Sibling rivalry: Long brothers about to square off in St. Louis

News-DemocratNovember 20, 2013 

— The last time that Kyle and Chris Long went against each other in an athletic competition was in an unofficial truck-pushing event this summer in the driveway of their family's home in Montana.

The two brothers were training to get ready for their respective NFL training camps.

Kyle and Chris' dad, Howie, a Pro Football Hall of Famer, got into the spirit of the competition by helping mark off the distance with a can of spray paint and then serving as the timer.

"We had just finished a long-distance run in which Chris smoked me, let me just get that out there before I tell you this next part," said Kyle Long, the rookie right guard for the Chicago Bears.

"We were supposed to push a truck let's say 20 yards, and Chris got up and pushed it in 10 seconds. I got up and pushed it in like 9.8 (seconds), so that's my claim to fame. He was pissed!"

"No, I'm not pissed about it. As a matter of fact, I forgot about it," said Chris Long, the left defensive end for the St. Louis Rams. "When I adjusted the formula to include his mass, I actually won the competition because he outweighed me by 50 pounds and he only beat me by (a few tenths of) a second."

Kyle and Chris Long will be playing on opposite sides of the line of scrimmage this Sunday when the Bears (6-4) visit the Rams (4-6) at the Edward Jones Dome.

"To say I haven't been looking forward to this since the minute I got drafted, I'd be lying to you guys," Kyle Long said in a conference call with St Louis media. "I knew Nov. 24 was the date right after Chris put his I-phone right in my face after I got off the phone with the Bears. He had the schedule pulled up already."

The two won't be lining up directly on each other, but there are in close enough proximity that could lock horns on occasion.

"He'll definitely be in my 'periphs,"' Kyle Long said. "I'll see him. I wouldn't be surprised if he is lined up over me a couple of times to try and get me out of my element. It's football still. There is still assignments that need to executed. The goal is winning the game. The beautiful thing will be getting to hug my brother afterward."

Chris Long said his younger brother has always been more athletic than him.

"You're always competing against your brother, but I always know that my brother is capable of being better than me at anything he wants to be, including football," Chris Long said. "It's not really a competition. I'm just trying to hang in there because he has so much God-given ability. He was always great at baseball, basketball, whatever he wanted to do."

Kyle Long was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 23rd round of the 2008 Major League Baseball Draft, but he didn't sign.

"He was a phenomenal Little League player," Chris Long said. "I remember he hit a home run right to us, and literally I caught it. I had to defend myself, he hit the baseball so hard. He was one of the best baseball players I have ever been around. I remember him hitting balls so far it was ridiculous. He was a lefty (pitcher) that could throw in the mid-to-low 90's."

Kyle Long went to the University of Oregon to play football. He was taken by the Bears in the first round (20th overall pick) of the 2013 NFL Draft, and he's started every game as a rookie this season.

"He has something you can't coach, which is he plays like a bad dude," Chris Long said. "I love the way he plays the game. If I were to step back and see who is No. 75 for the Bears and it wasn't my brother, I'd say, 'I like the way this guy plays."'

Kyle Long said it has been strange preparing to play against the Rams and his older brother.

"I've been watching these guys for years," Kyle Long said. "I think I was literally the biggest Rams fan there was until I got drafted. Now I am looking at the Rams from a scouting side of things in preparation for our game. It's weird when the coaches are going over depth chart in our offensive meetings, and they start talking about Chris Long. I say, 'I know that guy."'

The entire Long family -- Howie and his wife, Diane, as well as Kyle and Chris' younger brother, Howard, Jr., 23 -- will be attending the game.

Howie Long was given Sunday off from his job as a studio analyst for Fox.

"He hasn't had a day off from Fox in forever, and they are actually allowing him to go watch his boys play," Kyle Long said. "The entire family will be there. It's really special. I am super thankful and blessed to be in this position."

The Long brothers are close. They're in contact by telephone every day, but this week actually has been more a time for reflection than trash talk.

"Getting an opportunity to reflect a little bit about what we've been through to get us here," Kyle Long said. "Now we're here, two brothers who are about to square off in St. Louis."

Contact reporter Steve Korte at skorte@bnd.com or 239-2522.

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