Reggie Williams (linebacker)

Reginald Williams (born September 19, 1954) is a former professional American football player. He is a member of the Greater Flint Area Sports Hall of Fame, the Greater Flint Afro-American Hall of Fame, and the College Football Hall of Fame.[1][2] Williams served three years on the Cincinnati City Council.[2]

Reggie Williams
No. 57
Personal information
Born:September 19, 1954 (age 64)
Flint, Michigan
Career information
High school:Flint Southwestern
(Flint, Michigan)
NFL Draft:1976 / Round: 3 / Pick: 82
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at

Early life

Williams was born on September 19, 1954 in Flint, Michigan.[3] The son of Elijah and Julia Williams, he overcame a hearing disability as a child. Williams was a star athlete and student at Flint Southwestern High School. He played competitive football and also wrestled. As a junior, he played linebacker, but switched to fullback his senior year.

The recipient of an academic scholarship, Williams was a three-time All-Ivy League linebacker in football and Ivy League heavyweight wrestling champion in 1975 at Dartmouth College, graduating[2] in 1976 with a B.A. in psychology. He also took courses there in tai chi and ballet.[4]

NFL career

In 1976, Williams was drafted in the third round by the Cincinnati Bengals, for whom he played 14 seasons,[2] (including two Super Bowls,[4] XVI (1981) and XXIII (1988)).

Williams recorded 16 interceptions and 23 fumble recoveries, still a franchise record. During his career Williams amassed 62.5 sacks, the second most in the team's history.[5] In his final two seasons with Cincinnati, he was appointed to an open seat on the Cincinnati City Council in 1988 and was elected for a second term in 1989 on the Charter Party ticket.

Williams has received numerous honors, including selection to the NFL All-Rookie Team (1976), the Byron "Whizzer" White Award for Humanitarian Service (1985), and the NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Award (1986). He was also named Co-Sportsman of the Year in 1987 by Sports Illustrated.

Post-NFL life

After retiring from the NFL, Williams joined the World League of American Football as the Vice President/General Manager of the New Jersey Knights.[3] He later rejoined the NFL, where he conceived and opened the NFL's first Youth Education Town (YET) in Los Angeles.

Williams was hired as director of sports development for Disney on April 19, 1993.[4] In the mid-1990s, he oversaw the creation of Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, a state-of-the-art 220-acre (0.89 km2) multi-sport facility that opened on March 28, 1997 and hosts more than 180 athletic events annually in some 30 sports.[2][6] By 1998, he had become Vice President of Disney Sports Attractions, where he oversaw a newly created sports and recreation division[4] that merged Walt Disney World Resort Recreation, Water Parks, and Disney Sports Attractions. The latter included Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, the Walt Disney World Speedway, and Walt Disney World Golf. Williams retired from Disney in November 2007, stepping down to focus on rehabilitating his legs from damage sustained during his playing NFL career.[2]

Although he was a starter for 14 seasons, Williams played most of his career on a bad right knee. He has had 24 knee surgeries since his career ended. He had the first surgery in 1979, plus knee replacements as well as multiple infections.[7] In 2008, when he was diagnosed with the bone infection osteomylitis, he had eight surgeries in five months. His right leg is now 2 5/8 inches shorter than his left one, and he has struggled to avoid having it amputated.[7] Williams uses cannabis to treat the pain and inflammation present in his knee, which he says has allowed him to walk without crutches again.[8][9]

In December 2007 Williams was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.[2] He received an honorary Doctor of Laws from Dartmouth College in 1990 and is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.[10] Williams now lives in Sarasota, Florida.


  1. ^ Maghielse, Ross (September 4, 2013). "Flint native Reggie Williams struggling with injuries, aftermath of NFL career". Flint Journal. Mlive Media Group. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Robbins, Josh (November 14, 2007). "Reggie Williams to step down as Disney vice president of sports attractions". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "THE DAILY Goes One-on-One With Reggie Williams". Sports Business Daily (125). March 21, 2007. Retrieved April 26, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d Solano, Javier (March 27, 1998). "Directing Sports Of Disney". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
  5. ^ "News - Around the NFL".
  6. ^ Dame, Mike (2002-09-18). "Sports Complex overview". Daily Press. Tribune Publishing. Go2Orlando. Archived from the original on June 17, 2011. Retrieved 2008-09-05.
  7. ^ a b Daugherty, Paul (August 25, 2013). "Ex-Bengal Reggie Williams fighting to save his leg". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  8. ^ Daugherty, Paul (November 22, 2016). "Doc: Medical cannabis an ally in Reggie Williams' fight against pain". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  9. ^ Harris, Zach (August 30, 2017). "Reggie Williams Opens Up About His Journey from NFL Star to Cannabis Activist". Merry Jane. Retrieved March 17, 2018.
  10. ^ "Dartmouth's Reggie Williams Selected for College Football Hall of Fame".
1976 Cincinnati Bengals season

The 1976 Cincinnati Bengals season was the team's ninth year in professional football and its seventh with the National Football League.

Paul Brown had announced his retirement after 41 seasons of coaching and named Bill Johnson, his longtime assistant, as the successor over future San Francisco Head coach Bill Walsh. Brown continued to serve as the club's general manager and vice president. The Bengals acquired defensive end Coy Bacon in a trade with San Diego and drafted halfback Archie Griffin, the two-time Heisman Trophy winner from Ohio State. The Bengals won nine of their first 11 games and finished 10–4, but did not make the playoffs.

1976 NFL Draft

The 1976 National Football League draft was an annual player selection meeting held April 8–9, 1976, at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City, New York.The draft lasted 17 rounds, with the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Seattle Seahawks making the first two selections. The expansion teams were also given a pair of extra picks at the end of each of rounds 2-5. The 1976 draft was the final NFL draft to last seventeen rounds; it was reduced to twelve rounds in 1977, and it was the first draft to officially have the infamous unofficial award, “Mr. Irrelevant”, for the final player selected. Like 1974, the 1976 draft is generally regarded as one of the worst quarterback draft classes of all time. No quarterback from the 1976 draft class ever reached the Pro Bowl, an All-Pro team or a Super Bowl, and according to the estimate of Eldorado this quarterback class was the second-worst after 1996. Only first round pick Richard Todd, who led the New York Jets to their first postseason appearances since Super Bowl III in 1981 and 1982, was ever a regular starter.

Five teams lost picks as a penalty for illegally signing former World Football League players: the New York Giants and Chicago Bears lost sixth-round picks, the Washington Redskins lost their seventh-round pick, and the Atlanta Falcons and New York Jets lost their tenth-round selections.The college draft was originally scheduled for February 3-4, but was postponed when the owners of the Seahawks and Buccaneers filed a lawsuit against the players' union with worries that the organization would try to prevent the expansion draft. The court case delayed both the expansion draft and the annual college draft.

1986 NFL season

The 1986 NFL season was the 67th regular season of the National Football League. Defending Super Bowl Champion Chicago Bears shared the league’s best record with the Giants at 14–2, with the Giants claiming the spot in the NFC by tiebreakers. In the AFC, the Cleveland Browns earned home-field advantage with a record of 12–4, and they hosted the New York Jets in round one of the AFC playoffs. The Jets had started the season at 10–1 before losing their final five contests. The game went to double OT, with the Browns finally prevailing 23–20. The following Sunday, John Elway and the Denver Broncos defeated the Browns by an identical score in a game known for The Drive, where Elway drove his team 98 yards to send the game to overtime to win. The Giants would defeat their rival Washington Redskins in the NFC title game, blanking them 17–0 to advance to their first Super Bowl. The season ended with Super Bowl XXI when the New York Giants defeated the Denver Broncos 39–20 at the Rose Bowl to win their first league title in 30 years.

Byron "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year Award

The Byron "Whizzer" White NFL Man of the Year Award has been awarded by the National Football League Players Association continuously since 1967. The most recent winner, for the 2017 season, is Chris Long of the Philadelphia Eagles. The award honors work in the community as the NFL player who best served his team, community and country in the spirit of Byron "Whizzer" White, who was a Supreme Court justice, professional American football player, naval officer, and humanitarian. Past winners have included Drew Brees, Warrick Dunn, Gale Sayers, Bart Starr, Archie Manning, Peyton Manning, Troy Vincent, and Ken Houston. Prior to his ascension to the Supreme Court, White had been All-Pro three times (1938, 1940, 1941) and the NFL rushing champion twice (1938 and 1940).

The 2001 recipient, Michael McCrary, was the child in the Supreme Court case Runyon v. McCrary (1976) in which Justice White had participated nearly a quarter of a century before McCrary's award. White had dissented from the position taken by the lawyers for McCrary.

Cincinnati Bengals draft history

This page is a list of the Cincinnati Bengals National Football League draft selections. The first draft the Bengals participated in was the 1968 NFL/AFL draft, in which they made Bob Johnson of Tennessee their first ever selection.

List of people with surname Williams

Williams is a common European surname. This list provides links to biographies of people who share this common surname.

Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award

The Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award is presented annually by the National Football League (NFL) honoring a player's volunteer and charity work, as well as his excellence on the field. Prior to 1999, it was called simply the NFL Man of the Year Award. Shortly after Chicago Bears running back Walter Payton died (having been the 1977 recipient himself), the award was renamed to honor his legacy as a humanitarian. Each year, a winner is selected from 32 nominees from the 32 different teams. A panel of judges, which includes the Commissioner of the NFL, Connie Payton (widow of Walter Payton), the previous year's winner, and a number of former players select the winner of the award. The Man of the Year winner receives a $50,000 donation in his name to a charity of his choice. The other 31 finalists also receive donations in their name of $5,000 each to charities of their choice. The Chicago Bears and Kansas City Chiefs have had more winners of the award than any other team, with 5 winners each.

Each winner who is currently active in the league, beginning in Week 14 of the current season, has a patch on their uniforms. The current active winners are: Drew Brees, Thomas Davis, Larry Fitzgerald, Chris Long, Eli Manning, and J.J. Watt. The nominees of each team are given a helmet decal to wear for the remainder of the season.

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