Reporting Mike Schuh
WASHINGTON (WJZ)– He was known as a ferocious competitor on the field and a gentle giant in the community. Former Raven Orlando Brown is being remembered.
Mike Schuh shares the thoughts of those who were at his service Friday.
Born in Washington, D.C., he played as a Raven. And Friday, in a D.C. suburb, the church was packed as hundreds said good-bye to “Zeus.”
It took eight strong men, plus hundreds of family and friends to take “Zeus” home. At 6’7″, Orlando Brown towered over most men. Still in the womb, his mother nicknamed him “Zeus,” the Greek god of thunder. But he earned that name. He was tenacious, intimidating, dominant, but a gentleman off the field.
With two stints with the Ravens he was, at the time, one of the highest-paid offensive linemen in the National Football League (NFL). At midday, hundreds packed Mt. Eanon Baptist Church. NFL players current and past like Jonathan Ogden stood out in the crowd. His son, a high school player nicknamed “Little Zeus,” spoke to the mourners. His team was dressed in support.
A religious man, fond memories followed in his path.
“Even though his was an imposing size, the name ‘Gentle Giant’ really fit him because he was very easy-going and laid-back,” Brown’s friend Laylani Cartledge said.
“Always had something positive to say and he loved his family,” said Karen Clift, another friend. “No one loved his family more than Orlando did.”
Brown died two weeks ago of complications from undiagnosed diabetes.
He leaves behind five children. His son did speak to the mourners and said it’s his turn now to look after the family just like his father did.
Brown will be buried in South Carolina.