This year, in honor of the NFL's 100th season and Buffalo's 60th, the Bills will pay tribute to the individuals and moments that have contributed to franchise history. Recently, buffalobills.com caught up with former nose tackle Ted Washington, who played for the Bills from 1995-2000 and spent 17 seasons in the NFL. Find out more about Washington's tenure with the Bills, how he spends his free time now and more.
1. What was your first impression of Buffalo?
Well, coming from San Francisco and Denver, when I arrived in Buffalo, it was more…laid back – not as fast as other cities like San Francisco. And once I got to know, I won't call it [the] city, I call it the towns where we were in East Aurora, [Orchard Park], those areas around there, I got real comfortable. And [the] family atmosphere there, fans were great. It was just wonderful. It was, throughout my career, probably the best place we stayed, and I really enjoyed it.
2. What was your favorite memory or moment from your time playing for the Bills?
My favorite times were probably [when I was doing] my pregame ritual with Ruben Brown. Doing a little, we called it, 'The Offbeat Dance' – just getting the fans going. Just walking down that tunnel and seeing that place packed [with the] 12th man, every home game, that was probably the most exciting.
3. You guys had a dance routine?
Yes. While we were warming up, we'd just get in the mood and make it funny and we just kept that going for the time that we were there [in Buffalo].
4. Who were your closest friends in the Bills locker room?
It was Ruben Brown and Pat Williams. Those are the main guys I hung out with in my time there.
5. Did you have any game day rituals or superstitions?
What we ate for breakfast [was part of my routine]. [I] made sure I had egg whites and grits and sausage – that was it. And [I] never walked on the middle of the field for some reason…I got that from George Seifert back in San Francisco. He never walked on the SF [logo]…that was one of the few things I did.
6. What were the biggest plays from your career?
The biggest plays I like, not just in Buffalo but anywhere, were when it depended on the defense to stop that fourth-and-one or goal line stands and you know, which created a turnover. Those were what I lived for…I liked to make tackles for losses, but when it's needed that stop [on] fourth-and-inches or whatever…that was really exciting for me. Because I knew they were going to try and run it and they…[had] no place to go.
7. Did you have a favorite Bills uniform?
No. It doesn't matter. The only outfit I didn't like, was the away uniforms. I hate going out playing in white. We would say, '[A] big guy in white, looks like an egg with legs.'
8. What do you attribute to your longevity in the NFL?
Well, being a big guy, to me, when I talk to these college kids and high school kids, the trainers, the equipment people, the behind-the-scenes people, you take care of them [and] they take care of you. That's what helped me a lot…those trainers and equipment people look out for you and they can help your career go along way. Besides that, physically making sure you eat right, take care of yourself and so on and so forth, [is important].
9. What do you do now?
Well during this retirement, I do a little coaching with the high school kids, teaching them the fundamentals. I enjoy that because a lot of that has left the game and you know, just giving them a lot of pointers on using hands and proper technique – stuff like that.
My therapy is to sit at a casino and relax. I don't gamble, it's just my therapy. And hunting was one and that's about it – [also] fishing.
10. What high schools do you help with?
There are a couple schools here in North Carolina and South Carolina…I know the coaches and they'll turn the defensive linemen over to me. You know, [I] just work with the guys.
11. Do you have any guilty pleasure TV shows?
I'm a big war buff. Any of the movies dealing with the wars, like 'Platoon' way back…and 'Top Gun.' Anything to do with the wars…
As the Bills prepare to play at home against the Philadelphia Eagles, scroll through to view photos from previous matchups between the two opponents.
12. If they were making a movie about your life, who would you want to play you?
Oh wow. What actors are out there this size? I don't know who's that big…
13. What is your ideal vacation spot?
Hawaii would be number one because I really like to relax or somewhere where there's a casino and I can relax. I love the mountains [and] the snow…
14. Do you have a favorite musical artist or band?
I listen to some of everything. There's no one [in] particular. I just listen to everything. I have a lot of stuff on the iPod. I'm still using an iPod…old school. So, I have all types of music. It doesn't matter. I get excited on a lot of them, I get psyched out on pretty much every type of music. As long as it sounds good and it means something, I'm into it. It doesn't matter.
15. What is the best compliment that you've ever received?
'You helped change my life.' I actually received a text from a player, I'm not going to call him out, but he's getting inducted into the Hall of Fame…for the College he went to. His words were, 'You were a big part of this' or something to that effect. I'm like, 'Wow…what do you mean?' He said, 'For what you taught me as a rookie…I kept that with me, and it helped me be successful…'
It just stunned me…that's one and the other one came from Bruce Smith. He didn't remember it.
We were on a flight together and he mentioned…and to me, it takes a lot for Bruce Smith to give you a compliment, he's like, 'You know, you made my life easier playing that 3-4 defense.' And that stuck. I thought I'd never hear something from him.
16. What is your most prized possession?
There are a lot. One is probably just winning the Super Bowl and I have a Lombardi Trophy here in my house. But my kids would be the first. If we're talking about materialistic things, it would be reaching the top and winning the world championship.
17. Which character on a TV show would you like to play?
I wouldn't do TV shows. I'd rather do movies. It would have to be someone like Mel Gibson because I like the way he gets into it. He cries, he shows his emotion and then he kicks butt. Him and Kurt Russell – those two guys – like a 'Tombstone' movie. Val Kilmer in 'Tombstone'…[too].