So there I was at the Milano Café on Monday, doing my Sportstalk with Koza show, and our Buckeye football recap with former Ohio State standout and Lima’s own Dave Cheney, when my producer instant messaged me that there was a John on the line that wanted to speak.
“Some guy named John uh Brock-ing-ton, I think that is what he said,” according to my producer.
The John Brockington?
“I guess it’s him,” he said. “Said he would call back at 6:05.”
I knew it was a possibility when Tim Kime told me that he called Brockington to surprise his former OSU teammate Cheney and call live on my show. But for it to actually happen, well ...
And then it happened.
I was sitting next to one ex-Ohio State standout and talking on the phone with another.
Brockington was a star fullback with the Buckeyes the same time Cheney was a standout offensive lineman.
“I want to brag about Brock,” Cheney said. “There are 27 guys that rushed for at least 1,000 yards in a single season at Ohio State and only three of them were fullbacks and Brockington was one of them.”
Brockington actually rushed for 1,142 yards in his senior campaign, which at the time was an Ohio State single season record. He also scored 17 rushing touchdowns that year.
“John Hicks (OSU tackle) and I take a little credit for that feat, too,” beamed Cheney.
But Dave’s best story of his former teammate was when Brockington was just a freshman.
“We were freshmen playing against the varsity, and I recall Brockington and Leo Hayden scoring four straight times from the five yard line and the Buckeye defensive coaches were yelling and screaming. They nicknamed him Wild Horse Brockington,” laughed Cheney.
Brockington would make all of his Buckeye coaches happy once he played on the varsity. He and Cheney led Ohio State to a national championship season in 1968 and a three year record of 27-2.
“Dave will always be a part of me,” said Brockington on live radio. “We came to Ohio State together. We went through Woody (Hayes) together. We won two Rose Bowls together. We suffered through that Michigan game (a shocking loss) together. You know we were so close to winning three national championships in a row.”
They settled for one, but while Cheney came back to his hometown, Brockington became a first round draft pick of the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.
Did you know he was the first NFL player ever to rush for at least 1,000 yards in his first three pro seasons?
“When I think about the great backs before me, guys like Gale Sayers, Jim Brown, Ollie Matson and Joe Perry. And to think that record was still out there, and I was the first? I had no idea I was doing that well,” Brockington told me.
He did very well with Green Bay — a three-time All-Pro who is in the Packers Hall of Fame.
This weekend, he is heading back to Green Bay where he will serve as an honorary captain for the Packers and their home game with Arizona.
He was named to the Ohio State Football All-Century Team in 2000, and was elected into the Ohio State Varsity O Hall of Fame in ’02.
He still follows his alma mater, too, “Oh yeah, I follow them. When they don’t play well, I am depressed.”
He and Cheney bleed Ohio State. They remembered their last time together back in 2010: The 40-year reunion for their 1970 squad.
“Hey Dave, you going to the Michigan game this year? I will be in Columbus the day after Thanksgiving," asked Brockington.
As of now Cheney plans on joining him. “But, I don’t like the weather that time of year, and you know I always get nervous when it’s Michigan, ” he replied.
Hey, which Buckeye player or fan doesn’t, right?
Let’s hope the two former college teammates hook up in person. It was great to be a part of their experience together via the phone.
Once a Buckeye, always a Buckeye.
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