Sunday, December 29, 2002 Updated: December 30, 12:48 PM ET
Green says goodbye after 20 Redskins seasons
LANDOVER, Md. -- Darrell Green did farewell laps before and
after the game. The second one latest 55 minutes, and he cried both
After 20 years with the Washington franchise, Darrell Green waved goodbye Sunday.
Green retired Sunday after 20 seasons with the Washington
Redskins, leaving behind a legacy of perseverance and community
service. He and Jackie Slater are the only two players in NFL
history to play with one team for two decades.
"There's no way I could be who I am without all of you,'' Green
said as tears streamed down his cheeks in a ceremony before the
game against the Dallas Cowboys.
About an hour before Green's 295th game, the 42-year-old
cornerback made the rounds inside the stadium, waving to the
early-comers, giving hugs and high-fives. He held up a fan's sign
that read: "Thank you, No. 28,'' and Emmitt Smith came over to
offer best wishes.
After the game, Green was on the field long after his teammates
had dressed. Just before he left, he went to the 50-yard line and
backpedalled one last time, like a cornerback defending an out
"This has been a most incredible day in my life,'' said Green,
again fighting tears, "because I just started off just wanting to
be a good football player, like most kids would want to be, and
realized that God has more in plan for me.''
Green is the oldest player ever to play cornerback in the NFL.
He was a starter until age 40 and played regularly on defense until
the final weeks of his career.
Green got one final start Sunday, going in on the first play on
defense before being replaced. He returned on some nickel packages
and brought back memories with a dazzling 30-yard run after taking
a handoff from Champ Bailey on a punt return in the 20-14 victory.
Green went to seven Pro Bowls, the last at age 37. He holds
Redskins records for regular-season games played (295) and started
(258). He had 54 interceptions entering Sunday's game, second to
Rod Woodson among active players, and 10 touchdowns on
interception, punt and fumble returns. He had at least one
interception in an NFL record 19 consecutive seasons.
Green plans to remain in the Washington community, promoting his
inner-city youth learning centers. Assistant general manager Bobby
Mitchell presented Green with a $150,000 check for the foundation
on behalf of the Redskins in the pregame ceremony. Green was also
given a football autographed by President Bush.
Green was also placed into the "Ring of Fame,'' a list of
Redskins greats that encircles the stadium on the facade of the
Green told the crowd that he hoped to use the celebrity that
football has brought him to "change the world for all that is
good, right and Godly.''
"It is my goal not only to end a career, but to launch into a
future and a life that carries on the purpose of God in this
generation,'' Green said.