Howie Long is famous for being a NFL Hall of Fame football player and legend. After his amazing football career, he transitioned to the broadcast booth as a game analyst and commentator.


Howie Long was born on January 6, 1960, in Charlestown, Massachusetts. His father’s name was Howard Long, and his mother’s name was Margaret. He hailed from a lower middle-class family with his father being a mill loader and his mother stayed at home to take care of the children as a housewife.

When Howie was 12 years old, his parents were separated. He was still very young so the divorce was hard on him. He didn’t understand why his parents wanted to leave each other but he became comfortable after his parents explained their intentions with honesty. They told him that they would always love him and that it wasn’t his fault. They explained to a young Howie that it was natural for people’s love to fade and that nothing was perfect. The most important thing was that they both still cared for him and those feelings would never stop. Howie learned that nothing lasts forever and that you should cherish every moment as long as you have it.

College Football Career

Howie completed his primary schooling from Milford High School. He was a very tall kid with a height of 6 feet and 5 inches. He had a strong and loud personality to go along with his big frame of body. From his early days, he was a talented player in the sports of of basketball and football. He was strong enough to excel in football and tall enough to showcase his skills on the basketball court.

He completed his graduation from the University of Vilanova with honors in Communications. He got the opportunity to display his football ability in the Blue-Gray Football Classics. He was able to establish a record by scoring 99 tackles in a season. During one of his match ups, he was severely injured and had to undergo complete bed rest for a couple of months. He recovered from his injury came back to the field with good spirits and a desire to compete with full effort. He was selected as the leader of his squad when he recorded 84 tackles. He started his football career as a tight end player but his comfort zone was more on the defensive line so he proceeded towards the defensive line for the first two seasons. He also liked to train boxing in his spare time and was considered to be a very good boxer by his trainers. They claimed that he could have made it in boxing if he had chosen that path instead of football.

Pro Football Career

In the NFL draft, he was selected by the Oakland Raiders to play for their team in 1981. His jersey number was 75. Long was highly determined from the very beginning. He was very clear and focused about his goal to earn the 3 Ps which were power, position and prestige. His fearsome appearance and his outstanding tactics posed a threat to his rivals in the field. He was honored with First team All-Pro three times and Second Team All-Pro two times in a row. Long became the NFLPA AFC Defensive Lineman in 1985. Long was able to gain 91.5 sacks in a season with his signature move which was called the rip move.


Retiring from the Game

He was retired from NFL in 1993 after many injuries. After his retirement, he was offered to play a role in an action film which he accepted wholeheartedly. He appeared in many movies like “Firestorm” “ Broken Arrow”, and “3000 miles to Graceland”. He has also appeared in many television shows and advertisement commercials. He was associated with many famous brands like Coca-Cola, Pizza Hut, Pepsi as a spokesperson and representative.

He also wrote the book “Football for Dummies” which was served as a motivational source for upcoming football players.

Personal Life

He got married to his wife, Diane Addonizio in 1982. They were engaged in a long term relationship since their college days. He has three children named Chris, Kyle and Bears. All of his sons are following his footsteps in the field of football. His wife is a great lady who has always showered her love and support to Long.

In between that, though, he’ll be watching the game not as a former player or network analyst, but as Chris’ father. “I’m a dad first, no question,” the Hall of Fame defensive end said on Tuesday of covering a game in which his son, Chris Long, is a defensive lineman for the Patriots. “Now, that being said, I have a job to do. I’m prepared to do my job and talk about all aspects of the game, defense and offense and special teams, coaching, history, and give my opinions both in pregame at halftime and postgame. I’ll be professional, but certainly I’ll be watching the game as a dad.”

Mentoring His Son

When Howie got the chance to commentate a Super Bowl where his son, Chris Long would compete, Newsday asked him if he would be watching the game as an unbiased commentator or as a loving father, “I don’t know. I couldn’t imagine someone wanting something more for someone. Because of who he is and how he’s handled himself and the road he’s been down to get here, it’s special. I’m excited for him. To have the opportunity to get in the batter’s box and take a swing, there are 30 other teams that would just die to have this opportunity and it’s a special, special time.”

His son, Chris Long was released from the New England Patriots a year before the big championship game. He many options as a free agent including the Super Bowl Teams which were the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots.

Howie was asked what advice he gave his son. “For me it came back to one thing. It came back to, “Why are you playing?” His response was always: ‘I’m playing to win.’ OK. Well, what team has won the division 11 or 12 times over the last 13 years? And what team has been to six Super Bowls and won four and came close to winning the two others they were in?”

Howie’s words pushed Chris to choose the Patriots which was a wise choice because they ended up winning the championship.

Last Modified: Apr 6, 2020

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