Ahmad Rashād
Candid head and shoulders photograph of Rashad wearing a baseball cap bearing the Oregon Ducks logo
Rashad in January 2009
No. 28, 27
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1949-11-19) November 19, 1949 (age 72)
Portland, Oregon
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school:Mount Tahoma
(Tacoma, Washington)
College:Oregon (1968–1971)
NFL Draft:1972 / Round: 1 / Pick: 4
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions:495
Receiving yards:6,831
Touchdowns:44
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR

Ahmad Rashad (born Robert Earl Moore; November 19, 1949) is an American sportscaster and former professional football player. He was the fourth overall selection of the 1972 NFL Draft, taken by the St. Louis Cardinals. He was known as Bobby Moore before changing his name in 1973.

Recruited after high school as a wide receiver by the University of Oregon, he played for their Oregon Ducks. He moved to the running back position and was named to the 1971 College Football All-America Team at that position.

He became professional after being drafted by the Cardinals. Rashad returned to playing as wide receiver, and played for the Cardinals for two seasons. After being traded to the Buffalo Bills in 1974, and sitting out the 1975 season with a knee injury, he signed with the Seattle Seahawks before the 1976 season. They traded him shortly thereafter to the Minnesota Vikings (1976–1982), where he earned four Pro Bowl selections from 1978 to 1981.

Following his retirement from football, Rashad transitioned to television. He worked as a studio analyst, game reporter, and anchor for several sports. Rashad was a panellist on the NFL Live pregame show for NBC, and also notably hosted the National Basketball Association weekly digest shows NBA Inside Stuff (19902004) and NBA Access with Ahmad Rashad (20052011). He has appeared as a fictionalized version of himself as a television sports personality in several films and television shows. In addition, he has hosted several non-sports related game shows and reality television shows.

Early life

Born Robert Earl Moore in 1949 in Portland, Oregon, he moved with his family to Tacoma, Washington. There he played high school football. Rashad graduated from Mount Tahoma High School[1] and accepted an athletic scholarship to the University of Oregon in Eugene. He played football for the Ducks under head coach Jerry Frei, became a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity, and majored in elementary education at Oregon.[2]

During his junior year in college, Rashad had legal issues in Portland. He was charged with felony theft in November 1970.[3][4][5] He pleaded guilty to a reduced charge, a misdemeanor, in early 1971.[6]

In 1972, Moore converted from Pentecostalism to Islam. He had started to study Islam in college.[7] A year later, Bobby Moore legally changed his name to Ahmad Rashād, which means "admirable one led to truth" in Arabic.[8][9] He adopted his last name from his Egyptian-American mentor, biochemist Rashad Khalifa,[10] with whom he studied Arabic.[11] Khalifa was assassinated in 1990.[10]

Football career

At Oregon, Moore played wide receiver and wingback as a sophomore in 1969 and made the all-conference team.[12] He moved to running back, where he was an All-America in 1971 — in the same backfield with quarterback Dan Fouts.[1] In his final season with the Ducks (1971), he rushed for 1,211 yards, caught 32 passes for 324 yards, and scored 10 touchdowns. He finished his three seasons of college football with 2,036 rushing yards, 131 receptions for 1,565 yards, and 36 touchdowns.[13] At the time Moore left Oregon, his rushing yards, receptions, and 226 points were all school records.[14]

Moore was the fourth player selected in the 1972 NFL Draft,[2] taken by the St. Louis Cardinals.[15] He made the UPI all-rookie team in 1972,[16] but second-year head coach Bob Hollway was fired after a 4-9-1 season. Don Coryell was the new head coach in 1973.

He traded Rashad, as he was then known, after that season to the Buffalo Bills for backup quarterback Dennis Shaw.[17] In Buffalo, Rashad roomed on the road with O. J. Simpson in 1974. He missed the 1975 season after a knee injury in the final pre-season game.[18]

Rashad was in the training camp of the expansion Seattle Seahawks, after signing as a free agent. He was traded days before the start of the 1976 regular season, sent to the Minnesota Vikings for a future draft pick.[19] He failed the Vikings' physical, but was kept on the team due to the actions of quarterback Fran Tarkenton.[8] The Vikings made it back to the Super Bowl that season, their last appearance to date.

During his professional football career, Rashad caught 495 passes for 6,831 yards and 44 touchdowns, while also rushing for 52 yards. The standout catch of his career came in a December 1980 game against the Cleveland Browns. Vikings quarterback Tommy Kramer threw a Hail Mary pass to Rashad that resulted in a come-from-behind 28–23 victory and a Central Division title for the Vikings. This became known as "The Miracle at the Met", or, alternatively, "The Miracle Catch". Rashad also has the distinction of the longest play from scrimmage that didn't score a touchdown: 98 yards in a 1972 game against the Rams.

Rashad replaced John Gilliam as receiver with both the St. Louis and Minnesota teams. In 1992 Rashad was named to Oregon's Hall of Fame and to the College Football Hall of Fame on May 9, 2007.[20]

Broadcasting and television career

See also: NFL on NBC, NBA on NBC, and NBA on ABC

After his football career, Rashad covered NFL, NBA, and MLB[21] televised contests as a studio anchor and game reporter for NBC and ABC, and hosted NBA Inside Stuff for 16 seasons. He also has hosted the video-clip show Real TV in 2000, the reality show Celebrity Mole, the game show Caesars Challenge along with co-host Dan Doherty, NBA Access with Ahmad Rashad on the ABC network, and the first season of Game Show Network's Tug of Words.

In August 2022, it was announced that he would be replaced by Samantha Harris for the second season of Tug of Words.

He starred in an episode of Monsters. Rashad has also guest starred on several TV shows, mainly ones that starred his then-wife Phylicia Allen Rashad. In 1988, he filled in for Robb Weller on the weekend edition of Entertainment Tonight (then known as Entertainment This Week). He used to interview long-time friend Michael Jordan frequently while he was at NBC. In early 2013, he became a panelist on the daily talk show Morning Drive on the Golf Channel, but left that summer. Rashad has narrated the yearly highlight films for NBA championship teams since 2012.

Basketball career

Right before the launch of NBA Inside Stuff in 1990, Rashad signed a two-day contract with the Philadelphia 76ers.[22] As the show wanted to use Rashad playing in the NBA as a promotion, he was allowed to practice with the team and play in an NBA preseason game against the Minnesota Timberwolves the next day. Rashad was known for his athleticism, as evidenced by him playing multiple offensive positions in his football career. He became a multi-sport athlete, albeit 8 years after his retirement from pro sports. It was the first preseason game ever to be played at the newly built Target Center and was in front of a crowd of 18,296. Many fans came to the game to support Rashad because of his career as a Viking.[22]

He was subbed on for Hersey Hawkins and, in the first play of his NBA career, he gave up an and-one shooting foul to Tony Campbell. During a ensuing timeout, head coach Jim Lynam drew up a play for Rashad to run across the baseline for an open look. Rashad knocked down the 20-foot shot and scored the first and only points of his NBA career. Remembering the moment in a voiceover, Rashad was ecstatic, "I definitely replayed this one in my head for quite some time. My teammates set me up on the left side, and when everything was on the line, I nailed it."[23] Rashad was not as good defensively, as he allowed Campbell and the Timberwolves to bring an 11-point deficit down to 5. But the 76ers pulled off a 102-96 win, giving Rashad a perfect record in the NBA.[24]

After the game, Rashad's performance was applauded by multiple teammates and coaches, including Hall of Fame teammate Charles Barkley. He had previously expressed doubts about Rashad, but said that "he made it, and that's all that matters." Rick Mahorn, another teammate, said "What the hell, his two points really made a difference."[23]

In a post-game interview, Rashad announced his retirement from the game of basketball, and he was waived from the team.

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field goal percentage  3P%  3-point field goal percentage  FT%  Free throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Preseason

Year Team GP GS MPG FG% 3P% FT% RPG APG SPG BPG PPG
1990–91 Philadelphia 1 0 2.5 1.000 .000 .000 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.0

Personal life

Rashad has been married five times and divorced four. He has fathered a total of six children, including a son, Geoffery Simmons, born to his high school girlfriend Melody Neal. The boy was put up for adoption in 1967. After he turned 18, he contacted his father through Amara (formerly the Medina Adoption Agency) in 2005, and the pair met for the first time. Simmons also had learned that his biological mother, Melody Neal, died from cancer in 1991.[citation needed]

In 1969, Rashad married for the first time, to Deidre Waters. They had a daughter, Keva, born in 1970. That year Rashad also fathered a son, Sean, born to another woman.

After divorcing his first wife, in 1976, Rashad married his second wife, Matilda Johnson. They had two children together, daughter Maiyisha (born in 1976) and son Ahmad Jr. (born in 1978). They divorced in 1979.

In 1985, Rashad married actress Phylicia Ayers-Allen, known for her work on The Cosby Show. He proposed to her earlier that year on national television during the pregame show of NBC's broadcast of the Thanksgiving Day football game, between the Detroit Lions and the New York Jets.[25] It was the third marriage for each of them.

Unlike many actresses, Phylicia took her husband's surname at marriage. She has kept the name "Phylicia Rashād" as her professional one since their divorce in 2001. Rashad gained a stepson Billy Bowles (born 1973 during her first marriage). After a year of marriage, they had a daughter together, Condola Phylea Rashād, named after his mother. In 2001, after nearly sixteen years of marriage, they divorced.

In 2007, Rashad married his fourth wife, Sale Johnson. (She had divorced from Woody Johnson, Johnson & Johnson billionaire heir and New York Jets owner). She brought three daughters to the marriage Casey Johnson (1977–2010), Jamie Johnson (b. 1982),[26] and Daisy Johnson (b. 1987). After Casey died, the couple adopted her daughter (Sale Johnson's granddaughter), Ava-Monroe Johnson (born August 14, 2006). Rashad and Johnson divorced in 2013.[27]

In 2016, Rashad married Ana Luz Rodriguez-Paz, a psychologist in South Florida.[28]

References

  1. ^ a b "Moore exciting coaches and fans". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). October 27, 1971. p. 31.
  2. ^ a b "Moore 4th pick". Ellensburg Daily Record. (Washington). UPI. February 1, 1972. p. 7.
  3. ^ "Moore facing Portland theft attempt charge". Eugene Register-Guard. November 4, 1970. p. 1D.
  4. ^ Cawood, Neil (November 5, 1970). "Bobby Moore suspended for Air Force-Oregon battle". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). p. 1C.
  5. ^ "Moore bound to grand jury". Eugene Register-Guard. November 23, 1970. p. 1C.
  6. ^ "UO's Moore on probation for one year". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). January 5, 1971. p. 3B.
  7. ^ Baker, William J. (2007). Playing With God: Religion and Modern Sport. Harvard University Press. p. 227. ISBN 9780674020443. Retrieved December 26, 2014.
  8. ^ a b Olderman, Murray (July 26, 1981). "Rashad made a name for himself...twice". Pittsburgh Press. p. D-2.
  9. ^ "Bobby Moore has changed more than name". The Bulletin. (Bend, Oregon). Associated Press. October 23, 1973. p. 10.
  10. ^ a b Brownfield, Paul (January 2, 2013). "Briefly a Rising Star, Forever a Mourning Son". The New York Times. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  11. ^ Olderman, Murray (July 26, 1981). "Rashad made a name for himself...twice". Pittsburgh Press. p. D-2.
  12. ^ "Bobby Moore all Pacific-8". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). November 30, 1969. p. 1B.
  13. ^ "Bobby Moore College Stats".
  14. ^ "Ahmad Rashad (1992) - Hall of Fame".
  15. ^ "Moore, Drougas taken in first round". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). February 1, 1972. p. 1B.
  16. ^ "Three ex-Ducks get rookie spots". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). UPI. December 24, 1972. p. 4B.
  17. ^ "Cards get Bills' Shaw". Palm Beach Post. Associated Press. January 27, 1974. p. E2.
  18. ^ Baker, Tony (July 21, 1976). "Rashad is on the road back". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. p. 3B.
  19. ^ "Rashad dealt by Seahawks; Picard placed on waivers". Spokane Daily Chronicle. (Washington). Associated Press. September 8, 1976. p. 19.
  20. ^ Ahmad Rashād at the College Football Hall of Fame
  21. ^ 1987 04 25 NBC GOW Baltimore Orioles at Milwaukee Brewers on YouTube
  22. ^ a b Moore, Kevin (October 17, 2020). "Ahmad Rashad Did the Unthinkable and Played in an NBA Preseason Game". Sportscasting | Pure Sports. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
  23. ^ a b Ahmad Rashad Plays Game For Sixers‼️, retrieved January 7, 2022
  24. ^ Astramskas, David. "Remember When The NBA Let Former NFL Player & TV Host Ahmad Rashad Play In A NBA Game?". ballislife.com. Retrieved January 7, 2022.
  25. ^ Moses, Gavin (December 16, 1985). "Sportscaster Ahmad Rashad Scores with a Televised Proposal to Cosby's Phylicia Ayers-Allen". People. Retrieved November 18, 2008.
  26. ^ Vanity Fair, September 2006
  27. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20150924162837/http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20672818,00.html?icid=maing-grid7%20%7cmain5%20%7cdl3%20%7csec3_lnk1%26pLid%3D268997. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. ((cite web)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  28. ^ MaGee, Ny (May 25, 2016). "Ahmad Rashad Gets Married For Fifth Time". EURweb. Retrieved May 5, 2018.