Hall of Fame cornerback; played from 1983 to 2002. Green, who lives in Ashburn, started the Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation, a learning center for underprivileged children.
Most heartbreaking loss?
I had a weird experience losing the 1984 Super Bowl during my rookie year. I played at a small college and had never experienced championship football. To get to the Super Bowl was an incredible thrill. My teammates were veterans; they had won the Super Bowl the year before, and they were crushed. I was giggling and laughing and happy that I participated.
Who did you most respect?
My best friend, Tim Johnson, one of the former captains Brett Fuller, and one of my cornerback teammates Vernon Dean. Those guys had a moral impact on my life—holding me accountable and sharpening my life for fatherhood and husbandhood and service to the community.
The reality is—and I knew this—I would live longer as a dad and husband and community leader than I would as a football player.
What did you learn playing football?
You may have guys who are alcoholics or drug addicts, guys who are nice, guys who are smart, guys who are funny. You’re dealing with people from so many walks of life. It’s like living in a village.
Favorite current player?
Santana Moss is one of my favorites. He’s done a great job, and he’s a midget like me.
Advice for a rookie?
I always used to say, “Once you sign your contract, go home, have a big party. And the next morning, dunk your head in cold ice water, sober up, and come back here to work.”
I understand the bling-bling and the video games and the Nike-commercial mindset about American football. But I would tell the young man to make sure he has the right perspective on the wholeness of life.
The interviews will be over and the highlights will be over and so will the song.
How do the Redskins become champions again?
I would get back to basics. I would go the old route and make character 60 percent and talent 40 percent. At the end of the day, everybody’s got talent. In the long run, it’s the character of the man that puts him on top.
If I were a team leader or owner or coach, I would also add a little bit more love. Obviously, sports is big, big, big business. But I would try to create a relationship with the fans that is not just a buy-and-sell relationship.