The Lombardi Trophy was heading to the stage through a sea of Philadelphia Eagles. The shiny football needed a handler to cut through the crowd, and it was Washington Redskins great Darrell Green doing so.
Wait, a Redskin giving the Super Bowl trophy to the rival Eagles? Turns out the NFL asked Green weeks before Super Bowl LII to present the trophy. The Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback eagerly accepted not knowing who would win the championship.
“I wasn’t doing that as a Redskin,” Green said. “I was doing that as a representative of the NFL. I would do that a million times. It was fun. My grandkids got to see it. I’d do it tomorrow and the next day and the next day.”
Green was already in Minneapolis attending other Super Bowl presentations as a former 1996 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year. He was hoping former teammate Joe Jacoby would be selected to the Hall while the man who drafted him – Bobby Beathard – was picked. So, a chance to also join the post-game ceremonies was an easy choice.
“The special part was carrying that trophy,” Green said. “Not everybody gets to walk and experience that moment. I was thinking about [late Eagles players] Reggie White and Jerome Brown. I was thinking about them. Humanizing the moment.”
Green won two Super Bowls with the Redskins in 1987 and ’91. The NFL’s fastest man took the slow route to the podium, letting players touch or kiss the trophy.
“I know what this moment is like,” he said. “I was supposed to be visible, but really invisible to let [the Eagles] be inside that moment. I was a facilitator for their moment. I wanted to be invisible and let those guys enjoy the moment.”
What would it have been like if Washington had just won?
“It would have been over the top if I handed it to the Redskins,” Green said.
Rick Snider has covered Washington sports since 1978. Follow him on Twitter @Snide_Remarks.