A Word With: Bryan Hammond
From Rivals to Allies
This week, we have a very special treat for you on Wordy Wednesdays!
In this edition of our weekly feature interview series, our host George Marinos sits down with one of the new Hanover Rhinos who came over after the Carroll County Cannons folded.
It’s none other than the Sack Master himself, Bryan Hammond, a veteran of 6 years on the other side of the Old Hanover Road Rivalry.
GM: I’m here with Bryan Hammond, defensive end for the Hanover Rhinos. You spent 5 years playing for the Carroll County Cannons. How difficult was it to see that team fold this fall?
BH: It wasn’t too difficult. The last few seasons, the team was close to folding, so the writing was on the wall.
GM: Tell our readers how you and a group of guys from the Cannons settled on Hanover as the best destination to play this year?
BH: We discussed it before we tried to save the Cannons. We agreed if we couldn’t get it going with the Cannons that we would take what guys we had and go to Hanover.
GM: Why Hanover?
BH: We wanted to go somewhere organized and just focus on playing this year. Hanover felt like the best option.
GM: Is it at all strange for you to be playing for a different team, let alone one that was a rival for so many years?
BH: It’s a little strange. Playing the Rhinos I always looked forward to the most. So I’m going to have to find a new favorite opponent.
GM: What have you learned about the Rhinos that you didn’t know before becoming a member of the team?
BH: It’s going pretty much as expected so far. Is there anything I need to know?
GM: That depends. Have you learned how to tell if a person you meet on the street is from Hanover yet?
BH: Not yet. (Chuckles). I’ll get there.
GM: I’m told it has something to do with carrying around a half-gallon of Turkey Hill tea.
BH: I’ll keep an eye out. That’s good to know.
GM: Finish this sentence. You know someone is from Carroll County when _____.
BH: So many ways to answer that…none of which are appropriate.
GM: None of them? Man, that’s rough. What was your favorite memory playing for the Cannons?
BH: Definitely the Rhinos games. But specifically, the one a few years back when I had like 3 sacks and T.J. McCauley had a pick-6. There was some talk before that game so it felt good to have a good game.
Maryland Cannons’ defensive end Bryan Hammond (rear) tackles Hanover Rhinos’ running back Drequan Morris from behind on May 20, 2017 at Eyler Road Rec Park. Photo Credit- Chris Bunty.
GM: Talk about your friendship with T.J. and the other guys that you played with before.
BH: Me and T.J. have known each other since high school. We had serious backyard games back then. He is the one who initially told me about the Cannons. T.J. is a football genius and could easily run any defense.
GM: Remember the Bud Light Real Men of Genius commercials? What would T.J. be called in a similar jingle called “Real Men of Football Genius”?
BH: I kind of remember the commercials. Not really though.
GM: I’ve heard you’ve picked up some nicknames in your time in the league. Care to elaborate?
BH: Sack Master actually started as an inappropriate joke. But it stuck and I led the team in sacks since.
GM: Did any of the current Rhinos have a hand in giving you that nickname?
BH: T.J. had a hand in it. I have quite a few sacks on a few current Rhinos. I’m sure that helped it stick also.
GM: Do you have a go-to sack dance?
BH: Not really…can you teach me?
GM: Well, even though people may compare me to Rudy Ruettiger, I’ve never had a sack. Who is your favorite pro defensive lineman?
GM: And you never thought about dropping to a knee and imitating roping a calf like Jared Allen did to celebrate every sack early in his career?
BH: I have. Just never on my mind right after the sack.
GM: So, what is on your mind after a sack?
BH: Depends on who I’m sacking. Usually my season sack total.
GM: Do you think you can get 15 sacks this year and break the team record?
BH: With enough playing time, I’m sure I can get there. I’ll try, at least.
GM: The single game sack record is three. If you were a Vegas odds maker, at what would you place the odds of breaking that record?
GM: In your estimation, what are the things that would stop you from achieving your goals this year?
BH: Age…injury…playing time. The normal things.
GM: You’re a big fan of a player that has had to deal with all three things in his career, Jay Cutler. What has made you a fan?
BH: I’m probably his only fan. But I think he’s better than he will ever get credit for. Also, I’ve seen him make throws most QBs don’t even think to try. Does it backfire sometimes…yeah. But you can’t make a great play if you don’t try.
GM: Are you saying that Jay Cutler’s parents aren’t even fans?
BH: Probably only because they have to be.
GM: What’s the next step in your boy’s career?
BH: It’s looking like the broadcast booth.
GM: Who would you prefer to listen to on an NFL broadcast, Jay Cutler or Tony Romo?
BH: Romo is good. We will have to wait for Cutler.
GM: If you’re such a big Jay Cutler fan, why don’t you own a Jay Cutler Heritage Hills High School jersey?
BH: Couldn’t find it at Goodwill, where I found the Vanderbilt and Denver jerseys.
GM: Speaking of high school, it’s become a bit of a Rhino Charge tradition to discuss the high school days of the players we interview on Wordy Wednesdays. You’re one of the elder statesmen on the team. Do you refer to your high school years as back in the day?
BH: I try not to. But it’s back in the day, for sure.
GM: What’s the craziest story you remember from high school?
BH: Family could read this…I probably shouldn’t answer…
GM: Did you ever start a food fight in the cafeteria?
BH: Not a fight, but yeah, food has been thrown. Key is to hit someone from across the cafeteria and them never know who did it.
GM: (Michael) Lowery said that at South Carroll, he used to inflate sandwich bags and put pretzels and other items in them and then smack the bag, which sent food flying across the cafeteria. Ever do that?
BH: That’s a new one. I ate most my food at lunch to be honest.
GM: Did you play football at South Carroll?
BH: I did not. I played baseball most my life. I didn’t start football until 2013 with the Cannons.
GM: On a more serious note, Cannons owner Danny Lewelling passed away last week. What effect did he have on your life?
BH: Danny was a great guy. He always did what he could for the Cannons and the players. It was always fun having him at the bar with us after games. We are all going to miss him. He was definitely one of a kind. R.I.P. Danny.
GM: Thanks for your time, and for sharing some of your interesting stories.
Remember, fans, you can catch new Wordy Wednesdays’ segments once a month on Rhino Charge leading up to the season. Once the season starts, we will do a new Wordy Wednesdays interview every game week on Wednesday.