LISTEN: Blackmon Brothers on Opening Kickoff
MOBILE, AL (WNSP) — John and Jim Harbaugh. Peyton and Eli Manning. Bob, Mike and Mark Stoops. Ben and Brian Blackmon.
The list of brothers in football is short, but it is not short on accomplishments. One of those is leading Spanish Fort to the 2015 Class 6A State Championship, and that path included playing the other brother.
This year, Ben and Brian Blackmon meet on the field again. Ben and his Spanish Fort Toros host Brian’s Opelika on Friday in a rematch from last year’s playoffs.
The two sat down with Mark and Lee on the Opening Kickoff on Wednesday.
“I think we both probably approached it the same way,” Ben said, referring to preparation for the game. “It’s a game that’s gonna be played on the field by both groups of kids and these communities. The side note is that it’s me versus my brother. I think he would agree with that as well.”
Brian did agree. He said that nothing would change between them, and that this game is about the two programs, not them.
“I love my brother, and the outcome of this game is not gonna change anything,” Brian said. “In our home, family is very, very important. Ben and I talk every week—multiple times a week—and this week is no different.
“Now, our conversations are a little bit different this week, but the two of us are extremely close. We have been since forever.”
Mark asked if the Thanksgiving conversation would be a bit interesting.
“Unfortunately, we’re not going to get to see a Thanksgiving dinner together anyway,” Brian said. “One of us is gonna be playing… but that’s a good problem to have.”
Lee asked if the two ever played on the same team, or coached against each other.
“Brian was four years older than me, so I never got the chance to play on the same team unless it was in the front yard,” Ben said. “He’d pick me on his team and we’d play against the neighborhood boys.”
“We did an exhibition—the Champions Challenge game—in Montgomery,” Brian said. “We tried to play a spring game together, and both of those were when Ben was at Greenville. The spring game got ‘lightninged out’: we had a bad ain delay, lightning, so we didn’t get to play that game…
“The one common thread that Ben and I have… we played for the same coach coming up—my dad.”
Brian said his dad, as well as the other coaches they played for, were the reason the two of them became successful.
“He didn’t tell us what we had to do, but whatever we did we had to do it right,” Brian said. “The coaches that we had in our life made us want to be coaches and drove us into this profession. The difference and the impact they had on our life is why both of us do what we do today. We are very, very blessed to play for some great men.”
Listen to the full interview below.
For more, check out Opening Kickoff with Mark and Lee every weekday from 6 to 9 a.m. and Prep Spotlight with AL.com’s Ben Thomas, WNSP’s Randy Kennedy and Pigskin Pete Wednesdays at noon.