 1983, Redskins went to the Super Bowl and won one of the trophies. Starke ended his career in the summer of 1985, after eleven years in the league. Despite his contributions to the team's success, he has never been a Pro bowl member or an All-Pro team member. In the early 2000s, George's merits were appreciated in the club,

Starke began to think about his future when he was a player. In 1984 he registered the hogs trademark and later began producing merchandise, clothing and even beer under it. Having finished playing, he developed his career in two directions at once. After training at Ford, George opened his dealership in Maryland. Later, a training center was added to it, where teenagers from disadvantaged families could get the specialty of an auto mechanic. Starke also opened two restaurants called Head Hog BBQ. The second direction of his work was television. He first acted as an interviewer, then became one of the hosts of the Redskins show. George also commented on college football at ESPN. In the 2010s, he founded a marketing and PR company.

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