Arden —WLOS – More than two hundred golfers flooded the course at Walnut Cove before the torrential rains took over the skies for the 29th annual Celebrity Charity golf tournament. For the 15th year, Super Bowl winning quarterback Brad Johnson offered up his name and support to the event, which featured more than sixty foursomes this year.
“It’s about raising money and giving back to the community,” explained Johnson during the lunch break between the morning and afternoon flights. “It’s about change and helping lives. There’s all different kinds of programs that Eblen Charities has, from A to Z.”
The foundation website touts the golf tournament as, “…where Eblen Charities began and everything we have done since that time is because of it.” The inaugural tournament was in 1990. Eblen offers help in the areas of Health, Energy, Education, Housing, and Emergency Assistance.
“It’s a charity that’s done this over a consistent period of time and you know the money goes back to the community,” said Johnson. “It’s a charity that works, it’s a charity that cares, and you need all kinds of charities to work throughout the world.”
Despite his present day tackling of the course, Johnson still gets a kick out of seeing ‘Super Bowl Champion’ attached to his name. Johnson piloted the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the NFL title in 2002.
He retired from the league after fifteen seasons with Bucs, Vikings, Redskins, and Cowboys. He threw for more than 29,000 yards and 166 touchdowns in his career.
“It’s humbling to have won a Super Bowl,” he reminisced. “You start off playing the game as a kid and you just want to put on the uniform. Then you want to play for your high school, and then you’d like to go to college, you’d like to be drafted. Very rarely do those things ever happen.”
While he mastered beating defenses on the gridiron, the subtle art of navigating a golf course is still a work in progress.
“My golf game stayed the same, so I need some more work,” he laughed when asked how much better he’s gotten since retiring. “Golf’s a great game just to learn, a great game to have friendship, and it’s also a great way to raise money.”