Lion For Life Vol. 1, Edition 6-Curtis Buckley

It is a great honor to feature a man who I had the pleasure of watching in the NFL on TV, but never knew I would have the pleasure of personally knowing the man, and that is Curtis Buckley. Buckley was known as another ET Lion who went to the NFL and made an impact on the teams he played on. Mainly his forte was to hit people and became known as one of the NFL’s most feared…..and respected special teams player. Before all that though, he was just the loved # 27 at ET. Here is the Buckley File-


Curtis Buckley Blows up Grand Valley State’s Quarterback in Round One of the NCAA Division II Playoffs in 1991 at Memorial Stadium in Commerce.

Name: Curtis Buckley

Hometown: Silsbee, Texas

High School: Silsbee High School

Favorite team while in Commerce: “I learned more in the 1991 season, but I had more fun on the 1992 team.”

Position: Outside Linebacker/Strong Safety

Degree: Criminal Justice

What I am Doing Now: Behavioral Specialist at Dallas Behavioral Hospital, working with youth.

Duration at ET: 1991-1992

Favorite ET School Memory: “Meeting my wife Shanna is the first, but the second was meeting some great people in Commerce, especially former coaches like Coach Mark Copeland.”

Favorite Football Memory: “My Junior year when we had the top ranked offense in the country and number 2 defense. We were going at it against the offense first team in practice and it was just a total battle. It got so intense the coaches had to just call it off.”

Awards/Honors: Two time All-American, Honorable Mention in 1991 and Second Team All-American in 1992. Lone Star Conference First Team Defense 1991 and 1992 and also was named Lone Star Conference Defensive Player of the Week 7 times in my two years in Commerce.

Professional Experience:


1993–1995 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
1996–1998 San Francisco 49ers
1998 New York Giants
1999-2000 Washington Redskins

Buckley was also a two time Pro Bowl Alternate and made the All-Madden Team during his time as well. Also he was a team captain for the 49ers.


Buckley in the middle as a team captain with the great Steve Young to the right, and defensive great Dana Stubblefield to the left in 1996. 


Overview: Curtis Buckley is an all Time Great. He has a fantastic body of work from his time in Commerce to the heights of the NFL. I will just leave everyone with this article of his most famous football play. 

By Bleacher Report’s Jack Bechta

Curtis Buckley: Here Comes The Boom

If you read my post this week about Curtis Buckley, a retired client of mine and special teams kamikaze, here’s a follow up.

Although this story has been told a few times, it’s worth telling again. Those who witnessed it firsthand have said it’s one of the most amazing things they’ve seen–and heard.

In Week 14 of the 1994 season, the Redskins were visiting the Buccaneers. During pregame warm-ups, Darrell Green, considered the NFL’s fastest man, began joking with Buckley at midfield, saying: “Hey, Buckley, I’m the real No. 28 around here.”

Green, my old college teammate, liked to read the program before every game to see where players were from. I’m sure he singled out Buckley because he was a Lone Star Conference alum like himself. Green is a social guy, not a troublemaker.

Next, special teams return ace Brian Mitchell got in on the jawing with Buckley. Next thing you know, Buckley blows his top and goes after Mitchell. Other players get involved, restraining Buckley from going after Mitchell. Then Mitchell and the others start laughing at Buckley.

Big mistake.

Buckley points at Mitchell and says (word for word, as witnessed by several players and coaches): “I am going to knock you out.” Not once but several times.

Mitchell calmly replies: “Bring it.”

Sure enough, on the opening kickoff, Curtis runs the Redskins gauntlet, trips, gets up and finds Mitchell, and then launches his 200-pound body into the heavier projectile going in the opposite direction with the ball.

Their collision sounds more like an explosion.

The ball is jarred loose, and Mitchell is knocked out cold on his feet. A nearby Redskins player–I believe it was Martin Bayless–stops in his tracks at the sound, fearing that Mitchell was dead. Later, he said he heard the breath leave Brian’s body and felt the vibration of the hit.

Buckley gets up with the ball, turns to an unconscious Mitchell and says: “I told you I would knock you out.”

There have been a lot of great hits on NFL special teams, but Curtis did this routinely. More impressively, he called the shot.

Buckley was not penalized for the hit, but he was later fined $7,500 for launching his body. Bucs coach Sam Wyche and others, including Mitchell, called it a clean hit.

When Mitchell woke up from the hit, he was told to sit the rest of the game. He later found his helmet and literally snuck back in. He didn’t want Curtis to get the best of him.

Special teams are often overlooked by fans and announcers. I still hate it when the TV camera follows the ball on kickoffs and punts and not the action that takes place between the warriors who reside at the bottom half of rosters.

This week’s preseason games are the most important, the most critical, auditions that players 30 through 80 will play.


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