Dermontti Dawson

Dermontti Farra Dawson (born June 17, 1965) is a former American football center. He played his entire career with the Pittsburgh Steelers in the National Football League (NFL), and was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

Dermontti Dawson
No. 63
Position:Center
Personal information
Born:June 17, 1965 (age 53)
Lexington, Kentucky
Career information
High school:Lexington (KY) Bryan Station
College:Kentucky
NFL Draft:1988 / Round: 2 / Pick: 44
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:184
Games started:181
Player stats at NFL.com

Early life

Dawson was born in Lexington, Kentucky[1] where he attended Bryan Station High School.[2] He was a nationally ranked high school track and field performer in the discus and shot put.

After having a bad experience playing ninth grade football, Dawson chose not to go out for his high school team his sophomore year. He joined the football team as a junior after being recruited due to his size by the school's football coach. He was an all-state offensive tackle in high school and eventually accepted a football scholarship to attend the University of Kentucky.[3] Among his high school teammates were future NFL players Marc Logan and Cornell Burbage.[4]

College football

Dawson played center and guard at Kentucky. He lettered in each of his four years. In his freshman year in 1984 the team defeated Wisconsin in the Hall of Fame Bowl.[3] As a senior in 1987 Dawson was named second-team All-Southeastern Conference (SEC).[5]

Professional career

Dawson was selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the 1988 NFL Draft.[1] In his rookie season he played guard alongside Hall of Fame center Mike Webster. When Webster left the team following that season, Dawson succeeded him as the starting center. He soon became one of the more respected players among the Steelers, and one of the best in the league at his position. He earned the name "Dirt" for the way he would try to grind defenders into the ground.[2] In contrast, his friendly off-field demeanor led to a second nickname, Ned Flanders, after the annoyingly cheerful character from The Simpsons.[6]

Dawson was named to seven straight Pro Bowls from 1992 to 1998 and was a six-time AP First Team All-Pro. In 1993, he was named co-AFC Offensive Lineman of the Year by the NFLPA and in 1996 he was named the NFL Alumni's Offensive Lineman of the Year. He played in 170 consecutive games, the second most in Steelers history, until severe hamstring injuries forced him to sit out nine games in 1999 and seven more games in 2000. Dawson was released by the Steelers following the 2000 season partly due to these injuries and partly due to salary cap reasons. He opted to retire rather than trying to play for another team.

He is the only player to have played in the two most lopsided games in the Browns–Steelers rivalry, getting his first career start at center in the Steelers 51-0 loss to the Cleveland Browns at home (still the worst loss for the Steelers in franchise history), but was victorious in the Steelers 43-0 win against the Browns in Cleveland ten years later, in the Browns' first game in four years.

Personal life

Dawson is divorced from Regina – who served as an elementary school principal at Shearer Elementary in nearby Winchester, Kentucky – and has two children. He returned to Lexington after his retirement,[2] where he spent several years as a real estate developer. He filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in 2010 listing over $69 million in liabilities against just under $1.5 million in assets.[9] He currently resides in San Diego, California, where he is a sales executive for a promotional products company.[2]

Dawson served an internship in the Steelers scouting department in 2009 and served as an intern coach with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010.[10] He is also a part owner of the Washington Wild Things, an independent league baseball team in Washington, Pennsylvania.[11]

Legacy

Dawson was named the first-team center on the National Football League 1990s All-Decade Team.[12] In 2007, he was selected for the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team which was named as part of the franchise's 75th season celebration.[13] Although the Steelers no longer officially retire uniform numbers, the number 63 that Dawson wore has not been reassigned since his retirement.[14] He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012 following three straight years in which he was a finalist for the distinction.[11]

In 2001 Dawson and his wife established the Dermontti F. and Regina M. Dawson Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Education scholarship at his alma mater, the University of Kentucky (UK). Dawson was appointed to the school's board of trustees by Kentucky governor Ernie Fletcher in 2005. He is a member of UK's College of Education's "Alumni Hall of Fame" and the UK Hall of Distinguished Alumni as well as a charter member of the UK Athletics Hall of Fame.[15] In addition, his jersey has been retired by the school.[16]

References

  1. ^ a b "Hall of Fame bio". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  2. ^ a b c d "Lexington's Dawson thrilled to be elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame". Lexington Herald-Leader. February 4, 2012. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  3. ^ a b "UK Retires Jersey of Dermontti Dawson". University of Kentucky athletics. August 24, 2001. Archived from the original on February 21, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  4. ^ Harris, John (February 21, 2012). "Dawson's coach also gets Hall call". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Archived from the original on February 21, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  5. ^ Shearer, Ed (December 3, 1987). "UK's Higgs, Kunkel make All-SEC team". Park City Daily News. AP. p. 3-B. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  6. ^ Barber, Phil (September 14, 1998). "100 Reasons to Love Sunday". Sporting News. Archived from the original on January 28, 2005.
  7. ^ Bouchette, Ed (January 31, 2010). "Steelers: Saturday is judgment day for Dermontti Dawson". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  8. ^ Bouchette, Ed (November 27, 2008). "Steelers Notebook: Belichick boosts Dawson's Hall of Fame candidacy". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  9. ^ Hewlett, Jennifer (July 2, 2010). "Dermontti Dawson files for bankruptcy". Lexington Herald-Leader. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  10. ^ Maloney, Mark (August 3, 2010). "Ex-Cat Dawson an intern coach with Bengals". Lexington Herald-Leader. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  11. ^ a b "Dawson, Butler join Martin in HOF class". Observer-Reporter. AP. February 5, 2012. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  12. ^ "Offense". NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s. Pro Football Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  13. ^ Dvorchak, Robert (October 25, 2007). "Steelers name 33 players who stand above rest to its All-Time Team". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012. Retrieved March 19, 2010.
  14. ^ Bouchette, Ed (June 5, 2011). "On the Steelers: Museum being considered at Heinz Field". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on February 17, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  15. ^ "Governor appoints education alums to UK trustee" (PDF). Network (alumni magazine). University of Kentucky College of Education. Spring 2006. pp. 3–4. Archived (PDF) from the original on February 17, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
  16. ^ "Retired Jerseys" (PDF). University of Kentucky athletics. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 17, 2012. Retrieved February 17, 2012.
1987 All-SEC football team

The 1987 All-SEC football team consists of American football players selected to the All-Southeastern Conference (SEC) chosen by various selectors for the 1987 college football season.

1988 NFL Draft

The 1988 NFL draft was the procedure by which National Football League teams selected amateur college football players. It is officially known as the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting. The draft was held April 24–25, 1988, at the Marriot Marquis in New York City, New York. The league also held a supplemental draft after the regular draft and before the regular season.

Notably, the first player selected at the quarterback position did not come until the third round (76th overall), which is the last draft in which this has occurred. In fact, only one draft since – 1996 – has gone without a quarterback being drafted in the first round.

1988 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1988 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 56th in the National Football League. The season began the season with the death of Hall of Fame team founder & owner Art Rooney at age 87 less than two weeks before the start of the season on August 25. The team would wear AJR patches on the left shoulder the entire season in memory of "The Chief".

The team finished the season at 5–11 failing to improve on their 8-7 record from 1987, and their worst record since finishing an NFL-worst 1–13 in 1969. As of 2018, the 5–11 mark remains the team's worst record since 1969, and have only finished with ten losses twice since, in 1999 and 2003.

The Steelers got of to a disappointing start. After winning their home opener against the Dallas Cowboys, the team lost 6 straight, their first 6 game losing streak since 1969. The team never recovered after the skid, and eventually were at one point sitting at a 2-10 record after a 27-7 loss to the Cleveland Browns. It was the Steelers worst start to a season since their 1-13 1969 season. The team had several horrible and forgetful games during the season. One of those games was their week 10 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, a game in which they lost 42-7, the most points they had allowed in a game since 1985, when they allowed 54 points against the Chargers. The Steelers would, however, finish the season on a positive note, winning 3 of its last 4 games to finish the season 5-11.

1993 All-Pro Team

The 1993 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, and The Sporting News All-Pro Teams in 1993. Both first and second teams are listed for the AP team. These are the three teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. In 1993 the Pro Football Writers Association and Pro Football Weekly combined their All-pro teams, a practice with continues through 2008.

1994 All-Pro Team

The 1994 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, and The Sporting News All-Pro Teams in 1994. Both first and second teams are listed for the AP team. These are the three teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. In 1994 the Pro Football Writers Association and Pro Football Weekly combined their All-pro teams, a practice with continues through 2008.

1994 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1994 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 62nd season as a professional sports franchise and as a member of the National Football League.

This season marked as their third consecutive trip to the playoffs under head coach Bill Cowher. For the second time in Cowher's three seasons as head coach of the Steelers the team was the top seed in the AFC playoffs. Pittsburgh won its first playoff game since 1989 with a win in the divisional playoffs over their division rival Cleveland Browns, but failed to advance to the Super Bowl after losing to the San Diego Chargers in the AFC Championship Game.

1995 All-Pro Team

The 1995 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, and The Sporting News All-Pro Teams in 1995. Both first and second teams are listed for the AP team. These are the three teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. In 1995 the Pro Football Writers Association and Pro Football Weekly combined their All-pro teams, a practice which continued through 2008. In 1995 all three All-pro teams returned to a 4-3 defense, picking only one middle linebacker.

1995 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1995 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 63rd season as a professional sports franchise and as a member of the National Football League.

This season saw the Steelers return to the Super Bowl for the first time in sixteen years (Super Bowl XIV). The team's 11–5 finish was good enough for the AFC Central championship and the second seed in the conference.

For the second consecutive season Pittsburgh hosted the AFC Championship Game at home by virtue of the Indianapolis Colts' that upset the top-seeded Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.

The Steelers won the game, but lost to the 1995 Dallas Cowboys in the Super Bowl in a matchup of teams that were looking to join the San Francisco 49ers as the only other team (at the time) to win five Super Bowls. It was the first time in three Super Bowl meetings that the Steelers had lost to the Cowboys. Pittsburgh coach Bill Cowher became (at the time) the youngest head coach to lead his team to the Super Bowl.

After the Super Bowl loss, quarterback Neil O'Donnell signed as a free agent with the New York Jets. The Steelers would not return to the Super Bowl for the next 10 seasons.

1996 All-Pro Team

The 1996 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, and The Sporting News All-Pro Teams in 1996. Both first and second teams are listed for the AP team. These are the three teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. In 1996 the Pro Football Writers Association and Pro Football Weekly combined their All-pro teams, a practice with continues through 2008. In 1996 the AP added a new position, that of "Fullback", a primarily blocking position.

1996 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1996 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 64th season as a professional sports franchise and as a member of the National Football League.

This was Bill Cowher's fifth season as head coach of the Steelers, which resulted in yet another trip to the playoffs for the team, as Pittsburgh won the AFC Central Division championship for the fourth time under Cowher.

However, the team's 10–6 record was not enough to earn the Steelers a first-round bye. In their first playoff game, a rematch of the previous year's AFC Championship Game, the Steelers defeated the Colts, However, their season would come to a halt a week later as the steelers lost to the New England Patriots, 28–3.

1997 All-Pro Team

The 1997 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, and The Sporting News All-Pro Teams in 1997. Both first and second teams are listed for the AP team. These are the three teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. In 1997 the Pro Football Writers Association and Pro Football Weekly combined their All-pro teams, a practice with continues through 2008.

1997 Pittsburgh Steelers season

The 1997 Pittsburgh Steelers season was the franchise's 65th season as a professional sports franchise and as a member of the National Football League.

This season was considered a transitional year due to many key free agent losses in the offseason, as well as the first season of Kordell Stewart starting at quarterback.

The Steelers finished with an 11–5 record, their fourth consecutive AFC Central top seed, and their sixth straight playoff appearance. In doing so, Steelers head coach Bill Cowher tied Hall of Fame coach Paul Brown with most consecutive playoff appearances to start a head coaching career in the NFL—a record Cowher still co-owns with Brown, as the Steelers missed the playoffs the following year.

The Steelers had 572 rushing attempts in 1997, the most in the 1990s. Their 2,479 total rushing yards were the third-most of the decade by any team.

The Steelers went into the season introducing a new font style numbers on jerseys matching the ones they wear on the helmets and the Steelers logo patch on uniform which remains used as of 2017.

The Steelers would host the AFC Championship Game for the third time in four years; however, they would ultimately lose to the eventual Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos. That game was the last playoff appearance for the Steelers during the 1990s and they did not return to the postseason until 2001.

As of 2017, this remains the only time in their history the Steelers defeated the Patriots in the playoffs.

1997 Pro Bowl

The 1997 Pro Bowl was the NFL's all-star game for the 1996 season. The game was played on February 2, 1997, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The final score was AFC 26, NFC 23. Mark Brunell of the Jacksonville Jaguars was the game's MVP. In the game, Brunell threw for 236 yards. He connected with the Oakland Raiders Tim Brown for an 80-yard touchdown to tie the game at 23 with only 44 seconds to go.

The referee was Larry Nemmers.

To date, this is the most recent Pro Bowl that went to overtime.

1998 All-Pro Team

The 1998 All-Pro Team is composed of the National Football League players that were named to the Associated Press, Pro Football Writers Association, and The Sporting News All-Pro Teams in 1998. Both first and second teams are listed for the AP team. These are the three teams that are included in Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. In 1998 the Pro Football Writers Association and Pro Football Weekly combined their All-pro teams, a practice with continues through 2008.

1999 Pro Bowl

The 1999 Pro Bowl was the NFL's all-star game for the 1998 season. The game was played on February 7, 1999, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. The final score was AFC 23, NFC 10. Keyshawn Johnson of the New York Jets and Ty Law of the New England Patriots were the game's MVPs. This game was also the last game in the career of Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway, and Detroit Lions Running back Barry Sanders. The referee was Dick Hantak.

Pittsburgh Pro Football Hall of Fame

The Pittsburgh Pro Football Hall of Fame (PPFHOF) is a nonprofit organization established in 2010. The PPFHOF is dedicated to honoring the greatest players, coaches and staff members in Pittsburgh professional football history. It was founded in 2010 and inducted its first hall of fame class in 2011. The electorate is a broad cross section of former Pittsburgh Steelers, (including players Dermontti Dawson, Levon Kirkland, Andy Russell, Chad Brown, Ernie Mills, Roy Jefferson, Lee Flowers, Leon Searcy, Reggie Harrison, and radio announcer Bill Hillgrove among others) and researchers specializing in Steelers history. The PPFHOF is the only hall of fame specifically dedicated to football in the city of Pittsburgh and inducts athletes, coaches and administrators, based on football achievements, off-field citizenship and other intangibles that made him/her valuable to the organization and/or community. Nominees from Pittsburgh teams in other professional leagues, including the USFL, Arena League and any defunct or future leagues are also considered. The PPFHOF Steering Committee is engaged in ongoing discussions regarding 1) the possible inclusion of college players and players from organized amateur leagues and 2) the feasibility of establishing a brick-and-mortar hall of fame in Pittsburgh.

Ralph Cindrich

Ralph Edward Cindrich (born October 29, 1949 in Washington, PA) is a sports agent and former NFL player. A linebacker for the New England Patriots (1972), the Houston Oilers (1973, 1974, 1975) and the Denver Broncos (1974), Cindrich graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 1972 and South Texas College of Law in 1978. During his more than three-plus decades as an NFL agent, he has represented stars such as James Farrior, Bruce Gradkowski, Tarik Glenn, Jeff Blake, Brian Griese, Al Toon, Dermontti Dawson, and Will Wolford among others. As an agent, Cindrich also negotiated one of the landmark contracts in sports history, one that forever altered the salary hierarchy in the NFL, and would be prominently featured in Michael Lewis' book The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game.

SEC Football Legends

SEC Football Legends is an annual award program of the Southeastern Conference designed to honor outstanding former college football players from each of the conference's fourteen member institutions. Begun in 1994, the Legends Dinner featuring video highlights of each honoree's career is one of various events of the week leading up to the SEC Championship Game. The honorees are also recognized at halftime of the game.

Super Bowl XXX

Super Bowl XXX was an American football game between the National Football Conference (NFC) champion Dallas Cowboys and the American Football Conference (AFC) champion Pittsburgh Steelers to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 1995 season. The Cowboys defeated the Steelers by the score of 27–17. The game was played on January 28, 1996, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, the first time the Super Bowl was played in the Phoenix metropolitan area.

Both teams entered the game trying to tie the San Francisco 49ers for the record for most Super Bowl wins by a franchise (5). The Cowboys, who posted a 12–4 regular season record, were making their eighth Super Bowl appearance, while the Steelers, who recorded an 11–5 regular season record, were making their fifth appearance. This game was also the fifth rematch between Super Bowl teams. Moreover, it was the third meeting between the two longtime rivals in a Super Bowl (after Super Bowl X and Super Bowl XIII), the most between any two NFL teams. Dallas became the first team to win three Super Bowls in four years, while Pittsburgh's defeat was their first Super Bowl loss in team history.

Dallas' Larry Brown, a 12th-round draft pick, became the first cornerback to be named Super Bowl MVP by recording two interceptions in the second half, which the Cowboys converted into two touchdowns to prevent a Steelers comeback. Dallas built a 13–0 lead in the second quarter before Pittsburgh scored with 13 seconds left in the half to cut their deficit to 13–7. Midway through the 3rd quarter, Brown made his first interception and returned it 44 yards to the Pittsburgh 18-yard line to set up running back Emmitt Smith's 1-yard touchdown run. The Steelers then rallied to cut their deficit to 20–17 in the 4th quarter. But Brown recorded his second interception on Pittsburgh's next drive and returned it 33 yards to the Steelers 6-yard line to set up Smith's 4-yard rushing touchdown.

The NBC television broadcast broke the then-record for most watched sporting event ever on American television, and the second-most watched program of all time, trailing only the final episode of M*A*S*H.

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