COLUMBUS, Ga. – With millions watching the Super Bowl around the world, one watch party in Columbus had a touch of star-studded flair. Former Oakland Raiders lineman Otis Sistrunk hosted Super Sunday with former Cleveland Browns star Oliver Davis and former San Francisco 49er’s standout James “Monk” Johnson.
12 former NFL players gathered at the Occasions Event Center for the special watch party, that honored three local players: Herman Lee, Ernie Green, and Frank Brown.
Lee played offensive tackle and went to South Girard High School in Phenix City. He was later drafted from Florida A&M University to the Chicago Bears in 1954. However, after a stint in the military, Lee returned to the NFL. He played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1957 and then the Bears from 1958-1966. He won a championship in 1963. Lee passed away in 1991, but his daughter, Kamala, accepted the award on his behalf.
Ernie Green played for the Packers and Brown from 1962-1968. He attended Spencer High School and followed his dream to play football at the University of Louisville. A two-time pro bowler, Green also won a championship in the 60’s.
Finally, Columbus native Frank Brown went to Albany State, where he was the first to get drafted from the college. He was also the first in his family to graduate from high school. Brown says his recognition put Albany State on the map. After being drafted in 1968, Brown enjoyed a career with the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets.
“Well any time the Super Bowl comes around I get all excited again, because it makes me think about the first time I played in the Super Bowl,” said Davis, who also spend time with the Steelers while in the NFL.
“The ultimate goal is as a football player is, you can win all the individual awards you want to. But it still does not compare to being in the Super Bowl and being able to say you played in it. It’s one of the top things on your list as an athlete…to play in a championship game.”
Local leaders like city manager Isaiah Hugley and city councilor Jerry “Pops” Barnes attended the event. Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr also showed up as a guest of one of the NFL stars.
“They’re doing a lot of good stuff in the community,” Darr said. “We’re very fortunate that we have people like that from this community and from this city. Like I said, it’s a great thing just to be part of it.”
For $40, Super Sunday participants got food, fellowship with NFL players and a chance to win signed merchandise from those players. Sistrunk says the event not only catered to NFL veterans, but athletes with big dreams as well.
The event sold more than 150 tickets, raising more than $6,000 which will go to local schools and charities around the Chattahoochee Valley.