William Jennings Fontes?

January 10, 1992|By Vito Stellino

HERNDON, VA — HERNDON, Va. -- How good a speaker is Detroit Lions coach Wayne Fontes?

Eric Williams, the Washington Redskins defensive lineman who played for Fontes in Detroit before being traded last year, said Fontes is so passionate and forceful in his speeches that he compares him to Adolf Hitler.

"I compare him, not in a negative sense, but the energy he puts into his pre-game speech and the energy he puts out reminds me a little bit of Hitler, the way Hitler used to be so intense," Williams said Wednesday.

When Williams was asked about the comparison yesterday, he said: "When you're doing interviews, things come right to the top of your head. It wasn't anything to do with the message of Adolf Hitler. I should have used somebody else. I don't watch a lot of history and documentaries on people giving speeches. I was trying to say he [Fontes] gets into his speeches and fires up his people. If you'd be happy to throw another intense speaker in for me, I'd be happy to say him."

When Martin Luther King Jr. was suggested, Williams said, "I thought his [King's] message was intense, but in terms of the way he'd get into it, I didn't think he was strong enough."

Did Williams see Mario Cuomo's speech at the 1984 Democratic National Convention?

"He's a Democrat? I don't watch him," said Williams.

What about William Jennings Bryan's Cross of Gold speech?

Williams never heard of him.

B6 Well, anyway, he says Fontes makes a great speech.

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