WAILUKU » Bern Brostek was robbed. He never got the respect he deserved as an NFL offensive lineman.
We’re not talking All-Pro, although I suppose you could make a case for that if you wanted.
No, something even more select … All-Madden.
Brostek, the ‘Iolani grad who played for the Los Angeles and St. Louis Rams from 1990 through 1997, seemed like the perfect candidate for John Madden’s group of gritty and colorful blue-collar favorites.
Not the cover of the Madden video game — no, that’s for the pretty boys who throw the passes or score the touchdowns. All-Madden players were the guys only a mudder could love. As Madden, the retired Raiders coach and TV analyst himself described it, "It’s about a guy who’s got a dirty uniform, mud on his face and grass in the ear hole of his helmet."
Maybe he didn’t make it because the Rams weren’t very good during his career. But he deserved some kind of notice for starting every game in four different seasons, as well as stringing together 35 consecutive starts.
"Yeah, never did," Brostek said, smiling, but shaking his head Saturday outside of War Memorial Stadium. "But I did make it to the truck."
Perhaps that is his greatest accomplishment: Invitees to "the truck" were those players Madden deemed worthy of partaking in a holiday feast after Thanksgiving Day games. Perhaps you recall, the turkeys with eight drumsticks and the hybrid turducken.
THE LAST TIME I had talked with Brostek before last weekend was for a Star-Bulletin feature in the early ’90s, when he was just a couple of years removed from an All-American career at Washington and being a first-round pick in the draft. He remembered more about the interview than I did, but I’ll never forget that he was already planning his retirement from the NFL.
"I want to be a garbageman," he said then. "You get a workout and you pau early."
He was serious then, and he seems disappointed now.
"Shucks, now it’s all automated."
So instead, Brostek, now 44, lives on the Big Island and coaches high school football and track and field at Hawaii Preparatory Academy.
He’s already helped send HPA athletes Daniel Te’o-Nesheim and Max Unger to the NFL. Brostek’s current star pupil is his son, Shane.
SHANE BROSTEK, just a junior, swept the weight events at the state meet on Saturday. He and Bern, who did the same in 1984, are believed to be the only father-son combination to accomplish the shot and discus double in Hawaii.
"I’m super, super proud. All the yelling and screaming paid off," Bern said, laughing.
Shane said he enjoys the field events, but it’s pretty obvious his future is in football.
He looks a lot like his father did 27 years ago, and is listed at the same 6-foot-3 and 300 pounds Bern played at. On his YouTube highlight tape, Shane is a destructive and relentless force who looks fast for a man his size.
He’s getting plenty of recruiting attention, especially from around the Pac-10, including offers from Washington and Oregon. Lots of people assume he’s a lock for the Huskies. But he will consider all opportunities, with his father’s blessing. "I have no favorites," Shane said. "I want to see what the options are."
"I’m trying to not scare anyone off," Bern said, again with a big grin. "That’s the fun part, the getting wined and dined. I want him to experience that."
Turducken probably won’t be on the menu in Eugene. But maybe Seattle?
Reach Star-Advertiser sports columnist Dave Reardon at