Sports

Hemingway flew like an Eagle

"Island resident and former professional football player Byron Hemingway is truly a man for all seasons.This year, the former four-year starting defensive end has been selected for the Boston College Hall of Fame, to which he will be inducted Oct. 13.Hemingway, who graduated in 1977, is being honored not only for his pass rush on the gridiron, but his running on the track - his high hurdles record at BC, 13.09 for 110 meters, still stands.I was kind of unique in that way - being a defensive end of only 190 pounds and also a runner, he said. But I was really running just to stay out of winter workouts. You know, after three seasons of playing and training, you need a break.The track team needed Hemingway's speed, despite his football commitments.I'd run a race for competition, and not two seconds afterwards, it was, 'All right, back to (football) practice,' he recalled. But you know, anything to help the team.Hemingway's first love, however, was football, and he has treasured memories at the ready.We played the University of Texas when Texas was number one and beat them, we played Notre Dame in the bicentennial year - Joe Montana was on the bench, he said. He wasn't even the starting quarterback, if that tells you how long ago that was.Each year, current members of the school's Hall of Fame vote for three nominees, who are then narrowed to two inductees by a selection committee made up of the Varsity Club president, the athletic director, the alumni director and board members from the Boston College Hall of Fame Club.We let those who have been inducted choose, said Sheldon Daly, chair of the club. They're the best ones to decide who will join them in the Hall of Fame.Hemingway considers his induction a great honor.To be nominated by an athletic elite like that is a dream come true, he said, and playing at BC was great - but I had a wonderful experience just attending Boston College.The induction, however, is bittersweet. When I found out, the first person I called was my dad, he said. But soon after the announcement, his father was diagnosed with cancer, and died June 2.My father was always a big fan, Hemingway said. He planned on attending (the induction ceremony) - I'm dedicating this to him.Hemingway, who graduated from BC with a major in marketing and a minor in philosophy, works as a consultant for Loud.com, and previously worked for Microsoft, Real Networks and Apple.Though he played professionally for Tampa Bay, and trained with the Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings, football couldn't be a lifelong career, he said. In 1981, he left the Washington Redskins for a graduate program at Pepperdine University, where he earned a master's degree and met my lovely wife.I knew I had to get an extra degree, he said. You can't put 'NFL' on a resume, and football just wears your body down.The constant lifting, collision, and exertion, Hemingway said, is just like jumping out of a two-story building every day.Football, however, followed Hemingway into his new working life. The man who recruited him for Boston College also hired him at Apple Computers. And the fellowship of BC and its football team is a constant. When we meet, we're just like cousins, Hemingway said.Football has followed him in other ways, too.Every time it rains, I feel my football career with me - my body aches, he said. "

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