E.A. Sports Today

SKCC adds star power

Former Alabama DB and first-round NFL draft pick Langham in Sunny King field; UPDATED with Langham comments

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Terry Reese got called into the boss’ office at Sunny King Ford the other day. What they talked about was a big surprise.
First off, Reese was told he was playing in this year’s Sunny King Charity Classic; no complaints there. But that wasn’t the best part of it. When the dealership’s long-time service manager was told his partner’s name, he couldn’t contain his excitement.
It’s not every day the boss gives you off to play three rounds of golf, let alone one, with a player from your favorite team. His partner for the Classic is former Alabama defensive back Antonio Langham, and there might not be a bigger Cleveland Browns fan in Calhoun County than Reese.
“I thought he was talking about my lube tech, Antonio,” Reese said. “What am I playing with him for; he can’t play golf. Then he said it was Antonio Langham and I got super excited.
“I’m a diehard Browns fan. I told my daughter, she’s the good one (player), and she was jealous because of the tournament. Then I told her who I was playing with and who he was and she got really, really jealous.”
Of course, most folks around here know Langham better for his days with Alabama. He played for the Tide from 1990 to 1993 and his interception return for a touchdown with 3:16 to play that won the 1992 SEC Championship Game is the stuff of legend.
The Browns took him with the ninth pick of the 1994 draft. He also played for the Ravens, 49ers, the new Browns and Patriots during a seven-year NFL career.Now he’s doing a sports radio show in Birmingham with former Alabama quarterback Jay Barker and coaching high school football – something he said he’d never do when he left the game – with another former Tide quarterback, good friend Andrew Zow, recently hired at Bessemer City.
This isn’t the first time a former Alabama football star or NFLer has played in the Sunny King Classic. John Hannah used to play in it regularly. 

Getting Langham to the tournament was the work of Tony Russell, Sunny King Ford’s general manager and a former Auburn player who has remained close with Langham ever since serving as his recruiting host to The Plains. He’s even gotten him to do some commercials for the dealership.
“Tony’s the kind of guy he doesn’t like to take his recognition as a famous ballplayer and stay away from people,” Russell said. “He’s more of the charitable person, wants to be around people, likes to talk to people and it makes him feel good when he can make somebody’s day. 

“(Having him in the tournament) will be good for the company and good for the fans. Not only are they getting someone who was a very good ballplayer, but someone who doesn’t call himself somebody different and is willing to be just a normal guy.”
“I can’t wait to hear some stories.” Reese said. “I hope he has some stories about my Browns … He was with the Browns when they were the typical Browns; we’re Super Bowl contenders now. I’m excited to hear stories on the NFL and all the teams he played for.”
Well, on that front Reese is in luck. Langham knows what the people want to hear and he willingly obliges.
“I’ve got a lot of Cleveland stories I can tell him – the good, the bad and the indifferent,” he said with a laugh. It’s a lot of fun. A lot of people like to hear you tell stories; they almost want you to kind of put them in the locker room with you and a lot of guys seem to tell me I’m pretty good at telling stories.”
The pick-six is one he’s told hundreds of times “and the more I tell it, the bigger and better it gets,” he said. “I’m almost to the point where I actually turn a cartwheel first before I intercept it.”
Now that’s entertainment.
No word yet on the state of Langham’s golf game – he’s listed as a 20 handicap – but Russell has seen him swing a club and says his move at the ball “is definitely better than (Charles) Barkley’s.”
Langham says don’t expect much from his game. He doesn’t get the chance to play as much as he’d like to and because he’s still competitive by nature it is cause for frustration at times, but he always has fun when he’s out there.
“I am telling you so you can inform everybody there that they are not looking for a big-time golfer to come in there and play golf,” he said. “When I hit it, I can hit it, but for some reason I feel like Tiger right now with a long layoff. I’ve got the yips.”

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