Russ Grimm: Hall of Fame prankster
Plenty of other writers will discuss Russ Grimm's actual qualifications for the Hall of Fame. But having already gone through the tale of Grimm re-ingesting an upchucked hot dog, I felt it my duty to mention that Grimm was also a Hall of Fame practical joker.
All you need to read is this excerpt from the great Rick Snider's 1998 profile of Grimm-the-coach, which was published in the Washington Times:
While legendary as a player, Grimm may be even more notorious as a prankster. Among the printable training camp gags attributed, though not always proven, to Grimm:
* Putting hair cream remover in running back George Roger's athletic supporter.
* Smearing honey on photographer Nate Fine's stand to attract bees.
* Hanging special team coach Jerry Rhome's bike atop a flagpole.
* Completely filling Tyer's car with popcorn.
* Swiping the coaches' chocolate cake (it was deducted from his paycheck).
One prank that backfired on Grimm was throwing Tyer in a whirlpool. No one messes with Tyer when he's working. While Grimm was practicing, Tyer gathered the guard's clothes and piled them on the sideline. Practice stopped while Tyer poured liquid over the clothes. Grimm thought it was water. One match proved it was lighter fluid. Videotape of the fire was shown before game films for weeks. Grimm swears revenge, saying, "That's still hanging a bit. I'm still making Bubba sweat a bit."
There are some discrepancies in exactly what happened here, but the point was: awesome. And no one was immune. Here's a Post nugget from 1985:
After morning practice, linebacker Rich Milot and guard Russ Grimm picked up John Konoza, an assistant public relations director, and carried him squirming into the locker room for a shaving-cream shampoo.
Minutes later, after Konoza reemerged, his right wrist began to swell. He had X-rays taken and soon was told by head trainer Bubba Tyer that he had broken a bone in his wrist.
'Course, Tyer was pranking, too. Anyhow, there were plenty of great quotes as Grimm's career gradually came to a close, but this one seemed fitting. It's from October of '90, a year and a half before he officially called it quits, and it shows the sort of personality he had as a player.
"I enjoy being here, I enjoy the game, the practices, coming here to lift," he said. "I complain and moan like everyone else, but I'll miss it. When people leave, they all say the same thing: They miss the games, but they really miss the camaraderie. You know when you reach a certain age, and you've seen so many people go, you don't know how much longer you can play. I'm eventually going to get to the point where I can no longer play; I want to have done everything I could."
So the retirement party that seemingly had everything but the engraved watch has been put off. "I haven't planned anything for 31 years," he said. "I'm not going to screw it up and start looking down the road now."
So congrats to Grimm, and see all the rest of you in Canton. I've never been.
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