Patients have to wait a while to see a doctor. In the case of Dr. Doom, it's even longer. Robert Brazile found out five months ago that he would be a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I visited Brazile at his home near Mobile, Alabama to reflect on his storied career with Jackson State and the Houston Oilers.
WLBT SPORTS EXTRA: Priceless Jackson State & Houston Oiler memories in Robert Brazile's home outside Mobile.@JStateTigers legend is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.— Chris Hudgison (@ChrisHudgison) January 25, 2018
See Brazile tonight 6pm/10pm @WLBT, 9:30pm @FOX40News
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"You see, I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve, " Brazile said. "But Christmas Eve is every night, I can't get any sleep! You work on bits and pieces here, bits and pieces of your enshrinement speech."
Seven straight Pro Bowls and five 1st-team All-Pro selections are some of the reasons the Oiler is on the Canton radar. How he ended up on Jackson State's radar in 1971 is a story worthy of a bronze bust.
"Everybody thought I was going to one of the big schools, Alabama or Auburn," Brazile said. "But my senior year I broke my arm, and everybody got off of me. I had a best friend, his name is Rickey Young, and we wanted to go to college together. Troy State came and invited us up for a weekend. So we signed a letter of intent. My mom and dad wanted to come visit, to see where we were going to school at, they had never heard of Troy State. So we get in my dad's car. When we got to Troy State everybody was suntanning, wasn't nobody in class. My mama said turn this car around, and you two find another school. I had a cousin that played at Jackson State, his name was Anthony Gibbs. Said could you call Bob Hill, see if we could meet him? Went over to Bob's house, we knocked on the door, we woke him up. Bob came out, he never looked at me. He looked down at Rickey's legs and said yeah I'll take you. But you gotta make my team. That's the reason I ended up with 80. I was a tight end. I just wanted a position."
Brazile moved from offense to defense in his freshman season after 3 linebackers suffered knee injuries. The rest is JSU history: 33 wins, 2 SWAC titles, All-American honors, and a trip to the Senior Bowl. The Oilers selected him with the 6th overall pick in the 1975 NFL Draft. Brazile was one of five Tigers picked in that year's draft (Walter Payton, Rickey Young, John Tate, & Charles James).
We'll find out February 3rd if he's the 4th Tiger in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Brazile added "If I get that, that would be another chapter in that same book I hope. I want to take that gold jacket and do as much as they have done and more for Jackson State and the people I love."
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