Vikings: Pat Williams’ games: football, cars

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 3, 2007 - 10:41 PM

Pat Williams, the Vikings' free-spirited Pro Bowl nose tackle, is a heavyweight on the field and in the automotive-customizing business.

Follow the stylish maroon Cadillac Escalade with the matching 26-inch, custom spoke wheels long enough and you get the feeling you might be trailing a pro athlete, an entertainer or a groupie from MTV's "Pimp My Ride." Get close enough to see the iced-out personalized emblem on the rear hatch and, well, even a car dummy who knows anything about the Minnesota Vikings knows who's inside.

"BIG PAT," the tastefully designed emblem reads in block letters.

"Yeah, they call me 'Big Pat,' or 'Big Nasty,' or 'Big Duke,' or all kinds of crazy names," said Big Pat Williams, the Vikings' 327-pound Pro Bowl nose tackle. "I have fun. Always. I'll always be laughing when I whip your ..." um, butt.

On or off the field, Big Pat usually finds a way to whip ... um, butt. On this particular day last month, he led a reporter and a photographer on his midday route from Winter Park, where he had just worked out and participated in an offseason organized team activity, to New Hope and Automotive Concepts, his 17,000-square-foot workplace away from work.

Williams doesn't roll up the sleeves and personally pimp any rides. That will come four years from now when he plans to retire to Monroe, La., and that newly constructed home with the nine-car garage out back. But Williams is a 25 percent co-owner and Bunyan-sized talking billboard for the successful 21-year-old Automotive Concepts, which, according to its website (www.ac-mn.com), is an "industry leader in automotive restyling and accessories."I always liked cars," said Williams, who owns 13, and, no, that's not a typo. "I watched those pimp shows on TV and I'd say, 'I got better ideas than what they're doing.' "

Teammates agree. Lots of teammates. And members of the Twins, the Wolves and other pro teams from coast to coast also believe in Automotive Concepts. Jeremy Luffey, another 25 percent co-owner and Williams' best local friend sans shoulder pads, said there are customers from at least a dozen professional sports teams.

They've come mainly through word of mouth. Mostly Big Pat's, well, big mouth.

"You should see Pat doing his networking around the locker room," said Vikings defensive end Kenechi Udeze, a regular customer. "Let's just say you don't have to worry about Pat after he's done with football. Pat has a future in anything he does. I always say he's a candidate for a reality TV show. Every day around here, it's a comedy skit starring Pat Williams. The rest of us just add a little flavor to the show."

Glue to the team

On the field, Williams is an interior offensive lineman's pain in the ... um, butt. He's big enough to hold his ground yet quick enough to zip forward in a blink. Off the field, he doesn't drink, doesn't smoke, throws a mean dart and rolls a wicked bowling ball, although teammates say he's stretching the truth by about 40-45 pins on that claim of having a 250 average.

"Two-fifty!" Udeze shrieked. "Now that's a bold-faced lie. The last time we played, I won two and [defensive end] Ray Edwards won three. The rest of [the Vikings' defensive linemen] weren't any good when Pat got us started, and Pat had been playing his whole life. He's good, but 250!? Nah."

Williams also is a sharp dresser, a bit of a neat freak and an 11-year veteran who, at 33, leads the Vikings locker room in a way teammates have compared to a big brother or, as Udeze said, "your high school football coach." Williams believes in coach Brad Childress, and vice versa, even though their first impressions of each other weren't exactly positive.

Williams no longer sees Childress as standoffish with the players. Childress sees Williams in better shape, and views him as a valuable ally in the locker room.

Winter Park's King of Cars

Hmm, let's see. What else is there about Big Pat? Oh yeah, the cars.

He's got a Bentley, a Mercedes and three Escalades. (Hey, the wife, Valarie, has to have something with which to tote the children -- Crystal, 15; Alesha, 14; and Big Pat II, 2.) There's also the Dodge, and the Impalas from '63, '64, '95 and '96, and ... well, you get the idea.

"I had one Impala that Torii Hunter wanted," Williams said. "Every time I'd see him, he'd say, 'I want that car!' So I sold it to him."

Williams has sold so many cars to teammates that he's lost count. Former teammate Marcus Robinson bought three of them.

"When we aren't playing football, that's what we do," Udeze said. "We buy cars off each other."

Big Pat, of course, is the undisputed King of Cars at Winter Park.

"I personally don't hear him talking about the cars, but every day I leave this place, Pat's in a different car," Vikings defensive line coach Karl Dunbar said. "I think that's how he gets all his publicity. All these young kids want the fancy rims, the nice paint job, the speakers, TVs in their cars, things like that."

'We got to move the seat back for Kevin'

According to its website, Automotive Concepts offers 44 products. There's the Katzkin leather interior, strut grills, suicide doors and stereo systems loud enough to make you grab your ears and ask, "Are we in the Metrodome?" Except when Williams cranked up the sound system inside his maroon Escalade, one could actually understand the words, too.

During last month's walk through the Automotive Concepts shop, there were cars being customized for New England Patriots and former Gophers running back Laurence Maroney, Vikings cornerback Cedric Griffin, Wolves player Trenton Hassell and another local guy by the name of KG.

"That's Kevin Garnett's right there," Williams said. "We got to move the seat back for Kevin."

Williams moves around the room and mentions how the company recently had to fire a paint crew. Mistakes aren't an option when the company is traveling all over the country to pick up vehicles, transport them to New Hope, customize them and then deliver them.

"I know some guys who send their cars to Florida and don't hear anything for six months, even though they're calling and calling," Udeze said. "[Automotive Concepts] went to L.A. and picked up a car of mine and brought it here for me. They know they only have one chance to make a good impression, so they do. But then when a former [Southern Cal] teammate of mine like [Seahawks linebacker] Lofa Tatupu calls me and wants to know where he can get his car done, I send him to Pat, and the shop goes and gets his car in Seattle."

Birth of a businessman

Williams was involved in two similar shops in Buffalo when he played for the Bills from 1997 to 2004. He sold his share in one but kept the other. After he retires, he'd like to keep his interests in the shops in Buffalo and New Hope and open other shops, including one in Monroe, La.

"When I first moved here to Minnesota, and I was still staying at the Sheraton downtown, I'd just get in my truck and ride around looking for stuff," Williams said. "Today, guys ask me, 'How do you know how to get around like you do?' And I say, 'You got nothing else to do most of the time.' Basically, it was work out until 12 and get in my truck and ride and go get lost."

Williams found Automotive Concepts while lost two years ago.

"I had just bought a truck and I needed it customized," Williams said. "I found Jeremy and we just hit it off. And then I brought everybody else with me."

On the field or on the road, some guys can't help but follow "Big Pat."

  • related content

  • Big Pat unplugged

    Tuesday July 3, 2007

    When a ferocious, butt-kickin' beast who can dominate the storm that is an NFL line of scrimmage talks, we don't interrupt.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 13 FINAL
Jacksonville 21
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 97 FINAL
Chicago 103
New Orleans 99 FINAL
Houston 90
Milwaukee 108 FINAL
Sacramento 107
Oklahoma City 109 FINAL
Golden State 114
Florida 2 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 1
Colorado 0 FINAL(OT)
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 1 FINAL
Carolina 4
Washington 5 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Montreal 1
St. Louis 4 FINAL
Los Angeles 6
Edmonton 3 FINAL
San Jose 4
St Thomas (TX) 61 FINAL
Rice 72
Stony Brook 59 FINAL
Canisius 60
Temple 82 FINAL
Delaware 62
FIU 58 FINAL
Long Island 69
Lehigh 65 FINAL
Quinnipiac 80
South Alabama 54 FINAL
Richmond 65
Seton Hall 89 FINAL
South Florida 69
Ga Southern 76 FINAL
Stetson 67
Yale 57 FINAL
Vermont 56
Cleveland State 54 FINAL
Virginia 70
Wright State 69 FINAL
Western Carolina 56
Nicholls 54 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 79
Morgan State 48 FINAL
Rider 62
Idaho State 72 FINAL
South Dakota St 75
Oakland City 52 FINAL
Austin Peay 76
Eureka 38 FINAL
Bradley 80
Appalachian St 65 FINAL
Charlotte 75
Connecticut 56 FINAL
Duke 66
Southern Miss 46 FINAL
Jackson State 66
Coastal Carolina 68 FINAL
Ole Miss 71
Montana State 53 FINAL
South Dakota 55
LSU 79 FINAL
UAB 70
Ohio 69 FINAL
Evansville 81
CS-Dominguez 50 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 72
Walla Walla 39 FINAL
Idaho 86
DePaul 59 FINAL
Oregon State 90
Nevada 65 FINAL
Pacific 69
Portland State 40 FINAL
San Francisco 77
CS-Bakersfield 56 FINAL
Utah State 57
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Niagara 76 FINAL
Cleveland State 58
High Point 59 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 81
Towson 64 FINAL
Wake Forest 74
Presbyterian 50 FINAL
Charlotte 66
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Bradley 59
Northwestern Coll 58 FINAL
Drake 102
Vanderbilt 67 FINAL
Marquette 80
Temple 78 FINAL
Howard 48
Southern Miss 66 FINAL
Ole Miss 68
UMBC 55 FINAL
Rider 67
Miami-Florida 74 FINAL
UCLA 67
St Mary-KS 51 FINAL
South Dakota 115
William & Mary 71 FINAL
Wofford 51
Troy 82 FINAL
Evansville 94
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
USC 96
St Francis-PA 52 FINAL
Duquesne 92
Indiana-Southeast 45 FINAL
IUPUI 95
Delaware State 52 FINAL
Detroit 74
Tenn Temple 48 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 68
West Virginia St 58 FINAL
Radford 52
Fairfield 47 FINAL
Seton Hall 79
Dartmouth 44 FINAL
New Hampshire 60
Ball State 47 FINAL
Pittsburgh 59
Jacksonville 61 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Trine 45 FINAL
Western Mich 81
Tenn Tech 53 FINAL
Lipscomb 72
Samford 56 FINAL
Tulane 57
New Orleans 55 FINAL
Tulsa 78
Incarnate Word 61 FINAL
TX-Pan American 65
Ark-Little Rock 42 FINAL
South Dakota St 67
CS-Northridge 77 FINAL
Northern Ariz 71
Santa Clara 88 FINAL
Oregon 92
(19) Oklahoma St 55 FINAL
Weber State 49
Washington 69 FINAL
San Diego State 48
Cal Poly 68 FINAL
New Mexico 84
(10) Louisville 65 FINAL
Grand Canyon 51
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will Christian Ponder ever be a full-time starter in the NFL?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close