Williams seems mesmerized by Brown, who among other things talks about Muhammad AN, Malcolm X, the pool parties that he hosts for members of inner-city gangs, his role opposite Al Pacino in the upcoming Oliver Stone film Any Given Sunday and—how's this for incongruous?—his close friendships with Louis Farrakhan and Bob Knight. When Brown gives his views on some of the NFL's other legendary running backs, Williams is impressed by the degree of insight. "This kid hasn't proved he's a great runner at the pro level yet," Brown says, putting his hand on Williams's shoulder, "but I give him respect for what he did in college, and I welcome him into the fraternity. He reminds me of Earl Campbell, and people were scared to death of that man. There's room for all kinds of greatness."
LAMBERT, AGE 47
Steelers, 1974-84; 6'4", 220 pounds; two-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year; inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990
BROOKS, AGE 26
Buccaneers, 1995-present; two Pro Bowl appearances; has averaged almost 129 tackles per year
Lambert takes one look at the fishing ensemble Brooks has chosen—black dress shoes, brown slacks, a sleek black shirt—and the crusty linebacker says, "Those don't look like fishing clothes to me, man. You look like you're going to the prom."
The afternoon produces one keeper: "How's my favorite man in the world, Tony Dungy?" Lambert asks, referring to his former Steelers teammate and Brooks's current coach. "He knew more about our defense than our coaches did." Brooks nods and says, "Coach is right on the money." "He's too nice, isn't he?" Lambert says. "I once told Tony he had to be meaner if he wanted to be a coach." "He makes you want to play and do well without screaming at you," says Brooks. "Yeah," Lambert replies, "Chuck Noll was the same way."