Music Feature

Interview: Seattle Seahawks Defensive End, Raheem Brock

by James Boney
215 Magazine sits down with Seattle Seahawks player, and Philadelphia native, Raheem Brock to discuss the Raheem Brock Foundation and the state of football.
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Mr. Brock will be hosting a charity weekend June 10th – 12th here in Philadelphia. The 3 day all star event will begin with a draft party at Stadium Restaurant on June 10th; and end with a community day at Morton Playground on Sunday June 12th.

Tell me a little bit about the history of the Raheeem Brock Foundation (RFB); what inspired you to develop this program?

I started it about six years ago. I had already been giving out scholarships and then, after talking to some people, I was convinced that the best way to accomplish what I wanted was to start the foundation. Growing up in Philly I know how hard it was to follow your goals; to follow your dreams.  

Growing up, what kept you on the right track?

I had a lot of people that helped me out. That’s why I felt as though I had to give back to the community. My goal is to help kids in the inner city in any way that I can; especially my high-school and different kids groups.

Is the RBF exclusive to the Philadelphia area, or are you developing similar programs in other cities; perhaps the cities that you have played in?  

Yes, mostly just here in Philadelphia. However, during my time in Indianapolis, I would donate a lot of tickets and bring kids to the games. And if I am going to stay in Seattle, I would certainly do things out there as well.

You have had a great deal of success in your professional career, but as a Philadelphia native, do you regret never having had the opportunity to play for the Eagles after they drafted you in 2002?

I am an Eagles fan, and I was disappointed earlier, but this is years ago. Everyone always likes to talk about it, but I played in two super-bowls; I have a super-bowl ring. I made history in Indianapolis, so I’m not upset at all.

At 32 years of age, you have just had your most impactful season with the Seattle Seahawks. Why do you suppose that is? Are you getting better with age?

Yea, I guess so! You know, I have had more opportunity in Seattle. I loved Indianapolis, but Seattle has given me more opportunity. Regardless of how well I did in the preseason, Indianapolis would still use me the same way. And it’s hard to leave a successful team like that. But I had to go somewhere I would have more opportunity.

Your birthday is June 10th; I am guessing it’s not a coincidence that you selected your birthday weekend for your charity event?

Yes, this will be the 5th year doing the event; and the past couple years have been around my birthday. On Friday, June 10th we are having a draft party for our flag football game. Then the next day from 12 – 5pm is the tournament itself. I have a lot of my friends from the league flying in to help out. It should be a great time.

You played your college ball here in Philadelphia at Temple. And Temple is not known for producing star NFL athletes. Once you made it to the pro’s, is there a pissing contest among the athletes with regard to what college you played ball at?

Oh man yes. In Indianapolis, Payton Manning’s locker was right across from mine, and I had to hear his mouth for years. It definitely irritated me. Temple is now getting some guys drafted and going to a bowl games – I can start to talk some trash.

Looking back at your college career, is there anything you would have done differently? Any advice you would like to give to young athletes getting their start?

I probably would have left a year earlier. I had a red shirt year and decided to stay to help my team. So the year I came out was a big defensive lineman year. From Julius Peppers to Dwight Freeney and Alex Brown; everyone came out that year.

South Park recently did an episode that suggested college athletes should be compensated for their role in the enormous financial gains of their schools, any thoughts?

I think that they [athletes] should see something back. Colleges are making a killing. Back when I was playing we couldn’t even have jobs – we would get in trouble if we worked; especially if you are on scholarship.

Without question, the NFL is evolving as a sport. Where do you see it going in the next few years?

I think it’s going to be bad news in a couple years. They are protecting the quarter backs too much. Everybody wants to see offense. Everybody wants to see touchdowns. We have to hit the quarter back a certain way. We have to tackle the receivers and runners a certain way. But we [the defense] get all tore up. Eventually the quarter back will be wearing flags.

For more information on the Raheem Brock Foundation, and the upcoming charity event, please visit: http://raheembrock.com/charity-event/

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