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Alumni 5: Five Questions With Bob Baumhower
July 20, 2017 02:00 PM | Harvey Greene
What was the funniest moment you saw in a locker room?

I was notorious for exotic pets. I had a lion at one time. I had a few different kinds of creatures. Somebody had given me a couple of ferrets. In the old Dolphins training camp locker room down at St. Thomas, there was a middle row of lockers that were back-to-back. There was one row of lockers on one side and a row of lockers on the other side in one half of the room and the same in the other half, and there was no wall in between them. So if you were sitting at your locker you could see the row of lockers on the other side.

Anyway, I took those ferrets to practice with me one day and I let them go. They ran from one side of those lockers and crawled through the lockers to the other side by Don Bessilleu's locker. And when Don saw those ferrets, he not only about went through the roof but I think he wet his pants. He started screaming and yelling. He had no idea what they were. And even after we all settled him down he still didn't want anything to do with those ferrets. It was just a lot of fun to watch this guy, this big macho guy screaming like a big elephant with mice running underneath it. He was scared to death.

What was the greatest moment in your career?

Probably being drafted by the Dolphins. Early in my career, when I was playing ball in high school, football didn't mean that much to me. I went to Alabama, and through the relationships I had with Coach (Bear) Bryant and my position coach, Ken Donahue, they gave me a direction and a vision for myself. I didn't have a plan before I went to college and Coach Bryant and Coach Donahue were all about making a plan and being the best that you can be. I moved to Alabama from North Palm Beach, Florida, so I was playing for Palm Beach Gardens when the Dolphins went undefeated. So I was a huge, huge Dolphins fan. When I got drafted by the Dolphins, I thought it was too good to be true. I remember every moment of that phone call from the team; where I was, who was with me, who I talked to. It definitely was the most memorable moment, and the most excited I've ever been as far as my entire football career.

What is the best coaching advice you ever got?

I got great advice from Coach Shula, Coach Bryant, Coach Donahue and some others. But the best advice I ever got was in my rookie year. I had never played nose guard before I went to Miami. I was a defensive end, a defensive tackle. Coach Shula, Coach (Mo) Scarry, Coach (Bill) Arnsparger put me at nose guard. That's not a position that most people grow up wanting to play. And so I wasn't that excited about playing nose guard. I'd heard all kinds of stories about it. Manny Fernandez told me about it when they moved him to nose guard. Coach Scarry, my position coach, knew that I didn't like that position and could tell by my attitude at practice that I wasn't buying in, and he sat me down and he said I had a decision to make, I had a choice to make.

He said, "First of all, we need you at nose. You can be a good defensive end, but we believe that if you buy into playing nose guard, you can be a great nose guard."

I wound up playing nose my entire career with the Dolphins. Every single start, every single play that I had for Miami for my entire career was at nose. We didn't go back and forth. Coach Scarry was 100 percent right. I kind of became a sick puppy and started loving playing nose guard. Because of that talk he had with me, and because I wanted to be the best I could be, he made me believe that was the position for me. And all the good things that happened to me with the Dolphins, whether it's the relationships that I have now, or the great experiences I had as a ball player and all the things we did, came from him coaching me up to get me to accept moving to that position, because it was not something I wanted to do.

What would you have done for a career if it wasn't for football?

I probably would have sold vacuum cleaners or sold boats. My dad was a very successful vacuum cleaner salesman and then executive. In fact, when we lived in North Palm Beach my dad had the Kirby distributorship for Palm Beach County, and we moved to Alabama because he was given a promotion to where he had seven states for Kirby. And then I've always had a love for boats. You know I have a boat down there in Ft. Lauderdale right now and I have a lot of buddies who are boat brokers. I still love everything about boats and water and South Florida. I was thinking real seriously about being a yacht broker in Ft. Lauderdale.

WHICH Former teammate are you closest with?

Can I name four? A.J. Duhe. He was in my wedding and I was in his. Then you have Bob Brudzinski, Kim Bokamper, and Doug Betters. I'm real close to all four of those guys. I talk to A.J. all the time. His daughter Elizabeth moved up here to Fairhope (AL) and Frances (A.J.'s wife) and my wife are real good buddies, so I talk to A.J. all the time. I talk to Bo a lot, I talk to Brudzinski a lot. It's kind of funny because we're all in the restaurant business now. And I talk to Betters a lot. (Ed. Note: Four of the five members of that group (Betters, Baumhower, Bokamper, and Duhe) all rank among the Dolphins' top 10 leaders in career sacks.)

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