• Ask the Pros: Your service in the US navy

    Welcome and we are proud to have you as one of our pros!
    You are I think A unique story as a player considering you served four years(? )in the Navy before going pro at 27. First and foremost thank you for serving our country.
    My questions to start you off are.
    -what game stands out to you most in your career the super bowl or the Army-Navy game?
    -How after serving did you land your opportunity with the Giants?
    -Of today's players does anyone remind you of yourself?
    thanks again and welcome from all of Cris's Ninja's!


    Phil:
    Thanks for the welcome!
    After graduating from the Naval Academy in '79, I went to Pensacola and earned my wings of gold as a Naval Aviator. I flew CH-46's and spent a total of 5 years active duty before getting out in '84 and showing up on the Giants doorstep, begging for a tryout. What I did in the service pales in comparison of what out brave troops are doing now in wartime. We sit here and talk about all the "warriors" in the NFL but the guys and gals that are trying to avoid REAL bullets are the real heroes!

    -The Super Bowl would stand out more since I got to play in one vs. four Army-Navy games, however, the intensity of an Army -Navy, for me at least, is equal to the SB.
    -I got my opportunity with the Giants through Steve Belichick, Bill's father, who was an assistant at Navy for many decades. Also, two of my coaches at Navy were on Parcells' staff when I got to the Giants, Lenny Fontes DB coach and Tom Bresnahan OL coach.
    -Not sure who reminds me of myself, but one of the guys I really admire is Hines Ward. I love the way he plays the WR position and gives as much as he receives. For every WR that has played the game and taken all that abuse from defensive players, it is so refreshing to watch Hines jack someone up. I was doing color commentary for CBS and we had Georgia-Georgia Tech and I noticed him then.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Welcome to FPL! Your service in the US navy started by Colts01 View original post

    Comments 16 Comments
    1. BuckeyeRidley's Avatar
      Thanks for serving our country Phil! I appreciate the information & Welcome again!!

      Love your vivid & detailed stories! I understand that it is special to be at Navy. Sounds like very humbling to be in both organizations. Your views are gonna help for college & NFL perspectives.

      Thanks Ninja Bro!
    1. FessJL0861's Avatar
      I didn't know that about you Phil. That is pretty cool. Funny thing though, when I EAS'd from the Marines, the Packers wouldn't touch me... (wonder why??)

      And as always, the FPL award for excellence in research and journalism goes to Eric for the column.
    1. FootballFan's Avatar
      We were discussing ex-military players around here somewhere recently - and I completely forgot about you!! Holy mackerel. Apologies.

      Only a military guy would notice a gun on the ground after winning a super bowl!!
    1. Phil McConkey's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by FootballFan View Post
      We were discussing ex-military players around here somewhere recently - and I completely forgot about you!! Holy mackerel. Apologies.

      Only a military guy would notice a gun on the ground after winning a super bowl!!
      I should have taken that gun and started shooting in the air in celebration. No one would have ever forgotten that.
    1. Andy Freeland's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Phil McConkey View Post
      I should have taken that gun and started shooting in the air in celebration. No one would have ever forgotten that.
      That would have been unique, and you would just be getting out of jail about now.
    1. FessJL0861's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Phil McConkey View Post
      I should have taken that gun and started shooting in the air in celebration. No one would have ever forgotten that.
      They taught you guys what weapons looked like in the Navy? Semper Fi
    1. Phil McConkey's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by FessJL0861 View Post
      They taught you guys what weapons looked like in the Navy? Semper Fi
      We don't have to know when we've got elite fighters like you guys standing beside us.
    1. FessJL0861's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Phil McConkey View Post
      We don't have to know when we've got elite fighters like you guys standing beside us.
      Completely kidding Phil. I do have a question though. With your service history did you get any preferential treatment or were you given more of a tough road when you went to training camp? I would think that it would be one side or the other. Either you were given loads of crap because they knew you could take it, or you got to skate through. (For the record I think it was the first one, not the second.)
    1. FootballFan's Avatar
      Speaking of army vs. navy - I wonder if they're ever going to do anything about all that bird crap in the tunnels at Earl Blaik field. That's got to be some kind of health risk. I wonder if it was the same back in the 70's.
    1. Colts01's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by Andy Freeland View Post
      That would have been unique, and you would just be getting out of jail about now.
      hahahaha, Mr. webmaster,good stuff!
    1. Phil McConkey's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by FessJL0861 View Post
      Completely kidding Phil. I do have a question though. With your service history did you get any preferential treatment or were you given more of a tough road when you went to training camp? I would think that it would be one side or the other. Either you were given loads of crap because they knew you could take it, or you got to skate through. (For the record I think it was the first one, not the second.)
      There was absolutely no special treatment. I show up at 27 years old, 160 lbs and had not played for 5 years. There were 14 WR's fighting for 4-5 spots. I was the 2nd oldest, shortest and lightest(by far). I had absolutely no shot. Believe me, there was nothing easy about training camp, not even after winning the Super Bowl. I had to fight for everything, at all times. Later, I'll get more into the experiences of the fringe guys like me.
    1. Phil McConkey's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by FootballFan View Post
      Speaking of army vs. navy - I wonder if they're ever going to do anything about all that bird crap in the tunnels at Earl Blaik field. That's got to be some kind of health risk. I wonder if it was the same back in the 70's.
      We never play there so the bid crap can stay at Army as far as I'm concerned.
    1. FootballFan's Avatar
      Is that right? Navy never plays at Blaik? Where are Army home games played? Never knew that - learn something new every day. Well - I can tell you that it looks like the bird crap around that facility has been piling up since at least the 70's, if not longer.
    1. lawless's Avatar
      Myself, being a kid that grew up around Annapolis, it's awful nice to get a resident Squid here on FPL

      Welcome, Phil
    1. Phil McConkey's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by FootballFan View Post
      Is that right? Navy never plays at Blaik? Where are Army home games played? Never knew that - learn something new every day. Well - I can tell you that it looks like the bird crap around that facility has been piling up since at least the 70's, if not longer.
      The Army-Navy game is usually played in Philadelphia. I played 4 straight years in JFK Stadium(which has gone the way of the dinosaur) in front of 100,000+ fans. Now they're at Lincoln financial Field. There have been a couple detours the past couple decades however, with games in Giants Stadium, The Rose Bowl and M&T Park in Baltimore.
    1. Phil McConkey's Avatar
      Quote Originally Posted by lawless View Post
      Myself, being a kid that grew up around Annapolis, it's awful nice to get a resident Squid here on FPL

      Welcome, Phil

      Since my days in Annapolis, I use Old Bay seasoning on almost everything, shellfish, chicken, eggs,etc. Love it.