Ramsey Dardar's shirt in 1984 - his uniform is a bit different now !

Ramsey Dardar's shirt in 1984 - his uniform is a bit different now !

And no I’m not talking Micheal Vick. It was another appalling night of nonsense television here in England last night, with Big Brother limping along like a wounded deer.

My wife and I scanned through our Sky TV channels hoping for some sort of entertainment and stumbled across ‘Behind Bars – America’s Toughest Prisons’ on Bravo 2.

We both love watching shows about prisons, and as part of her studies my wife has in fact been to a UK prison and spoken to murderers serving life sentences.

We settled down to watch this show and to my surprise a brief trailer of what was to come in the next hour included a group of prisoners in rag-tag American football uniforms (looking more like the Jamaican bobsled team at the pushcart championships in the movie Cool Runnings).

When it came to the American football section of the prison show the narrator described the most famous inmate at the Elayn Hunt Correctional Centre in Louisiana as  former NFL defensive tackle Ramsey Dardar.

I have to confess I have never heard of Ramsey Dardar, but I listened with interest to the interview with Ramsey who said he played on the same Houston Oilers team as Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon.

I paused the show to look up Ramsey Dardar on the web and found out the following

1) Ramsey played for the LSU (Louisiana State University) Tigers as a starting defensive tackle in the late 70s and early 1980s

2) He was voted the 1982 SEC Defensive Lineman of the Year by the Atlanta Touchdown Club

3) He played in the 83 Orange Bowl – a 21-20 loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers (led by running back Mike Rozier)

4) He was drafted #71 overall (3rd round) of the 1983 NFL Draft by the St Louis Cardinals  – but as a rookie went on injured reserve before the season started

5) He was ALSO drafted #27 (3rd round) in the 1983 USFL Draft by the New Jersey Generals but never played for them. The Generals 1983 roster included future NFL stars Herschel Walker who ran for 1,812 yards on a mind blowing 412 carries that year.

5) He played one season in the NFL – 1984 for the St Louis Cardinals

6) He hung around the NFL throughout the mid 80’s and that included being released in August 1986 from the New York Giants, and being released from the Houston Oilers on September 1 1987

7) Dardar played on the same LSU team as Leonard Marshall. Marshall was drafted also in 1983 (#37 overall) by the New York Giants. Marshall went on to play 177 games in the NFL including winning two Superbowl rings for the Giants, in 1986 and 1990)

8) Dardar was drafted ahead of the following former NFL stars in 1983 – Charles Mann DE Redskins, Greg Townsed DE Raiders, Superbowl XX MVP Richard Dent DE Bears, and Karl Mecklenberg DE Broncos

It has been difficult to find the exact story that has led Ramsey Dardar from trying to find a job on an NFL roster in the 80s to becoming a prisoner at the Elayn Hunt Correctional Centre in Louisiana, but it seems he is serving numerous sentences for robbery (including armed robbery) to feed a drug addiction.

One of his former LSU Tiger team mates John Ed Bradley wrote a book that descibes his time at Tiger Stadium in the 70s, called ‘It never rains in Tiger Stadium’. Even though Bradley was a senior in 1979 he devotes a chapter to meeting and talking to Ramsey Dardar in prison in more recent times, describing his meeting with his former team mate. I must get hold of that book the next time I visit the stars and stripes.

We may think that NFL players going to prison (e.g Vick) is a recent phenomenon, or something that is a job requirement of the Bengals in the 21st Century, but it seems NFL players have been breaking the law for many many years.

Ramsey Dardar is living proof that it can all go wrong in the blink of an eyelid. He seems very approachable now as a prison inmate and coaches the ‘inmate football team’ in a ‘Longest Yard’ style.

Only problem for Ramsey Dardar is that when the film crew pack up and go home he does not get to go for a few cold brews in the local diner with Burt Reynolds or Adam Sandler, he instead gets prison food served in a plastic tray.

Fascinating stuff eh? What do you guys think?

  1. Ricky M. says:

    I played with Ramsey at LSU and I can testify he was a very approachable young man then. He always carried a smile and continuously looked for a reason to laugh. He also had common sense as the following true story proves:

    I had had several personality conflicts with a fellow player on the team who attempted to steal my shoulder pads twice. The second time, I just went to his locker and took them back. As I walked away, the player retaliated by pushing me to the floor then dare me to hit him back. I did my best to resist and started to walk away, again. Then I saw the lack of respect in my fellow teammates as the player got louder and more arrogant. So I turn back and hit’em in the face thereby knocking him out. (I admit it was a lucky sucker punch) That altercation leads the player to quit the team and then later waits for me outside of the stadium with boxing gloves to fight again.

    Well, I was taking a long time to whirlpool an injury and by the time I came out the player was gone however, Ramsey was still out there with his smile and proceeded to tell me about the frustrated player. I asked what made him leave? He replied by asking the player if he was crazy or nuts? When the player asked Ramsey why he thought he was nuts, Ramsey explained to him, you have to be if you are trying again to fight a guy who knocked you out with just one punch! And of course Ramsey was laughing when he told me what he had said to the former player.

    Ramsey was pure Cajun who was delightful to be around and as with any addiction if you do not control compulsions the compulsions will control you. It’s sad to see Ramsey take such a tragic path in life as it is for so many others however he always had the ability to bring a smiling attitude with common sense to those around him as I am sure he is doing for his current inmates.

    On another note, I remember talking to coach Stovall who said he had recently done a benefit to raise money for Ramsey base on him being broke from drug use. That conversation was the early nineties. Too bad the benefit didn’t come with an intervention.

  2. Michelle M says:

    I completely agree. I babysat for Ramsey in 1985-1986 and he was the kindess man you’d ever want to meet. He was a big man and could be very intimidating but very very nice. He was always smiling, just a down to earth guy. It’s a shame things have turned out so bad for him. I hope that he can make it through all of this and still be the same man I remember him to be. God Bless you Ramsey

  3. Lance says:

    Sorry to hear about that, I lived right by Ramsey when he moved into Brookshire and he was a great guy and like the person above said, always smiling. I wish him the best.

    • br says:

      I worked at that prison and sadly, my memories reflect that he was a man who just didn’t seem he should have been in there. He is a good person. God has a plan for all of us.

  4. donnie says:

    you hang in there darder people try aqnd judge you for who they want you to be but if they look deep inside they are not perfect either. bad things happen to good people sometimes we make the wrong choices that haunt us for years you have payed for youre wrong doings just as i have just hang in there brother and keep youre head up what wont kill us will make us stronger thats is the chain of events and the path that was layed out for us hang in there and keep the faith youre fan donnie haney

  5. AWB says:


  6. Anonymous says:

    Went to school with Ramsey and yes he was a nice guy that was always larger than all the other kids. I can remember a conversation with Ramsey one day in 7th grade during class when he informed me that he was going to play PRO Football. Of course I thought he was all talk but he worked hard as a football player and made that dream come true. Too bad he did not have people in his life to help him stay on the right path of life. Hang in there, Ramsey.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I went to LSU with Ramsey and he was the sweetest football player on the team. He was funny as hell. We used to call him country. Life is not fair and God has a plan for Ramsey.

  8. slingshot says:

    I hope that u get to go home Ramsey n hope that u learn yr lesson

  9. Anonymous says:

    I was his C/O in 2016, he is a humble, guilt filled teddy bear.

  10. Juanita Washington says:

    Great article Ramsey Dardar finally have been pardon. His wife and I are good friends

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