LONG BEACH, Calif. — Marlin Briscoe gets up to pay for his coffee, one cup, sipped slowly in the late morning over two hours of memories. While he’s up, the waitress comes over. “Is he famous?” she asks, before he’s shuffled back from the cash register. “I heard he was an athlete. He’s around here sometimes.”Briscoe doesn’t look famous. He certainly doesn’t look like an athlete, not all these years later, except for maybe the shuffling. The way he sort of scoots down the sidewalk, the way his knees don’t quite bend like knees are supposed to bend – it’s cause to wonder. It’s cause to think that this man’s body has been through the wringer, that it’s been pounded against turf and dirt.Briscoe might not even really be famous, at least not in the conventional definition of the word, where famous means autographs, glamour and notoriety. But Marlin Briscoe, he of the polo shirt tucked into his sweatpants, he of the neat little graying mustache and sturdily slight frame, is something. He’s somebody.He’s the first-ever black starting quarterback in pro football. He’s a survivor, not only of football’s injustices, but the injustices he brought upon himself in a decade… Read full this story
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