Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fred Williamson:The Original Hammer (Apologies to Tom Skalski)

Before there was Dave Schultz. Before Stanley Burrell became MC. Before Tom Skalski earned the moniker. There was the original Hammer. Fred Williamson.
Williamson is a Chicago guy and played football at Northwestern. He told me when he was coming out of college, he wanted to play for the Chicago Bears. Instead, he was drafted #2 by the San Francisco 49ers.
In his first training camp, a coach asked him to take it easy and stop "hammering" his teammates. Thus, a nickname (and legend) was born. Williamson did his best to live up to that nickname.
Williamson was great and even did a promo for Johngy's Beat. At the age of 73, he still looked tough (and not just tough for a 73 year old...legitimately tough).
I think the Bears were probably too frugal to attempt to sign Williamson. Imagine that defense, if Williamson was here and then joined by Dick Butkus. Oh well, I can dream.
Fred Williamson and me in Rosemont, IL-March 2010.

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