Dennis Harrah Offensive Lineman
Invited as a guest by his one-time Los Angeles Ram teammate Jackie Slater to attend the recent NFL Hall of Fame ceremony, Dennis Harrah thoroughly savored his three-day visit to Canton, Ohio.
During the inductions of Slater and another Ram teammate, Jack Youngblood, Harrah even heard his name mentioned in the speeches given by Youngblood, Slater and the gentleman who introduced Slater, John Robinson.
"There I am sitting in a crowd of thousands of people right next to my wife, two sons and mom and dad at this great event, and my name keeps popping up," relates the six-time Pro Bowl guard who played 13 seasons with the Rams and retired in 1988. "What a great feeling. At least people haven't forgotten me."
How could anyone forget Dennis Harrah, as colorful a character who ever played for the Rams, a 6-foot-5, 280-pound bulldog of a blocker who helped escort Eric Dickerson to a NFL-record 2,104 yards in 1984, who scratched, clawed, gouged, fought and gave every ounce of his energy on a football field, who was a wise-cracking, fun-loving party guy of legendary proportions during the 10 years he resided in the Long Beach area?
Indeed, it would seem only just and proper that one day Dennis Harrah is able to return to Canton not as a guest but as a Hall of Fame inductee himself, a deserving honor considering the exemplary work he dispensed during his career.
"Oh, that would be nice to make it into the Hall of Fame," acknowledges Harrah. "But it's something I don't even think about, or even worry about. I'm just glad I had the opportunity to take my two sons back to Canton, and to see some of the old guys like Fred Dryer, Mike Fanning, Vince Ferragamo, Lawrence McCutcheon, along with Slater and Youngblood.
"What a blast we had, and no one enjoyed it more than Clyda Geraldine Harrah, my mom. She just loves football, and when she saw Fred Dryer, she hugged him and started hanging out with him. She had become a big fan of Freddie when he was doing 'Hunter.',"
Dennis Harrah these days lives on a five-acre spread 12 miles from Temecula with his wife, Teresa, considered one of the top aerobic teachers in the country, and two sons, Tanner, 14, and Blake, 11.
He is serving as a volunteer coach with the Temecula Valley High freshman football team, and closely monitors the progress of Tanner, a cornerback candidate.
"Tanner hasn't had his growth spurt yet, and is only 5 foot 4 and weighs about 123 pounds," says Harrah. "I also was a late bloomer. But the genes are there for my sons. My wife is 5 foot 8. And I'm 6 foot 5, so my sons figure to eventually have some size."
Since his retirement from the Rams in 1987, Harrah has dabbled in the health club business in his native Charleston, W.V. - he still owns a 300-acre ranch in the area - and operated a resort motel in the Florida Keys.
Now he's peddling real estate in Temecula for a company called All Star Realty that he and a partner started.
"I studied more in three months in preparing for my real estate test than I did in the four years I attended Miami," says Harrah, who did wind up with a degree in business for his efforts in college. "There was no way I wanted to flunk the test and for people to say, 'Ol' Dennis Harrah is just another dumb football player.' I might be dumb, but at least I'm book smart."
Harrah has even been conferring with Vince Ferragamo, who owns Touchdown Real Estate in Orange County, about pooling their companies' resources.
"We're looking for some multimillionaires interested in building a tract of homes, and using our services to sell them," says Harrah. "I think people might remember who we were, and would feel comfortable buying from us. At least that's the thought."
Even when he was playing with the Rams, Dennis Harrah always was business oriented.
He and John Morris started Legends, and he also owned another Belmont Shore saloon called the Acapulco Inn.
"I had a lot of great memories in Long Beach - at least the ones I can remember," he says.
He is now the consummate Family Man, doting on his wife and sons, tending to his yard ("killed seven rattlesnakes last year") and taking care of his two horses and two dogs.
He has a natural sense of humor, and eventually would like an opportunity to do some broadcasting.
That might be in the near future, since ESPN radio has been interested in him doing a local football show.
"No one ever has called me boring," says Dennis Harrah. "And no one can ever say I've lived a boring life, except perhaps at this stage of it."
Dennis Harrah was among one of the most elite offensive lines the NFL has ever seen!