By JAY PARIS
The big guy looks familiar, but is that a microphone in his bear-like right hand?
“I had never done this before,” Stan Brock said.
Brock, a rock in the Chargers’ Super Bowl season offensive line, is on the camera’s other side.
He’s the sports anchor for the CBS affiliate in Portland.
“Not bad, huh,” Brock said with a smile.
Brock, the Chargers’ right tackle from 1993-95, always did his job in an understated manner. He didn’t pound his chest or seek a video recorder with a red light blinking after games.
He was “do-your-job” guy and boy did he.
While the Seahawks and the Patriots are prepping for Sunday’s Super Bowl 49, Brock, 56, reflects on Super Bowl 29.
Yep, it’s been 20 years since the Chargers played the 49ers for the NFL title and where did the days go?
“At times, it seems like yesterday, especially during this week,” Brock said. “That was such a close team.”
It was, but I never realized among the things forming that bond. It came on the team’s trip to Germany for an exhibition game.
“We were close,” Brock said. “But going to Germany made us very close.”
It was a close call before the Chargers reached Berlin and we’re talking about coach Bobby Ross blowing a gasket. Before playing the Giants in Germany, the Chargers were dreadful in a 31-3 shellacking by Houston in a preseason loss in San Antonio.
Boss Ross threatened to fine receivers for dropping passes and maybe leave players in Europe if they didn’t play better. He went off in front of the media, and that brought a laugh to Brock.
“You should have saw what he said to us,” Brock said. “He was mad.”
Soon the Chargers were ticked as well when after meeting with NFL security in Berlin.
Brock said the Chargers were informed that a local white supremacy group had promised to cause trouble.
NFL officials warned African-American players and coaches to not go out at night. And the African-American players with Caucasian wives or girlfriends were given special heeding not to be seen in public.
“We couldn’t believe it,” said Brock, a 16-year pro. “It was almost chilling.
“But it brought us closer because we rallied around each other and said we are not going to let that happen.”
The Chargers were energized on the field, too. During practices with the New York Giants before the game, San Diego was focused.
“The Giants wanted nothing to do with our tempo,” Brock said. “We got after it pretty good.”
San Diego would roll to its first six victories en route to the AFC West title. Then it was come-from-behind playoff wins over the Dolphins and Steelers, which landed the Chargers in their first and only Super Bowl.
“Nothing ever bothered us,” Brock said. “Coach Ross kept us all together and when your coach believes in you it makes it so much more easier.”
Is giving a nightly sports update a similar breeze?
“Not really,’’ Brock said. “You have to cram it all in three minutes.’’
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