Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 3 years ago

Chris Long

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Super Bowl Champion and Walter Payton Man of the Year award winner, Chris Long, joins the huddle. We talk Chris' favorite twitter accounts, his charity Waterboys, and a drinking game called "Cell Phone Roulette". See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

I am former NFL quarterback gust for I played quarterback fifteen years in the NFL. This is my show called huddle up with gusts. Each week I team up with my longtime friend Dave Hagar and we talked with guests about how sports shaped their lives. Pro Athletes, business executives, community leaders, everyone has a story to tell about sports. We invite you to huddle up with gusts this week in the huddle. Lauren a football blue blood. This two times super bowl champion has established himself with distinction on and off the field, the second overall picking the two thousand and eight draft. He retired last month after eleven seasons in the NFL. Known as much for his philanthropy as a seventy career sacks. His generosity has helped people across the globe. A recently named Walter Peyton NFL man of the year. Please welcome into the huddle my good friend Chris Long. All right, Dave. Today today we got a great guests on. Very good friend of mine played in the NFL for ten eleven years. I'm not sure it seems like forever, but just an outstanding human. Walter Peyton Man of the Year award winner just has been just then. For every community that he's ever lived in, he's try to do something and be a part of it. So today we're going to have on my good friend Chris Long, and so I think we should have a really fun time with this interview and so welcome to the huddle, Chris, and we appreciate you coming on with us today. Thanks, Dude. What's up? So you were born in California. What do you what do you remember about California? Man, you know, not much. It was the first eight years of my life. You know, I remember little things here and there. I certainly remember the tail end of my dad's career because the first five years I was around I really didn't have any idea what was going on or the significance of it. I think in his last couple years I remember darting to realize that he did something pretty cool for a living. You know, we go to like the pro bowl and we actually joke about this the other day because I took waylon to our city to meet to go to Isaac Bruce's thing a couple days ago and I got a picture with Waylon and Isaac Bruce. I said when you're going to want this picture down the line and way just like yeah, whatever, because he's three years old, and my dad laughed and he like, you know, I used to take you the pro bowl all the time and you meet people like Barry Sanders and you'd have no idea who they were. So that was kind of how I consume my dad's career. He he was just my dad and we were just, you know, living in Calie you know, and he played football for living. But I had no idea the significance of it and it wasn't really till the hall of fame and all that stuff that I started to get it. You know, in the hall of fame by that and I kind of understood. But first eight years of my life it was a it was a cool place to grow up. We grew up in in South Bay or Dondo Beach, then moved to Palas Verdi's for the last couple year. There's and my pop's just, you know, being from back east, wanted to get us out of the West Coast. said it was going to be a tough place to raise kids. There's a turbulent time and in the early T s. So it was it was the best thing I ever happened to me. I Love Virginia. It's home still for me. I live in Charlesto. Lived at my parents house right now, so it's hard to get away. You know, they're working on my house. So we are family of for living with my folks. So I'm definitely a homebody and Virginia's home for I shot a retirement and into your parents house. Yeah's as tough transition. I don't I don't know. To me, guys to play eleven years in the League and make enough money for their own pad, but they move in their parents house when they finish. I mean retirement can suck in some ways, it can be awesome in a lot of ways. I think part of it is just like you need to you know, you need a time at well, I thought about like, Hey, should I retire in the spring if I'm thinking about it, because maybe I'll be happiest then, like I'll be most relaxed. I maybe should I do it during camp, because then I'll be like yes, I like I don't have to go to camp. Should I do? Should I not do in the debt of summer because I don't have much going on. You stay busy, what I really shouldn't have done was retired right before I had to move into my parents house, because this is made the transition crazy. But we're having a good time and you know my parents, it's a great great grandparents and, you know, chasing whaling around and helping out with my six month old Luke. It's just I'm up late watching Games with my dad. I was up watching the finals, the Blues Games with my dad. It's been fun, honestly. You know, spatially, it's not like you have your own house, but it is nice to like wake up in the morning, go we breakfast my dad and my mom and then watch games of my dad at night. It's pretty cool. So do you still do like? So when Gunnar Gabe come home right I'm always making them work in the yard, cut the grass, do something. I'm like, you...

...guys got to do this. You're coming home paying for college, You I do. Did Your Dad make you do any chores around the house? Well, so I've been trying to like just volun her, you know, stuff as much as I can. You know, every night I go get as dinner. Yeah, I offered to do yard works. Actually like to do hard work. I when I grew up, my dad used to make me, I think just in still like hard work. He's just made me do like pointless yardwork tasks, like move the mulch over there, like this giant Mountain Mulch, and then like it had to go somewhere else, like so it never really needed to go over there. So I kind of didn't catch on at that point. But he was giving me pointless task just to get me to work. And you know, he actually made me get a job in masonry when I was like fifteen and of course I I I saved up all that money to buy by the ugliest possible accessories for my f f one hundred and fifty possible. I mean like every chrome accessory, chrome door handles, a brush guard, you know, dual exhaust, all that ugly crap. I had the big Ford sticker on the back with the lady land on the the Ford stickers. They will hop babe laying on the forward sticker and so yeah, I mean, like my dad made me do a lot of chores growing up, but it's kind of lightened up actually now I got to kind of twist our arm to make me do anything. They're great host and I feel kind of like I'm stealing being around the house now. Growing up with if two brothers had to be a very competitive environment. Probably got you into sports early. Yeah, yeah, I mean it wasn't. And we were in curasive plate. We were encouraged to play like every sport we could. So I played for sports in high school. My brothers played a bunch of sports and I think we were encouraged to find our own way. It wasn't just about football and certainly we took to football in our own different ways. You know, col in the League now for eight or nine, eight years my brother Howie working for the raiders, but the competition was was mostly between my younger brothers, Howie and Kyle, because they were only year apart. You know, being Irish twins or whatever you call it, that certainly, you know, heighten the sense of like Hey, we're wearing this fox hole together and we're going to be best friends sometimes and we're going to be enemies every other day. You know, they would come home from school and they were lumped up because they were fighting each other or you know, I had to break it up all the time, like I was the older brother. I was, you know, a few years older than the then Kyle. So it wasn't like being kyle. We're really in competition much and him and how he are mostly fighting. So so who was the boss of the house? was that your mom or was that your dad? When you guys got in trouble, the boss of the house? Well, you know dad was. Certainly you know it was feared, but but my mom, you know, the one with the the nuclear code, is the one you got a fear. I mean because she's the one who can you know when he's on the road. When he was doing the Fox show or or whatever, it was one phone call and and like it was almost worse if my mom called and said, hey, these boys are running me ragged. Like then if we did something right in front of my dad. Chris. Was your mom athletic? You know she would say yes, she she placed tennis, she's good at tennis. What she is is she's she's real competitive. She's a really good swimmer. My mom is very competitive, underratedly competitive. And you know, my dad gets a lot of credit for all that, but I take after my mom as much I take after my dad and in personality. So she's been a big part of kind of shaping me as a person and a athlete. But yeah, she she won her like Touls match the other day, so I should probably note that. Yeah, it should probably like to hear that. Did you have some when you were young and growing up? We talked about your parents. who were the coaches that made a big impact in your life? Oh Man, I could go from from the beginning up. You know, my Little League Baseball coach, Chris Miller, who was a tremendous guy, taught me a lot about hard work and team work. I was my first real serious commitment Little League Baseball. You know, before that it's kind of you're committed but you're picking daisies in the Outfield, you know, that sort of thing. You turned on. It's like okay, you're in the big leagues. You get drafted to the mcentire little league here in in Charlottesville. Chris Miller's this legendary coach, coach the elks. You know, we were black and yellow, we were we were like the Badass team and and he was the Badass coach. You know, he always had a lot of LEA. I Garrett right here and he was just...

...he was just the type of guy that would try to teach kids about life and about sports. And any's a Guy That's still coaching there twenty two years later. No coach in the elks. What position were you on the ELP? Seeing him once or twice? That took whalen to meet him last year. Just a good man. And then guys like Sammy Bill, who anybody from Charlottesville would know, who was a batting coach, who I would go in his warehouse for hours and he would just pitch to his arm fell off and he threw the nicest PP I mean he was just that guy that had the sweetest PP and and he would he would literally dead a winner. No heat in his in his in his warehouse down there downtown and he was just throw two kids all day and he would teach about work ethic and I learned a lot about repetition and work ethic through him and he passed away about a year ago but really affected countless lives in the charlots Hill area. And then you know high school coach is John Blake, my football coach. Learned a lot from him. You know, he'd certainly somebody I still keep in touch with. I'll grow, I'll grow. To me is like a family member. You know, he's a guy who who really turned me into a man. You know, when I got to college I wasn't necessarily man. Physically I was a man, but mentally I hadn't fully developed, and he was somebody who took me to the brink of quitting and you know, from there it was one of those things where I had to make a decision. Am I a quitter or can I push past that? And so I credit him for all that mental toughness I needed through my career. So I had a bunch of coaches and, like I mentioned, you know, working, working masonry taught me a lot about hard work. And you know, that was only one year. But if it weren't for my dad put me in the right leagues in the right situations, like hooking me up with Sammy Beale, you know, sent you know, counseling me to go to Uva, although that was my decision. You know, these people wouldn't have been in my life. So my family did a great job a surrounding me with people. Chris, we're going to move on a little more about your high school career. At I think they called stab that what they called and yes, and Ann's, Bellfield. So who was your best buddy at St Ann's? Man, you know, I got I'm lucky, man. I've got a lot of them. I still got a lot of them, and that's what I love about, you know, home here. I mean there's a hundred great places to live, but for me home is home and that's kind of like. I know you feel the same way with Pittsburgh. You know, you love St Louis, and St Louis, you guys were happy as hell. They're but like home just calls you back and and you know, for me I've had an opportunity to live in St Louis, I've had an opportunity to live in Boston, I've had an opportunity to live in Philly, all great season their own right. I've been around the world. have been to La you know, spent time their training, MIAMI, man, there's a ton of places I could live, but I live here because of my friends and you know that. And I think it's beautiful and it's just where I grew up. Chris, how would you describe yourself in high school? Like you, I know you're a multi sport star most likely, but like big man on campus, what like you have other interest. What was your what was Chris Long like in high school? I was just same where I am now, just a you know, a little bit different. More should be to my own drummer and just I think I was a good kid, but I certainly wasn't mature. I mean I was probably more mature than other kids in a lot of ways, but you know, I had a lot to learn about, you know, hard work, about focus, you know, and a lot of growing up to do, you know. So I think you know when you look back at yourself, whether you're in high school or or college or your early s, and you know not to digress too much, but I just feel like you're never a finished product. And when I look back at myself in high school or all those stages, you're like man, I've grown a lot and and I think that's what's pretty cool. And I think even into your s you're still growing up and and I'll look back at myself, hopefully five years from now, and be like what the hell was I doing? Or like, you know, there's certain things that that I can improve at all the time and and and high school just shows you g how far you come. But I was I was A. I like to play pranks the same way I did and in St Louis, you know, you probably heard, we used to like to play about the pranks. You know, we would. This probably pissed a lot of people off. We you know, we we would agg we my buddies. We Dag each other's houses and paintball each other's cars up and you know, all sorts of shenanigans that probably wasn't so funny to the parents of those kids and vice versa. But we were always, you know, just plan, plan pranks and having fun and and I like to in high school the same thing I like do...

...now, hang out with my buddies and and and stay active and play sports. So you you would hang out with your buddies. I would do the same thing in high school. We'd all hang out, we'd have a lot of fun. But you cross that white line like that was one thing that I always learned from my dad. You Cross that white line. It doesn't matter what you were doing before, you go out and play and you play hard. And now I've always done that. You kind of like that too? Yeah, yeah, me, like for me, My Dad, my dad's whole thing was whatever you do, I don't care if you're a football player, I don't care if you're A, you know, firefighter, I don't care if you're whatever you do for a living. You you do, you take pride in it and that was something for me that you take pride in your work and I took pride in my work and everything I did and and and, looking back on it, there was one thing. Even paintball and Carl Huh, even paintballing cars. Yeah, even paintballing cars. went all out. I mean like literally went all out. Like I probably shouldn't go all the way into it, but we had some pretty spectacular paintball battles that probably spilled over into areas that they shouldn't have spilled over into. But you know, we had a lot to learn about focus. But you know, maybe I misspoke earlier. I knew I got hard work pretty early. I got what it was like to grind. I grind it out early. You know, I was three sport athlete. You know, I was after every basketball practice, I had a weight program I was in the weight room till nine at night training for football, and it's the winner, you know. So I was on a college type schedule. You know, in baseball I would take batting practice as much I could. You know, in football I was I was obsessed with, you know, my craft and and you know I took pride and never missing games. I took pride and all that stuff. You know, I think I understood what it was, what it was all about to work hard pretty early. But I didn't have a lot of adversity. I mean I had adversity. I had doubters. You're always going to have that. I think that's kind of the sexy thing now say I had adversity. I had doubters, and everybody did. I mean I had people that listen. I had people that because of who my pops was or because I went to a private school and all the public school football circles and everything, it was, you know, he's only getting a scholarship because of his dad, he's only all state because it was dad. Like anything I did was, hey, it's because of your pop. So I mean those that was my adversity. I had a lot of people doubt me there and I wasn't. I wasn't necessarily a great player right off the Bat. I was actually a bad football player until, you know, nineteen grade and so I mean my ninth grade year we were in the state champions tonight and play Lick. I mean, so it wasn't like I was a stud right off the bat. So I had to work and grind that out and and that that was kind of what I was like. And Yeah, I mean I didn't take shit from anybody. I mean, you know, I played football or whatever I was doing. You know, we were liable to throw down. I mean it was just like that was what competing was. And and it wasn't just football. I mean there were, there were a bunch of sports. I learned a lot from, you know, playing baseball, playing travel baseball, going and getting humbled by these country dudes out here in Virginia. Yeah, that was just like your ass. And they were a lot tougher than you. They have mustaches earlier in you, and I mean you. That's what planing a bunch of sports is all about. I mean it's encountering different, you know, different people that you wouldn't play with it your private school or or in your circle. Who was the first college that started recruiting you? WAS IT Virginia? Well, I remember I got a couple of my first letters and I thought there were a huge deal, like just a letter. I had a letter from like the cow bears and it was like one of my first ones and I remember like just kind of freaking out and actually opened it. I remember I was down at the Shell station below my high school and I was getting some BC powder. Remember BC powder, but keep uster powder. It's that. It's like it's like advill powder, advil. Okay, just put in your water. It's total, like it's total, like construction worker, like you know, like get through your day. Yes, that's all. I was working. I was taking BC powder in high school, but I was going down to the Shell Station to get my BC potterer and and I sat there on the in the parking lot and I read my letter and I was like, Holy Shit, I got a shot here. Like I didn't know I was this good. I didn't know the letter wasn't a big deal. It was a bigger deal probably back then. Nowadays it's like, you know, any little thing is like you know you you're a hall of Famer if you get recruited at all nowadays with these kids. But I was excited. It kind of empowered me and and I thought, okay, I got a shot at this thing and and Virginia gave me my first offer, but I kind of made up my mind that I wanted to stay home. And when Virginia offered me my junior year, it was Virginia, UNC are, Virginia Tech. In my head, Florida...

...state. I used to love watching them on TV, but they just didn't didn't look like I'd fit scheme wise there, and I was getting told I wasn't athletic enough. So I chose Virginia and I'l grow gave me my first offer and and I just took it because part of it as I didn't understand the whole process and part of it was like this is where I want to go. Why go through the process right? This is home for me and this is what I want and and I don't regret it. You know, things worked out because your did your mom save all your clippings and everything. Yeah, I got a good bit of stuff. She's even doing it now. Like I walked in the House and I saw like she's about. There's a newspaper of me, like in the local newspaper, about retirement like this. That the third sit now. But I was like, you know, back when she was doing it. I kind of understood it, but I definitely understand it now. It's funny because my dad has all his stuff and it's not he pulled it out and shows shows me as clippings, but like it's good that he hasn't you know. It's one of those things. It's not like you parayed them around, but it's good you have them. And the one thing I'm excited about keeping after football is all those jerseys I got to trade with guys and you know, the newspaper articles. That's cool, but that's that's a sign of media respect, which that's one thing, but you know, respect from your peers. That's that's the the kind of stuff that I'm definitely going to cherish. How many jerseys do you have? Man? I probably have over twenty. I mean I probably got twenty five of them. WHO's your favorite? Which one, like do you cherish the most? Man, you know, my last couple years, when I realized it that I was maybe not trying to play a lot longer, I was trading a lot and you know, my first favorite one that I got in St Louis was Justin Smith. That was in probably two thousand and eleven or two thousand and twelve and then lately I really love I got a Marshawn Lynch Jersey. I got my beast mode after we played them in Philly and like a ten degree night and he was just running hard as shit. Still we won like thirteen seven. I GOT HIS JERSEY. I got, you know, my Michael Bennett. I've got my fletcher cocks, like my Aaron Donald. I got some of the Best Robert Quinn, William Hays, some of the best stee Lineman I play with. But you know, lately I think a marshawn Lynch was a real cool Jersey to have in the Justin Smith. Early on, Chris, we went through kind of your youth a little bit, going on to college. Now, your first years at a college. Obviously it's kind of home for you. But well, those that first season a football what did you learn from that first season of football at UVA? Well, at U Vah learned about I was never arrogant at all. But but you know, college is going to humble you. You know, if you have any humbling to be done, you know college football is going to do it. I don't know about nowadays. I don't know what it's like now, but going to play for how grow? Who falls from that parcels Bella check tree, that whole thing, learning the three four, playing for eye and, you know, inside eye of the tackle rather than rushing the edge. Here I was in high school just getting ready to start learning how to really be technical as a pass wrestler. In High School you're getting by it on athleticism and hard work. You know, when you get to college you're honing your craft a little bit and switching positions to me was like it was crazy and my first two years I don't think anybody else saw it saw me as struggling, but I thought I was struggling because I was out of scheme and I was learning a new thing and frankly, it was just really hard. And Yeah, I almost transferred my sophomore year, I think it was. I I looked at some other schools and and I was on the cusp of kind of but I didn't have the balls to do to do it. Honestly, it was just like in my heart of hearts I wanted to do it, but I was like yeah, it seemed disloyal. I just didn't want to do it and it was all scheme driven for me. It was like, you know, it's this playing, you know, read technique inside eye of the tackle. It's stunning my development and honestly, I'm not having fun. And and I was really glad I stuck it out because my junior year spring game I came out and kind of set it on fire a little...

...bit and people were like, Damn, Dude, you got a lot better and had a bunch of sacks and and I started to feel good and and and and just from there it was I felt a lot better about in me and coach grow became like he really leaned on me as a leader, and that kind of being on the cusp of quitting or doing something else taught me a lot, because I didn't have that in high school. I mean that was the adversity. I didn't have it. Chris, how would you describe Game Day in the ACC we hear about the SEC at, not them, but what was ACC football like? You could hear a stray fan here there. You know, you'd watch a Duke UNC game. You Watch Virginia play. I mean we listen at Virginia. We had it rock and a Scott Stadum. We'd packing stadium full of Sixtyzero people in those years we had eight, nine, ten wins, whatever, you know. But it depended on the stadium. You know, Virginia Tech Lane Stadium as crazy as almost any SEC atmosphere. In my opinion, UNC's going to be more chill, dude, it's going to be way more chill. Duke. You had to walk like half a mile to get to the stadium from your locker room. You know, before the renovation it wasn't anything to speak of. Maryland was like a city, you know, atmosphere, which is a little different. Yeah, I mean it depended on the school. We had a couple outliers, like an FSU or a Virginia Tech that were like sec and then some. And then there's Clemson, which I never played down at Death Valley. But most of the other schools are kind of you're going to at your noon games. You're sporadic attendance. Virginia that we had in rock and pretty good, because you mentioned I'll grow is a big influence in your life. Who was a non football influence while you're in college, other than other than alcohol, other than the bill, more going to the build more on on Thursday nights for two dollar pictures. Man Actually I don't know. I was Tuesday, Tuesday to pictures, I would say just my not in football, I mean non coaches. I just spent all day in the foxhole man with my teammates. So my teammates for big influences on me. I mean they were, but I live with you know, having to live with different people. You know, you grew up your whole life living with just your family, your mom cooking breakfast. You know, you you leave some laundry on the couch. It's not a big deal, right. Actually wasn't a big deal oncology either, because we were we were slabs. But you know, living with different people from different cultures, you know, having to go through adversity with your friends, holding each other accountable. That's a different accountability than a coach is. Having teammate or roommate, O brother kind of put you in Jackard. You do vice versa, and at that that would that shade me a lot. Yeah, Hey, I know e gaming is big now. What was the game that you guys all played? If you had a bunch of roommates and teammates? There was something you were playing back in college that you guys Callbab away from competed everything we did. We play Xbox, it was like people were getting ready to fight each other. If we played fighting night on on Xbox, like and you knock somebody out, it was like it was like we might be out in the parking lot, you know, over right. We play, you know, NBA, K, we play all that stuff. We just did everything together and that's what I think people miss about the game. Now, did you meet your wife in College? Yeah, I met my wife in college. She she played Lacrosse at Uva and we dated on and off through the first couple of years. She's as stubborn as me, so we definitely, we definitely tested each other. And then did she ever play Edward Forty hands? She never played at were forty hands, but she could drink hewy light. So we had we had a listen, we had we had a good respect for each other's schedules. You know, her going through, you know, college athletics and and me at the same time. So it worked out well that way and I think that really helped us understand each other as we got out of school and you know, the big sacrifice of, you know, moving to St Louis with no friends. They're nothing taken a job there and then obviously working at burroughs, where you knew meg from Guss you know, coaching there. Great Lacrosse coach, really good with kids and built a Lacrosse company from the ground up and want...

...to stay title at burrows and like. Listen, the only person that screwed that up was me. I mean you know the fact that we didn't stay in SAT Louis for the offseason every year. We both wanted to get back Virginia some you know, kind of got away that stuff, and then then kids and moving to different teams. But listen, I'm pretty sure if she wanted to, you know, pick up the clipboard today, she could coach just about anywhere and and obviously, you know, helps to have somebody at this stage that you've known since college. Yeah, she's a she's definitely a wonderful coach. The girls absolutely loved her. My daughter was a goalie for her and her experience were because she won a national championship, but UV didn't she? Yep, not. Well, no, she was in the final four a few titles for she would get mad at me if I said you won the national championship right, because she used to get they got in and a few times and I just remember she'd complain about losing in the final four a couple of years and I'm like, Dude, at least you're in the final four, like we are struggling to get to the mine key car carabowl here. But yeah, I mean they got a great program and and they were, you know, really some some cool girls man that she play with and I'm still keeps in touch with a lot of them. She's super competitive, right, very competitive, almost more competitive than me in a lot of ways because she competes at stupid stuff where I can kind of like I'm not that person that, like you hear about certain athletes of like, you know, for playing they'll, you know, they'll they won't let kid win in like playing horse like. That's not me. My Wife. Yeah, she might beat our kid and horse. I mean she like listen, we used to like play tennis to mess around, like she's picking up tennis and I would just sky the ball in the air just to piss her off, like just kind of just sky and I wouldn't because I can't hit it straight and it really threw her off and I was beating her in tennis and I'm not very good. I'm not claiming to be good, but she would storm off the court like and we would be in an argument for a day because she was mad about tennis and she's just a competitive man. He just it's just kind of is what it is. Ever, play your mom and tennis now, because she'd actually beat me. I mean, and it's all about matchup because like me can my wife, can be my mom, my mom can be my wife, but I can't beat my mom, I don't think. I mean she's just more technical or MEG's like more rely on on athleticism and grit. But You could beat your dad? Yeah, can probably beat my dad, but he's pretty good. My Dad's one of those guys that can pick up any sport and like just kind of like kind of my brother Kyle. We're like anything they touched his turns to gold. Like my dad can pick up a golf club, hit it straight three hundred yards. You know, probably play badminton at an elite level. I like just anything he does and my brother's the same way me, I got to grind it out a little bit more. Chris, let's go through some of your pro career. Now you get drafted by the rams. We know the probably was really emotional for you, but you also know you're going to the rams. How do you feel about that? You put it right. I mean, like, listen, I never thought of getting drafted as an accomplishment. Maybe for me because my dad's done everything I've done, it kind of always kept me in a mind state of like, you haven't accomplished anything, and so I think that was a blessing because I needed that mindset when I got to St Louis. I needed to go in there with a clear head. And you know, I knew that. You know my junior year I sent in my my my draft grade, and it came back a low first round grade, high second and I was advised to leave, but I said, you know, I'd really like to stay. I think not only can I improve my draft stock, but I want to finish with my teammates and in some ways it was the best decision I ever made. In some ways of the worst decision I ever made, because financially in the old TBA, if you were a top five draft pick you're set, and so in a lot of ways that was great, and I did. I had a great senior year. I proved a lot of people wrong. I had fourteen sacks or whatever. You know, was up for a lot of words and my draft stock climbed and I knew I was going to be a five, top five pick. But what happens when your top five pick is you? You go into a bad team and the pressure is going to be higher and you know for a pass rusher, the trade off to get paid all that money is you're probably going to be on a team that doesn't have a lot of leads and doesn't have a lot of pieces around you and people are going to want you to be a double digit guy every year and it's just not realistic. Early on,...

...depending on the guy, there's some listen not. I always thought it myself as more hinder, not a generational talent type guy. Mean you you look at a guy like von Miller, I mean Von Milli, you put him anywhere, he's going to go get thirteen. You know I'm a guy that you know I'm going to be up around that double digit number. But it's hard and it took two years, honestly, to learn from the three four back to the Fort Three. I talked about switching a three four in college. So switching to the Fort Three man we were not very good. There wasn't a lot of time to get home and there weren't a lot opportunities and honestly, I was just kind of swimming. My first year ended up, you know, had a college first year. You know, I had four, five sacks, and then the second year there was a lot of adversity for me because you're expecting people to take that leap in the second year or third year. Usually with would pass rushers, I always think third but nobody's going to wait that long when you're a top five pick. Through eight games I had no sacks. And you know what people start doing? They start using that B word and they you know, it's four letters and and they say, you know, this guy's not going to pan out, he's just kind of he's just going to be all right, but he's not a man like I was close to kind of not giving up, but I was like, well, maybe I am, like maybe I'm not that good. And then the second half of the year I had five, six sacks. I finished my second year, I think, with five and they all came in the second half. So an a game run with that, with those type of numbers, are good and then in my third year really took a big lead. You know, was one of the, you know, the best pressure guys in the League and had, you know, eight and a half and really on another bad team. So and then from there just kept, you know, through my prime there and saying Louis, it kept building up and that eight and a half year saw a four year span. I had forty actually forty one, I think, so average in ten over for for four years was a great stretch for me. Sat Louis. We never got over the hump that. That took me through the Steve SPAGNOL era, the Jym hazlet interim era, the Lenahan era, and then after spags was Jeff Fisher who gave me that big contract and and and made me enjoy football again, honestly, because he was such a fun coach to play for. Brought in like the right type of guys. We just couldn't get it right offensively and as you know, if you got a franchise quarterback he can't can't keep healthy, can't keep him up right. You know, Sam blew is knee out a couple times that year. He blew his knee out against Cleveland in the preseason. I think that year we had a chance to be a ten win team and get in the playoffs. Will tell us about the transition to New England. Phone rings and it's Brendan Daily. He used to he used to coach me, and say Louis, and he's like, you know, you just think about New England. I'm like yeah, I'll think about he's like all right, we'll just stay tuned. So I'm in the grocery store picking up groceries and all of a sudden phone rings and I'm like Hello. It's like hello, Chris. I'm like yeah, I'm like WHO's this? Like it's Bill Belichick, and I'm like Oh yes, sir, let me get to the front of the grocery store where there's perception, sir. So I get to the front and, you know, I'm kind of like yeah, I'm interested in coming up for visiting whatever, and I'm he's like, listen, I don't have a role for you. I don't know what that is schematically, because obviously they run a different scheme. He's like, but I feel like if we can work this out, this is something that we don't need to specify what you're going to be doing or how much like we'll find something. I was like, all right, cool, so I go up and visit and and then so who called you from Philly? I call Philly. I had a buddy that worked there and I was like, you know what, like, I'd like to play there if you guys be interested in my buddy, Ian Cunningham, brought it to Howe Roseman, who I'm certain didn't think much of me, you know, and they kind of a bide does now that minimum kind of deal under the like, under the guys of Hey, we don't have much money, but in a year I promised will do right by you if you if you play well and sign there. Don't think they, I really don't think they had a lot of respect for me as an organization when I signed there, and that's fine, you know. I think they thought I was out of gas, right, but that I motivated me and you know, I end up being great. Yeah, and being a great two years. and honestly, if I had never played in Philly, I don't think my career would feel as satisfied as if I walked off the field in Houston for Super Bowl the fifty. Did you know...

...that Aaron Donald was going to be as good as he is. Yeah, yeah, I would like to credit myself with being the first person to know he was going to be amazing, and if you ask him he'll tell you. I mean, like when he got St Louis, it was very clear he was going to be special. I think we used to joke rookie, his rookie camp that he was going to be in the hall of fame, but I kind of wasn't joking. And I've never seen anybody work so hard, who had so much talent and play so violent and m play with such tenacity. You know, this guy would would fight you on the field drop of a hat and and I respect that about him, and out works everybody. I would be the last person in the film room, usually at the end of camp, and I would go in there and watch tape once everybody was at home, and I started going in there and opening the door and turn the lights on to find my pen or my notebook, and he was in there every night. Well, Hey, Chris, we we in Pittsburgh. Like to think that's the Pittsburgh in him. All you just yeah, well, I do. I will say this. I talked to a lot of guys about this. You know, from a Vante Maddox to, you know, Aaron, to any of the guys I play with from Pitt honestly, in their own ways, they just have a great edge to him, a good confidence, a good edge, very competent right off the bat, pro ready, hard working and not to recruit rout for pit, but I mean these guys are consistently great pros. Well, it's funny because Gust and I were just talking about this. My brother in law played defensive end of pit in the midhind he's they were terrible teams, but they had a disproportional amount of guys that ended up making the league. Yeah, not necessarily stars, but they a lot of guys from, you know, one in ten teams or whatever ended up playing NFL for a few years. You know, it's just it's unusual amount for a team that bad. Yeah, I don't know what it is, but there's certainly a toughness in the water up there with with y'all of teams, you know, whether they're pro sports teams, are obviously college teams. So and and for Ade, being a Pittsburgh Guy, you know, grew up there too. He's very proud of it and and I think that's pretty cool. Man, he's a guy that doesn't forget where he comes from and and you know, he's a guy that you know he's the best football player in the world, my opinion. What's so? You've been through all this. You go to Philly, you win a championship, New England, win a championship bad years in in St Louis. But there's something it always kind of I felt like you brought to every city, is is your willingness to do charity and to put yourself out there for the for the betterment of people and the community. So where did that come from? We're you know, because you're foundation, Chris, Chris Long, foundation, water boys dot org, so many things. Yeah, for me it has to do with I don't like wasting time and I'm constantly on the move. I feel like I'm busier now in retirement than I was when I play. But I'm not going to let myself not be busy and not be productive and listen to the thing about football is, and I'll learn this as you can work as hard as you want. You know hard work pays off in the pros or in life. I don't think that's necessarily true. I think hard work gives you a chance and you know, I saw a lot of players that work their ats off for years and didn't get any payoff. A guy like James Hall who never got to, you know, be on a winning team, who was a mentor of mine, you know, guys like that. So I never on the field you can prepare your ass off, you have a bad game, you could work hard as a team, you could still suck. If you have the means and you have the platform off the field, your work is going to turn into productivity one way or another. What you put into it, you get out of it, and so I think that's a beautiful thing about the work we can do as players is, you know, we walk off the field where it's really hard to get what you get out what you put in. That's not a guarantee, and you walk into our communities that support us and if you put in the work, you're going to get something out of it. I'm not saying you you're going to get productivity out of it that's going to better the community and I just think for me, like my mom, who's on the board of the boys and Girls Club and my dad was a boys and Girls Club kid didn't have what I have growing up and he gave me that through football. You know, I can't forget. You know what that was for my that a generation ago. And I don't want to act like I don't care about people...

...that don't live like me. So I just love people. I love our fans, I love the community we played in and so for me we've been given a lot. It's it'd be a waste of a career not to get back. I mean, I think it's fair to say ten years from now Chris could be remembered as much for his off the field generosity and effort as he was on the field. Well, unfortunately, I think it's already happened now, Chris, I think one of the best things we had our first show that we did was with Roberto Clemeni Jr, and so Roberto Clemeni junior talked about how he lost his identity because when people met him they thought they were meeting his dad, and so he really had a hard time finding himself. And I was just telling Dave and and and my wife the other day that what you've done that is so remarkable is that you've made a name for yourself a lot of people who would have the dad how he long would say, oh, your how he longs, kid, you know, but now it's all your Chris all, and your dad was a good football player and you've done an excellent job of making a name for yourself, not only on the field but off the field. I think that's so powerful and it speaks to who you are and not to kind of what your name is. Yeah, well, I appreciate it. I want to do all this stuff. Like, listen, we donated ore, I donated my salary. That blew up, but the reason we did it was to engage fans. I I get a little uncomfortable with, you know, some of the attention we get for what we do as a foundation, because this is the bare minimum. I mean like, to me, this is this is what you do if you're a pro athlete. Somehow you do something to help people. Yeah, and I think it's so important what you're doing. I know you talked about getting attention, but that's what it's all about being a pro football players, is having that platform, grabbing that attention so that you can create whatever it is you need, whether it's you raising funds or or bringing attention to somewhere in Africa that that needs a well because people don't have water and and they're not going to live if they don't and it's so important. Actually, yeah, I mean and and that a lot of that just stems from just opening your horizons and being like, you know, I want to see outside my own bubble, and that's what's that's what made me go to Tanzania the first time and I went with James Hall, we talked about earlier. I talked to him into climbing Kilimanjaro with me and, you know, kind of from there I kind of fell in love with the place and and it was at that same time I was trying to start my foundation and I said, Hey, here's a real efficient way to change the world through clean water. And Sixty one wells later, I think we've served two hundred twenty five thou people in East Africa. We're moving into Kenya, we're moving into some domestic projects. We are transitioning into and the NBA. We've already transitioned into that. Malcolm Brogden has started his version water boys called hoops to Oh. So we're moving along and I think it all starts by just opening your horizons and saying, Hey, I want to do more than just be a football player. If you let football define you, that's all you're going to be. Chris, we do this this is our last episode, our last part of the show. It's called no huddle. We pepper you with a bunch of questions. Just give us your answers as quick as you can and if you're too slow, with throw a flag at when. We added it and it's a lot of fun. So Dave usually starts with the questions. Hey, Chris, if you could trade places with anyone in the world for one day, who would that be? Kawhi Leonard. That's a good one. My Man, my man is a beast on the basketball court. Yeah, Dude, he lives in Toronto. Like you're good. You'd like that, Chris. Who is the biggest non sports celebrity in your phone? Probably Jeff Amen. I mean, like, he's not a big celebrity, but he's my favorite non's I've got some, I've got some cool ones, but he's Bass Guitar for Pearl Jam. Oh, yeah, that'd be good one. I know you're you're a huge music guy and you go to bonner whoever. You Right. Yeah, but maybe not this year. Said, oh my breaking tradition. Now life's got in the way. What's the last concert you've been too? WHO The less show I've been to? That's that's going to be. I'll tell you. The next one I'm going to probably is my morning decadive red rocks in August. Who's your favorite person you follow on twitter? Man, Pft commenter, probably. I like Rob Delaney a lot. You know,...

I need a little I need a little laughs on twitter. I mean nowadays, I mean so I prefer a funny follow. So Dave and I are favorite is the blocker charge. You follow that one. I like that. I like that. Yeah, did you see where the lady was spinning under the helicopter? Unbelievable. I go my mom that last night. I was hard about to laugh because she's okay, the chairlift one yesterday was unbelieving. I did see that. Was Air lift out of control. That's the one. That's the one. I saw that one day he's excited about. Yeah, that was yeah, that was unbelieved. There's people at the beginning getting flung off and then everyone just bailing out as watch that one too. Okay, yeah, I saw that one too. Yeah, Huh. All right. So what's the most memorable sporting event you've ever been to that you didn't play in? Virginia Basketball National Championship this year. Hmm Oh, yeah, you were loving it, weren't you? That's pretty cool. It's pretty cool. Me and my buddies, we went, Heath Miller Pittsburgh. We went and me and heath got on sports straight on the cover we were in the background cheer and actually I think he's face is kind of blocked, but that building has been good to me. You know, Virginia Basketball and we beat the Patriots in that building with the Eagles Nice. Yeah, that's that's really good. You have a pet peeve? Yeah, I have a ton of pet peeves. I don't like Nosey people. I don't like people that don't wave when they walk across the crosswalk. I don't like when waiters come and drop your bill off, and I don't like that either. Time to put the card in there. I don't like when people will call and they don't say who it is. I don't like repeat calls. I got a ton of a man like. So I know you're a big sports nut. What's your favorite MLB team? So I guess it's the Phillies by default. Up All right, that that's been that's the least of the League's that I'm interested in, but I'm going to adopt a phillies. All right, favorite NBA team. Nick's Day time next. Yeah, it's the longest I've been a fan of anything. How about hockey? The Blues, so I picked up in St Louis. So it's a really good time to be a blues fan. What who's your favorite Golfer? My Favorite Golfer, you know, I I'm trying to get into it. I got to take some lessons and you know, I'm kind of like anybody else. I like to see Tiger do well because it's obviously good for the sport. But bubble, bubble Watson seems cool. Is He cool guy you think? I think Bubba seems pretty cool. I think he might be able to out drink you if you did, Edward, forty hands. Was BUBBA Watson a listener? Might be that? I know I've been known lately for some other comments, but but I can still drink just about any boy own table, including you, Gussie. All right. So last one college baseball or college softball. It's college softball. So I just I was just talking about this. My Dad and I were sitting there watching it the other night and we're just like WHOA. I mean like where has this sport been? It's obviously been there, but like where has it been in my sports fandom? Because it is fast paced, it's exciting. You got home runs on the regular. These girl rol like we make your three rows. How you know the pitching? How do you control that ball? How do you see that ball that fast? I mean the other night, I mean they down to their last strike. Oklahoma forces bottom of the seventh and they lose in the bottom of seventh. But I mean it was just unbelievable. Every time you turn it on a Strama. No, Chris, I tried selling gusts on women softball all the time. I went to university Arens Dona. So's some war blood of college softball. Yeah, but I tell them about the reaction time from picture to batter. It's faster than Major League Baseball. Oh yeah, it's insane. And then the reaction time of turning, you know, and an out. I mean you know, groundball at a second. There's it's never a sure thing. I mean these girls are really scooting down a line and and the balls tough and and listen, I mean the fences in a little bit and and and these girls are are just hammering the ball out of the park and it's awesome. Hey, we appreciate you coming on. We're going to do some promos and I'll let you know when you're going to be on, when you're going to air, and hopefully that you reshare us on social media and and give a shout out the huddle up with gusts and and I'll let you know I've prever Hav me on. I'll see up in Pittsburgh sometime.

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