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Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 7 months ago

Dr. Thom Mayer

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Joining me in the Huddle this week is one of my closest friends, Dr. Thom Mayer. Our story goes way back to the early days of my Pro career in Washington D.C. Thom tells how we met at Redskins park and how that day created our longtime friendship. 

Thom has also been the Medical Director for the NFL Players Association since 2001. He became director when his good friend, Hall of Famer, Gene Upshaw. Gene was the head of the NFLPA and asked Thom to be Medical Director because the NFLPA did not have one. Thom has used his expertise to define the NFL players' medical leadership. 

He is from Anderson, Indiana, and went to Hanover College, where he played linebacker and center. He had a tryout in the NFL but realized he needed to go down a different path. He was accepted to medical school at Duke and completed his residency in Utah, where he met Maureen. Thom and Maureen has 3 kids and 4 grandkids

Dr. Mayer is Founder and Chief Executive Officer of BestPractices, Inc., Executive Vice President of EmCare, the Medical Director for the NFL Players Association and Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine at George Washington University, and a Senior Lecturing Fellow at Duke University. He is one of the most widely-sought speakers on healthcare customer service, trauma, and emergency care, pediatric emergency care, medical leadership, and sports medicine. He has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles, 75 book chapters and has edited or written 12 textbooks on emergency medicine, including Leadership for Great Customer Service: Satisfied Patients, Satisfied Employees, Leadership for Smooth Patient Flow, Hardwiring Flow, and Strauss and Mayer's Emergency Department Leadership: Principles and Applications. Tom Peters, the internationally acclaimed leadership guru, has referred to his work as "gasp-worthy." Dr. Mayer was named the ACEP Outstanding Speaker of the Year in the second year the award was given and has twice been named ACEP's "Over-the-Top" award winner. On September 11, 2001, Dr. Mayer served as one of the Command Physicians at the Pentagon Rescue Operation, coordinating medical assets at the site. The BestPractices physicians at Inova Fairfax Hospital were the first to successfully diagnose and treat inhalational anthrax victims during the fall 2001 anthrax crises. Dr. Mayer has served on the Department of Defense on Defense Science Board Task Forces on Bioterrorism, Homeland Security, and Consequences of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Dr. Mayer also serves as a Medical Director for the Studer Group. 

...welcome to what surely will be a doozyof a matchup. Brian. Here, sports fans. Whether your game is on the gridiron,at the diamond or on the links, we can only say mhm. Welcome to this week's huddle upwith gusts. 15 year NFL quarterback Gus parents' passion for sports has takenhim on the field and behind the bench is playing for seven NFL franchiseswith 114 TVs under his belt. Gust knows who the players are and how the gamesare. One. Uh, it's not every day you get to hang out with an NFL quarterbackup. Okay, sports fans from the decked out and plush 16 31 digital studios.It's kick off time, so snap your chin straps on and get ready to huddle upwith Gus. But again, a big so much. Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode ofHuddle Up with Gus. I'm your host. Gusts for about 15 year NFL quarterbackAnd, uh, I think it's been almost two years now of podcasting for me, So it'sbeen crazy. I want to welcome you to the 16 31 digital news studio, or whatI call my daughter's bedroom And also I want to thank sounder FM for hostingour podcast. So sounder FM in 16. 31 our partners that I'm really glad thatthere are partners because they make life a lot easier for me. So today I'mjoined by a very old friend. Uh, not that he's old, I'm old, but we've beenfriends for a long, long time, and I can't wait. I you know, I try to dojustice to the story, Tom, about when we met, but I'd never do it. So we'regonna get to that at some point. But, uh, coming with me today, I You know, Itry to write down everything that you've done in your life, and it's justtoo much like I can't talk. So I'm just gonna introduce you as the medicaldirector for the n f L P A. Because I think that's the easiest thing for allof our audience to understand. Besides, uh, the amount of books that you'vewritten and, uh, all the papers that you've peer reviewed all these thingsthat you've done in your life it's been incredible. And I'm so thankful to callyou my friend, and I appreciate you joining me on How to up with Gus. Sohow are you doing, buddy? It's an honor, buddy. I You're a natural at this. Youare really, really good at this. That doesn't surprise me at all. You'vealways been a great conversationalist, a great leader, you know, Team leader,uh, and, yeah, medical director, NFL p A. That's my most important job of mymost important title is Maureen's husband and Josh Kevin, Father. And,you know, grandfather to the kids and all that stuff. So, uh, yeah, it's areal thrill. You know, you've been one of my closest friends for a very, verylong time. Yeah. I mean, I used to when I lived in D. C. And, uh, I got to seeyou a lot more. Um, there are many times that you and I went out and had acold one, and I would have to get some marital advice from you. So we've beendown that road quite a bit, and actually, you know, I think about theleaves, the trash at the door all the time. Yeah, that's that's the one thatalways sticks with me, right? Don't bring it in the house Leave the trashat the door. But I I've always appreciated you. And and you know hownight you've always been to me and my family. So I appreciate that. And what,Tell me, I I never really got to ask you, but what was it like when youbecame a grandfather? Oh, it's the best. The best day of my life was whenMaureen and I got married. The next three best days were when the boys andI, I mean, we had Maureen and I had the boys, and then the four next days werethe grandfather, you know, And it's so funny because you come up with thisidea of what you want to be called, and I wanted to be called Groundhog. Well,ive, our first granddaughter, decided that was not going to be grand. Docketwas taco, and I love that. So they all call me Doc. Oh, and Maureen Mina. Andit's just, you know, stabbed me in the...

...heart. It's just important. Won't belong. You'll be in the same Uh, yeah, that's what we always try tofigure out when that's gonna happen. But, you know, we'll let it play offAbby is like, you know, you guys were having me, like, at the same time. I'mgoing graduating from vet school now, So I'm like, Yeah, we know. You don'thave to remind us. Get the idea. I mean, I know 25 years ago, it's crazy. Abbyis the best and gunner and gave given my love when you see him. And hopefullywe'll see Abby sometime soon in D. C. Yeah, that would be great. Yeah, she'ssuper excited about making her next step in life and taking anothertransition. So we want to talk about you today, though, so we want to talkabout you growing up. I knew you grew up in Anderson, Indiana. Um, but I wantto find out from you. What was the first moment memory you have of kind of how and why you fell in lovewith sports. Because I know you're a huge sports fan, and you were a hell ofa ball or when you played in high school. So tell me about that. When youwere growing up with Grandpa Jim was was a Grandpa Jim wasn't an uncle. Oris it just Were you a fan? Uh, you know, first of all, the longer ago I played,the better I was. So we have probably a way, you know, there. I actually hadvideos of both high school football and college football and made those up forthe guys that I played with. But I grew up in a small town like you did. Um, Igrew up in a tiny house about 1800 square feet house. My parents and I hadan older brother, so we were always outside. We're always, you know, we'rejust never, never inside. And I can remember when I was a kid, my parentsinsisting that I come inside for two things. One was when Kennedy died andthey wanted me to watch the funeral cortege. And the other was when? In1969. When when Armstrong stepped onto the moon. But I won't say that was theonly time I was in the house. But, you know, I went out in the morning. Uh,Indiana and my dad used to call it, you know, You know Grandpa Jim. Well, he'dsay I'm working from can't see to Can't see, You know, Mark when I leave andit's dark when I come home. So when I came home from from even, um,elementary school, you know, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th grade. We were outside playingball football, you know, depending on the time of the season. But football,basketball, baseball, always something. And we started playing football in thefourth grade. They let me play in the third grade because I was a little bitbigger than the other kids. So it was just a part of of my life. And while itwas a great town, I wanted to get out of that town. And I knew that when Iwas eight years old. I didn't know where I was going to go or what I wasgonna do, because I'd never been out of Indiana to begin with. But while thegreat people I grew up with, uh, to me sports was was a way out, it wassomething I enjoyed. I didn't feel like work. It felt like, you know, a naturalthing to do. So it was just always part of my life. Yeah, that that makes somuch sense. That's kind of how I was to write that you have this feeling ofsomething bigger out there because we didn't have the Internet. We didn'thave social media. We weren't able to see what was out there. So you wantedto go and figure it out. And I think that's what's great about sports is itdid give you those opportunities to to realize that. So when you're going andyou're playing sports, I'm assuming that you got you were a lot like when Igrew up, we played every sport, whatever. If there was a ball, whateverit was, we picked it up. We played. So then, as you get older and you'restarting to play sports that are more organized, what did you gravitatetowards? Well, part of it was seasonal. Um uh, And so you know, football wasn'tnatural because it was It was fun. It was easy to play, and and I was alinebacker and and was very good at. I just had a a nose for the ball, a senseof where things were gonna happen, what...

...was gonna happen before it happened,and anticipation, which was kind of eerie, as as a kid, you know, as youknow, in college, and I didn't play in the pros because I I lacked, uh,something talent, talent, that I don't have any talent. But I think you havelots of talent. Yeah, you learn all kinds of reeds and tells and all that.But when I was a kid in football, I could just tell. And, uh, you know, Igrew up in Indiana, so basketball was a big thing. And, man, I really workedhard at basketball, but I was just terrible. I just couldn't you know, allthis stuff. I had Oscar Robertson's play better basketball. I read thatbook and, you know, reading the book would have made you a better basketballplayer. I would have been terrific. Uh, and in baseball, as you know, I love toplay baseball. It was also just a natural feel, uh, for the game. But itwas always football to me. When I was in high school, I wanted to playprofessional football. One of my hero was Dick Butkus. Uh, not because he wasthe Chicago Bears, and that was the closest team. But because he was anAnnihilator, as you know, I mean, he played downhill, and that's why Iplayed. I just didn't happen to have that little thing called talent. Well,I I don't necessarily agree with that because talent comes from within inyour heart. And I think you had a lot of that. Probably when you played. Andso tell me about, like, what was Grandpa Jim like when you were playing?Was he a big family? Your parents, a big family? They always around like Ican remember. Like, my dad didn't go to all my games. Not like parents today.What was that like for you? Like where you you know, Jim, I was I was a juniorin college before I played a game of any type that my father wasn't at. And,uh, you know, Grandpa Jim, just salt of the Earth. World War two veteran, Uh,just a tanker. Uh, so one of those, you know, classic Patton's third Army typeof guy. And he came to every game He came, you know, And we didn't grow up afluid. Papa had gas stations, service stations, you know, an auto mechanic,and, uh, he just made a made a point of coming. Now he'd go back and work until10 11 o'clock at night, but he was there for the games. And, uh, you know,that's mostly good. Uh, you know, when they're right, you hear your fatheryelling? Good. But he's never critical of me. Never critical of being, uh itwas one time he had some advice that I wasn't ready to take, and unfortunately,I did. But he was He just wasn't that kind of dad, you know? Just a great,great person. Did he ever coach doing any sports? Funny story. Um, Pop became thepresident. I played at Meadowbrook Little League. Uh, you know, fiveblocks from my house, you walk back and forth, rode your bike, that kind ofthing. Uh, first of all, he invented Tebow. You see what he invented T ball. AndAnd the reason he invented T ball was he saw all these kids 67 years old.That that would come in the summer, time to Meadowbrook Little League andjust congregate. And they're trying to throw and catch the ball, and then theywant to play and, you know, their their older brothers would come off, they trytheir hats on and try their uniforms on. And he started thinking about it andrealized that the rate limiting step was the hand eye coordination. So evenwith coat that, you know, these kids didn't have it. So remember oneSaturday morning, uh, he went into his auto mobile shop and he's in there fortwo or three hours and he comes out and he's taken a, uh, it was triangular.Didn't even look like home plate. A triangular piece of sheet metal, heavysheet metal took a radiator, uh, flans meaning a poll that stood up about thishall high. And then he heated up radiator hose on both ends, stuck oneend on the flanges, the metal flanges...

...and the other He kind of splayed outand shut the ball right on top of. And two weeks later, there was a T ballleague in Meadowbrook Little League and we started with two teams and literallybefore the first game got played, they had six teams because word went out inthe neighborhood, everybody could come. You know, um, years gotten gotten a wayfor us to play Tebow and then who coached them was the 10 and 11 yearolds I was I was an 11 year old at the time. He had it was smart enough tohave the kids coach, not the parents coach, he said. They're just gettingaway. You know, parents, you know they'll try to live out their oldfantasies when they thought they were good ballplayers. But you guys, youknow, you can really teach them how to play ball. And, uh, But he becamepresident of the Little League, but never until I left. In other words,when I was in Baby Proof, 13 to 15, then he became president too literallybecause he loved baseball and he loved these kids. But he was smart to say,You know, people the take it out on Tom if they don't like some decision I'vemade or you know, if he gets to pitch in the All Star Game, they'll thinkit's because Jim's the president of the world. The parents are that smart, butBut that that was Grandpa Jim. That was Grandpa Jim. So So you're in collegenow. You've gone through all or you're in high school. I'm saying, uh andyou're kind of playing all three sports. I would take you. Yes, well, I wasplaying basketball sophomore and, you know, I had just enough insight when wewent to ours was junior high, 789 and then High School 10 11, 12. And Irealized when I was a freshman in In, uh, it would would have been highschool freshman in terms of the junior high that I just didn't have it inbasketball. Number one number two. And this was a huge basketball town. Ithink you know our gym seated 9500. Yeah, it's, uh, more on that. If youwant to talk about that, Um, and and you know it's funny, because when Iplayed football, I never felt any pressure whatsoever on the field. And,you know, you know, prior to a game people's GI Systems the anxiety. I mean,it's yeah, college, high school, particularly professional footballplayer locker room. You just got to make sure there's plenty of facilitiesas you know, because not to get too great, but it's both ends prior to agame. But once I was on the field, I didn't hear the crowd. I had no idea. Imean, we played in front of 13,000 people at that time, but somethingabout basketball and then being closer to the court made me nervous. And so Idecided, You know what? I'm going to wrestle. Turns out I don't knowanything about wrestling. Uh, but so for me, it was football, wrestling andbaseball, and wrestling was just a way to stay in shape or or get a little bitbetter in football because I knew I was going to play football in college. Thatwas my ticket to college. Yeah, wrestling is always good forfootball players and his dad, Harry, who you know and you've met. He alwaysmade a lot of his football players wrestle after the football seasonbecause it kept him in shape. It it would be taught him good skills. That's,you know, you know, because in football you're not doing anything. If you'relaying on the ground, you got to get up off, Get on your feet. You know, if youget knocked down, get up, block somebody, do those types of things andwrestling teach you, teaches you a lot of that. I mean, and you can work hardand wrestling. We didn't have it might Well, I'm think I'm thankful because Inever really wanted to wear one of those single it's you probably liked it.Maybe I didn't. Well, nobody like seeing me in one. I can tell you, youknow, it's the support of the gods because it's just you and that otherguy and there's no excuses. There's no well, if only if I could. It shouldhave been. This guy let me down. It's just you. And let me tell you, when Iwas a sophomore and a junior, I was terrible. I didn't know anything aboutit. You know, I was physically fit and...

...quick and, you know, relatively strong.But, you know, you got to have skills. And let me tell you, I can tell youevery rafter in every light in the gym at Anderson High School because I wason my back looking at. But I never got him. Never in my entire wrestlingcareer did I ever get pinned. Then when I woke up when I was a senior and I wasa wrestler, you know, 22 4 and and finished high in the state, and it justall of a sudden you know how it goes. It clicks clicked in. Yeah, it takesyears to I think, master some of those moves and skills and things like that.Um, so when you were a senior, your you played football and you went intowrestling. Um, what was that whole like process for you? Because you alwaystalk. You know, you talked about from the time you were eight. You wanted toget out of the town. So now you're a senior. You know, this time is comingnear. What was that process for you to like to to pick to where you're goingto make your next step in life? Well, you know, because you went through ityourself, you get a lot of letters. And again, the Internet didn't exist atthat time. And, yes, there were phone calls, but it was mostly communicationwith college coaches, both high school. I mean, college football, wrestling andbaseball coaches, and you get a letter in the mail and, you know, you open itup and it's just, you know, kind of fun. Uh, and I was fortunate to be recruited.Uh, you know, not like you were, but by everything from d one schools to whereI ended up going, which was an AI school. But for a very specific reasonwhich we can get into if you'd like. And it's cure. It's funny because Iwant to get out of this town. I want to get out of this town. I love the people,love my parents but wanted to escape the town. And so you start hearing from,you know, Navy and Notre Dame and Harvard and Princeton and and all of asudden I started thinking, That's too far away. I don't know how far away,because I had never been outside of Indiana other than playing high schoolfootball with. We played some teams in Illinois and in Ohio, but that it thatwas it. So I I really focused in on on schools or somewhere in the Midwest andthought I would and signed up and signed a letter of intent to go to a Done school. But, you know, you know me, uh, my high school football coach, PeteRusso, used to say, You know, Mayor, for a smart guy, you're pretty stupid,dumb, and you know that from our experience together. So I did. I wasliterally signed up and ready to go to an N C double a school at that time. Ifyou were a freshman, you had to play freshman football. You are not allowedto play varsity, okay? And there's a good story about that about LewAlcindor that I'll come to in just a second. But literally. It's three daysbefore I'm supposed to show up a training camp for my freshman summer,and all of a sudden I realized, Wait a minute. I don't want to play freshmanfootball. I'm good enough. I can start on the varsity as a freshman. So Iswitched and went to an N A I A School Hanover College. And the reason was soI could start as a freshman. And so the story about that you probably heardthis before. But when when John Wooden was was the famous coach at U. C. L. A.And they were in the midst of winning 10 straight championships, one of histeam's lost a game for the first time in years. Now, fortunately, it was anexhibition game, and the exhibition game was against the freshman of U. C.L. A. Who happened to have a kid named Lew Alcindor later Kareem Abdul Jabbaras their freshman So those were the days where you just didn't have achoice. You had to play freshman. I think you got to play varsity. Yeah. No, no, not me. But I like howyou're comparing yourself to Lew Alcindor, though. You should have himon one of the smartest, kindest, most...

...gentle people you could possibly meet.You know, you would just love him, and he would love to be on your show. I would love that. I would love to talkto him because I've had a few NBA greats on. I had Rick Barry in, whichwas, you know, Rick is a different guy. He was a lot of fun to talk to, butyeah, that would be amazing. But so now you're at hand over, You know, you pickthe reason to go and play. What was your college experience like for youand when did you realize, like, you know, because we all have these. Wewant ambitions, and we want to go play and do something we love. And you lovefootball. Just like I always love football. When did you realize? Youknow, and I don't want to sound anyway, but to say okay, I gotta take somethingelse on as well, Because this might not be forever for me. Well, the, uh I cantell you exactly what it was and that, you know, I just wanted to playfootball. That's why I went to college. And, you know, you got it was a liberalarts school. So you had certain requirements that you had to take and,you know, they were paying for my education. And it's like I'm in heavenand, you know, I'm I'm starting as a freshman. All conference. Um, reallythinking this is going the right way. You know, I might actually make it tothe National Football League and always undersized. You know, I wasn't, uh,wasn't big like Butkus, but but mean and tough. And most of my talent waswant to just, you know, I was not going to and they pointed out to me, You know,Tom, you have to have a major here in college. I was like nobody saidanything about that. Tell me that. What do you mean? I have to have a majormajor. What? You know I'm majoring in football. No, no, no. You got to have amajor And so I majored in theology, and you think you may know this, but so Imajored in theology. Why? Well, first of all, my education is being paid for,and I don't have to worry about that. I'm not racking up debt or anythinglike that in theology, you know, you read books and sit out under trees andtalk about stuff. And I'm thinking it's a pretty good life, you know, It wasreally, really cool. So fast forward. And I was a junior and was was taking abiology course, And you can't make this stuff up. So I got a theology major,but you have to have a second major if you're a theology major as well. Theydidn't tell me that either. So that second biology with professor soundslike allegory. You know, Dante, uh, Dante's Inferno or something? Mybiology professor name was Dr Pray, and, uh, he pulled me aside one day, and hegot my theology adviser and he pulled me aside. And he said, Tom, have youever thought about the fact that you might have a broader impact on peopleif you went into medicine, then if you stayed in theology. And, of course, Isaid, if you haven't noticed, I don't think about anything. I just go, Youknow, it's due. Yeah. So, you know, didn't the only doctors I've ever seenwas when I, you know, got sewn up my lip for my forehead or, you know, brokebecause you might know, broke my nose and numerous times. But I don't knowwhat the doctor was or what they did. And, you know, fast forward as a juniorand senior, I'm taking basic premed courses that freshman and sophomorewe're taking. And I'm thinking it's OK, pre med. I can do this. I can dotheology that I can do medicine. I can have a double triple major, whatever ittakes. And I'm taking chemistry one Oh, one Dr Keith White and get in there andI take the first test, You know, I'm thinking. Okay, Okay. Premed. We we gotthis, Got it, and open the notebook. You know that mimeograph paper that youcan smell? The first question is, a mole is of a God draws a number ofparticles or and then a B. C d. You gotta pick. Well, I thought looseningfun. I have no clue. I don't know any word in that sentence meant, and I justno idea whatsoever. So I started going...

...finishing the test with a B C D E D c Be. You look like a slug o route, you know, back across. So I get to the endand there's an envelope. And inside the envelope, the envelope says Bonusquestion. And it only says bonus question. It says if you get thisquestion right, you get an A on this test, no matter what you got on thetest as a score. And I thought, Hey, let's give it a shot. Open it up and inthe envelope says, What's the name of the man who cleans this room everynight so you can learn in a clean, positive environment. So I got up and Iwalked up to Dr right and I said, Dr right, this bonus question, by the way,was I the first person done with the exam? Yes, because I didn't knowanything on. I mean, I I stopped reading the question like it's like I'mgoing from B to C. C there, so I went up to him and I said that the bonusquestion Dr White and he smiled and he said, Sure, I said, Do you want hisfirst name or his last name? And he said, Tom, if you can give me his firstname in his last name, I will not only give you an A on this test, I'll giveyou an A on the course as long as you show up and as long as you work hardAnd I said, Well, what if I can give you the names and ages of his six kids? You know, he stands up, takes hisglasses off and says, If you can do that, I don't only give you a name inthis course, I'll give you a name and every chemistry course you take as longas you show up and as long as you work as hard as you can. And I wrote downhis name and his kids names and through his wife's name in for for bonus. Andgood point is that janitor at Hanover College had more to do with me being adoctor than anybody else. You know, my parents weren't saying Oh, you got tobe a doctor. Uh, and and it's just funny, you know, You just you neverwant to assume that anybody is unimportant, you know, because italways comes around. And I know you've lived here in anti. Both have livedyour life that way as well. Yeah. So have you ever kind of gone back or ortalk to that janitor after that? Yeah, He's passed away since, but, uh, but Ikept in touch with him until he passed away. And I hear from from his kidsfrom time to time. You, as you may know, a whole bunch of talks on leadership,both in health care, but also in business, uh, large businesses thatwant to hear about leadership and NFL perspective, that kind of stuff. AndAnd I still mentioned, and I still tell that story, and I tell a story you werea Denver Bronco, and I don't know that it was in the locker room when you werethere, but when coach Cubes was the head coach, uh, in Greek. Uh, StevenDemopoulos, the trainer I know is that you were there, but, uh, cubs put asign up, and I'll send you a picture of it. It says You can always tell thecharacter of a man by how he treats people that can do nothing for him. Andevery exit of the Denver Broncos locker room at that time had that there, and Iasked Greek about it and he said, Oh, Coach Gibbs feel strongly about that?Well, you probably know this, but that's Guetta. That's Wolfgang. Get toyou know the German philosopher who said that. And you know, you thinkabout wisdom like that in an NFL locker room and you realize that. You know,there's there's just there's no unimportant people. There's your filledin life. The housekeepers at the hospital. I walk over to him and I putmy arm around him and say Thank you for cleaning up the room. That was a reallymessy trauma case, and there was blood everywhere. Uh, but, you know, I'm nottelling you anything. You don't know you. You've been that way ever sinceI've ever known you. Yeah, that's that's so important to me as well as,um, just being a good person and treating everybody the same, no matterwho they are, what they have or where...

...they come from, and I think that thatgets us all further along as as humans as well. Um, and, you know, I learned alot of that from you as well. Um, just growing up and try not to beegotistical and being in myself because, you know, as a quarterback back in D. C.And you're on the Washington Post, you can kind of get a big head every nowand then. So it was good friends like you who helped me stay humble, that'sfor sure. We remember saying, you know, uh, Gus, over a beer or two, you know,you're gonna be a former football player a lot longer than you're goingto be a football player. Not. I mean, I know 50 years, seven clubs, you know,NFL record for the longest passed in history, which can never be brokenbecause you can't throw longer than 99 yards. Um, those of you who arelistening who have never seen that on YouTube You should look it up, I guesswas a Viking at the time. But the truth is, you know, it's just you are aformer player longer than you're going to be a player. Uh, you know, and plus,it's just you're always a person. So right, so So, being a former player, Iwas That's actually a good Segway because I was going to ask you thatquestion next. So you're a senior. You kind of understand that this might nothappen. Did you go out and try out for an NFL teams or not like, Was thatending like for you in football in the beginning of your next part of life?Yeah. I was fortunate to get in in medical school at Duke. Uh, my myjunior year. I had to switch from linebacker to center, actually playedboth. But the reason is the center didn't show up and I had played centerin high school and was pretty good. And, uh so I ended up playing center andlinebacker, but I got my leg broken when I was a junior, and, uh, the itwas pretty bad fracture, frankly, so I didn't play my senior year because itwas still healing at that time. I got into medical school, but I got invitedto free agent cancer one with the Vikings, Um, and one with the BearsBears was in Lake Forest, Illinois, and, uh, you know, the Vikings, then, asthey are now, Mankato State, way up there, way up there. Yeah, And I found.And you and I have talked about this before. Other than this, this minorthing called lack of talent. The thing I think that distinguishes those whomake it in the league and those who don't speak, you know, they're justfaster. They're just moving. You know, the left tackle Your best left tackleswere good because they got their hand up and their foot back faster thananybody else. And that's how you beat, you know, some of these crazily insane,talented defensive ends and linebackers. And, man, it was It was clear to methat first of all, I was probably going to get hurt again out there. These guyswere big, fast, and, uh and I just wasn't good enough. And I decided thatno matter how mean the professors were at Duke University School of Medicine,they couldn't be any tougher than those coaches. So, uh, I know how to exitedthe field. Actually, one of the coaches said, Mayor, get back in there. We wantto see it linebacker again. You know, What a coach. I'm done. I'm good. I'mall good and got my car and drove North Carolina, and it worked out fine. Yeah. So then you go on the duke. Um uh,You get your medical, you know. You going to Duke Medical School four yearsthere, Right? And then, uh, but somehow, like you take on thispersona of where you are, right? Because I know you're a big part ofDuke. Kevin went there, Obviously played lacrosse there and everything.Um, So what was your duke experience like? Because they're known for forbasketball. But, you know, were you still ingrained in sports when you weregoing to medical school, or were you just so focused on that? You kind ofleft it go for four years. Well, Duke,...

...uh, first Duke, you know, there's a B d.Anybody but duke. There are Duke fans and everyone else in the country, and,uh, and so you get used to that in my career has been like that. I understandthat, but it is a place of excellence whether you're in the medical school orgraduate school or the undergraduate school, uh, sports that they play, uh,and I was. It's certainly that way in medical school. Most medical schools atthat time, they had to pay your way through the first year. And I'd getthese letters. You're in the University of Chicago. You're into Johns Hopkins.You're into Harvard. But you got to pay for the first year. Well, you know,Grandpa Jim, I mean, greatest man I ever met, but we didn't have a wholelot of money. They might as well have told me to fly to Mark High paying forthat and get the letter from Duke saying show up with $200 in your pocket,we'll take care of the rest. And so, you know, there wasn't any questionabout that. And I always say, when I'm fundraising for Duke, you know, no Duke,no Doctor Tom there. Um but But when I was there, you know, you really do havethat sense of excellence. And and plus, in the first year of medical school youtook you sat down and every other medical school in the country they'dsay, Look to your right. Look to your left. One of you won't be here nextyear because they had a so called pyramid System and saying, You know,there's we're gonna admit 100 medical students, but only 70 of them are goingon to the second year. So you were competing with each other. Well, Dukewasn't like that. They said, Look to your right. Look to your left. All ofyou will be here next year. And, uh, it was just a great experience. Plus, Duketook all the basic sciences in one year. You have to take them all in one year.That's usually two full years of medical school, and they didn't leaveanything out. Compressed an entire two years into one year, which, for me as atheology major was tough. Because of the 113 people in my class, 32 havealready had their PhDs they had already done. Yeah, it was like crazy. Um, butso in the second year, I realized I had a year of eligibility left because Ihad only played three years and, as you know, five years of I mean four yearsof eligibility in five years. So I actually walked on, uh, to the footballteam when I was a medical student, which probably tells you somethingabout the quality of Duke football at that time. But that was that was a funexperience. Yeah, I can imagine. Like you you kind of thought I am. I'm donewith this. I'm gonna move on. But then you get to go and play again. So Iassume you had a lot of fun that year. Oh, it was fantastic because theydidn't really cut me any slack, but and I had to miss a couple of away gamesjust because I had rotations. But, you know, I'd go in early in the morningand do all the clinical work that I had to do and, you know, break for practice.And once practice was over, you know, I'd go back and go see patients again.And, you know, I have a lot of false and you know, a lot of them. And trustme more, he knows them all. But I've always been a hard worker. I alwaysknew how to work hard. And, you know, you don't make it in the NFL as you didfor 15 years without knowing how to work hard. So, plus, you know how itgoes. They all call me Doc. doc, you know. Come on, Doc. Doctor, look at myrisk here. Is that okay? Well, it was fun. Awesome. That's awesome. Hey,everyone, we're talking to my great friend, Dr Tom Mayor, uh, medicaldirector for the n F L p A. We're gonna take a quick break. We'll be right back. Hey, everyone, welcome to anotherepisode of Huddle Up With Gus. I'm your host, former NFL quarterback GusFrerotte. And welcome to the new 16 31 digital new studio. You know, somepeople say no news is good news. Well, I say to those people, you've neverread 16 31 digital news dot com Go to 16 31 digital news dot com to get yourlatest news, sports, music and entertainment and maybe even listen toyour favorite podcast. Follow up with...

Gus. Check it out today at www 16 31digital news dot com. Hey, everyone, welcome back to huddle up with some ofyour houseguest frat. We're talking with my great friend, Dr Tom Mayor. Iwant to thank 16 31 digital news for having us on their platform. And alsosounder f m. Uh, so, Tom, we were talking about, you know, all way upthrough college, and now you're into medical school, and now you takeanother turn. You know, I liken it to the NFL because there's a lot of turnsand twists you have to make to get to the highest level. Now, you take yournext step to go, um, to your residency, and, uh, you go out to Utah. So you'vealready traveled a bunch of places in this country and been a part of manysystems. So what was it like going to Utah? That had to be a new experiencefor you? Oh, yeah. It was great. It was great. So the way once you finishedmedical school, you choose which residency that you want to do. And Iknew I wanted to be involved in pediatric critical care. Probablypediatric surgery. Uh, Dr David Sabiston was the chairman of surgery atDuke at that time. Legendary guy, and for whatever reason, took a liking tome and said, He said, You know, you should focus on a year in pediatricsprior to going into surgery and critical care, and then once you dothat, you go visit a whole bunch of programs around the country. And duringmedical school I had doubled up and tripled up on my courses and then wouldload up my suburban and drive out west because I had never seen theIntermountain West, and it really wanted to know more about it, wanted totravel and see the country. And I guess, think about things. I don't know whatthe hell I was thinking about. But, you know, these long drives across the thecountry and I really fell in love with the Intermountain West and ended up,you know, you're supposed to rank and you say rank. You know, I wonder ifthis is the number one choice all the way down to number 10. Usually you rankat least 10 some more times more. So I ranked Utah number one. I loved Utah,as you know, And, um, and Denver, Second Denver, as you know, because youlived there. It's not in the mountains. I thought it was in the mountains. But,uh, you know, you drive in from the east on that long, flat prairie, andall of a sudden, boom, there's this big town that you're gonna do yourresidency in and matched at Utah. And and love love the people. As you know,I met my wife there. Maureen was a newborn ICU flight nurse. She jumpedinto helicopters and planes and picked up tiny little premature babies and andflew him back. And, uh, it was just a, you know, a wonderful experience. Youknow, people say, do you regret that you never got to play in the NFL, andAnd my answer is I don't regret anything that that let me end up withMaureen with this wonderful wife, these three great kids now, these grandkids.And, uh, it was just a magical experience. And we, as you know, we'vestayed very engaged with the Intermountain West. Now, we spend ourtime in Wilson, Wyoming, and hopefully, you and Annie can come join us thissummer out there. But it's, you know, the mountain West. You lived out there.You see us in Wyoming. It's amazing. Yeah, it is. It is amazing. And youknow what a place to spend your residency and do all that. Obviously,the best part of it was you mess met Maureen. And, uh, you know that youguys have been together for a long time have great kids have great carryingkids Now, um So there's so much in between that and where you are today.Uh, and I can't, You know, we don't have enough time to talk abouteverything because I've seen your c v. And it's just, like, amazingly long. Sogive us a brief synopsis of how you've just been able to generate this amazingresin made for yourself through all these years and and really, what droveyou to be able to do so many things? Because, Tom, I don't know if you sleep.I mean, I asked you before. Like what Do you write these books? You said whenI got on the plane. Alright, I fall asleep on a plane, so I don't know howyou do all you do, but you're an amazing person. So explain to ouraudience how someone can go through...

...this and do all the things that you doand I have done. Well, thank you for saying that because I appreciate that Ifirst saw sleep's overrated. But that's another story. Um, I never I nevertried to build a resume. I never tried to. I never took a position because Ithought it would lead to another position. You may recall, when the boyswere younger, I used to take him to Potomac School. And when I dropped himoff Kevin, Josh and Greg I always did the same thing to him. Every single dayI dropped them off, which is one more step in the journey of discoveringwhere your deep joy intersects the world's deep needs. You know, theyprefer the bus. They don't want you like that from your mom, but not fromyour dad. But my point is, Look, if you can't, if you figure out what your deepjoy is and you stay true to that, you'll never work another day of yourlife. You know, you're just doing what you love and the days that you'reexhausted, or probably because you somehow straight a little bit off ofthat deep joy and the values that that you bring to it. So I was fortunatebecause, you know, it wasn't a resume. I always get people ask me when I'mtalking to big businesses or health care systems about just that questionabout resume building, and to me, it's relationship building. It's one of thegreat things about sports is I've never seen a leader who was any good in anyarea that didn't play sports at some level. But you have to become highschool, even or college or professional. But you got to be a part of a team. Yougotta know how to lead a team. You gotta know how to be a part of a team,and you need to know how to be led by others on the team. You have tounderstand coaching and mentoring of the ability to not only be coached andmentored, but the coach and mentor, other people. And that boy that's truein health care as well. So for me it was just constantly going from fromwhat's my deep joy, and how do I embody that? How do I wake up in the morningand spend my time during the day? If I want to think of myself as I'll neverforget? There's a surgeon in my residence. His name is Mansell Pierce,and Mansell was completely unflappable. People can be, you know, deterioratingin the operating room dying, and he could not be shaken, and I thought, I'mgoing to be like that and you know, So it's a discipline, just like, you know,you run a West Coast offense. That's a discipline. You know, Uh, you got a newI mean, how many offensive coordinators did you have to deal with? You know,it's a discipline switching from from scheme to scheme from system to system.And yet there's certain common things about it, and, uh, you know, it just Iwas just lucky to have Maureen along with me for the ride, and she supportedeverything I did, even when I changed jobs and went in the direction thatdidn't seem intuitive at the time. So, you know, people ask me for advice.It's always, you know, build relationships. Resume will follow. Noquestion about Right, Right? So there's so many thingsthat we could talk about, but I do want to get into, um, kind of how you and Imet and then how you became part of the n f l P A. Because that wasn't due tome. You had a very good friend who was part of the N f L P. A kind of ran itfor a while, and we can talk about that. But first, before we get to that, Iwant to talk about our story and about how we met. And I love the way that youexplain this. So can you tell our audience about how we met? Yeah, astrange story. The our kids went to the same school that Art Monk went to ouras you know, at one time held a record for the most and the most consecutivegames with reception and and they auctioned off a visit to Redskins Parkfor the Saturday walk through. And and...

...we we got it because the boys arereally excited. Josh was about 10 years old at the time, and and they had abroken arm from, uh, soccer, I think, or something like that. But at any rate,you go out there in the morning and not met Gus yet at all, and you get thereand there's this young PR guy. Never forget this. So I've got our three boysin in Grandpa. Jim is with me as well. And Grandpa Jim was at that age where,you know, he was starting to. He was always in a good mood. No matter whatwas he just wasn't always sure where he was. So we get there and and the PR guygoes, Okay, here's the deal. Stay away from the players, he said. There's asidewalk right down the middle there. The players will be off on this side.You all stay over on this side. Do not reach out. Do not walk over to a player.Do not ask them for an autograph, You know, that's it. Stay away from Andthen, uh, you know, everybody goes down. He comes over to me specifically to me,and he goes, Listen, one more thing, Greg, at that time, three years old foryou like that. And he says, Whatever you do when Mr Cook Jack can't cook, asyou know the owner, uh, at that time, he said Mr Cooke hates kids. Do not letthese kids anywhere near Mr Cook. Okay. Okay, I got it. So we go down there and,you know, for me, it's like herding cats. You know, Josh and Kevin arepretty good and all that kind of stuff, but I look around and, you know, it'slike warehouse, Grandpa Jim. Like Grandpa James, right in the middle ofthe players, you know? What do you do for a living? You know, you're you'reYou're a big boy. I'm not sure if he, you know, knew exactly what was goingon, so I went over. Come on, Grandpa. Jim, you've got to come back over here.Well, then, fellas was awful nice. It was nice chatting with him, you knowthat. You know? Where's Kevin? Kevin's down on the sideline, you know, and, uh,Art had seen him and waved him down and was throwing the ball with him and allthat. It's got going down there, this PR guys going that crap, you know, he'sjust losing his mind over me, and I get Kevin and I pull him back up andeverything. And, you know, Mr Cook has come out. He's on his golf cart. Youremember how he used to come out in a golf cart and sit and he's sittingthere and we're looking around and I'm going, Where is correct? Where's ourfour year old? It's like nobody can see Greg and it's like, Oh, my God, he'srun off. I don't know where he is sitting on Mr Cook's lap. So I go, I godown there and I'm thinking I'm they'll never gonna let me in this facilityagain. And I go down there and Mr Cook is I'm not like what they had said atall. The little tyke and I are having a great time. You just leave him with mefor a while and the PR guy. I was just thinking, he's going to kill me, youknow, Most exhausting day of my life. Nothing like we're in an emergencydepartment. I'm wrong out and we come out. And Josh, he had his football andhe had his little pen. Didn't realize that nobody was going to sign thisfootball because he wasn't going to get anywhere near him. Were standingoutside just kind of forlorn Look. And all of a sudden, this guy in a in ablazer small version of the SUV pulls up and smiles and says, You want me tosign that football? And Josh hands football over and you signed it And, uh,it was Gus, of course. Who did that? You know, I didn't ask him to. He justThat's guts. He's just open and friendly and all that, and I gave us acard that had my name on it. I was chairman of the Emergency departmentlocally at that time, so that's how it started. Now, fast forward. Six months.I want to say it was six months. I think season. It's pretty close. Yeah,in that ballpark range, I come home from work. Josh is on the phone, but bythe back door, talking and chatting. And he's talking about counting crows.And, yeah, I love that band. And you know, that's fun, too. And he sees me.He goes, Dad, it's for you. And I thought, Was he talking to countingCrows that called me in the first place?...

And I probably came wrong. I may not bea band like that, and it was Gus saying, Hey, how you doing? You know, I gotyour card and my wife and she's a nurse and just wondered if, uh, maybe youcould help us as she looks as getting back into her nursing career. So andbest friends ever since ever since. And, uh, yeah, you did help her. She wentfrom Georgetown to, uh, Fairfax. So that was that was that was huge for us.And and, uh, you know that drive for her from Ashburn to Georgetown that hadseveral crashes involved in that time that she worked there. So so fast. WordThat's our friendship. And we've been friends ever since, like you said, AndI've leaned on you many, many times for for all kinds of advice. Um, and andBut I also want to talk about a good friend that you had kind of how you gotinto being part of the n f l p A. Right. So now full circle your back intofootball. So tell us about that experience and how that happened foryou. Well, just to be clear to yourlisteners, uh, the best thing about Gus is the best thing about me, which ishis wife, you know, trust me. Getting to know Gus has been great, but gettingto know and he's even better. And as getting to know Maureen is, as as wesay in the league, we both outkicked our coverage, that's for sure. When wemarried those women. Uh, so the story is people. I get this question all thetime. How'd you end up being the medical director of the n. F. L. P. A.You play football in your college and your interest in sports and all thatstuff. And did you audition for it? You know, resume all those kinds of things,And the answer is, Gene Upshaw was my best friend and he wasn't my bestfriend because I wanted to have anything to do with professionalfootball. It's because his youngest, Daniel and our youngest, Greg, we'rebest friends in epidemic school, and they still are. They still talked asrecently as last night, so we had spent a lot of time together. We, uh, wecoached T ball together, talk about full circle, uh, ended up being Greg'sT ball coach, and Daniel was on the team, and his wife, Terri, insistedthat he helped coached T ball. Uh, he said, I don't have time for that. AndKerry said, If Dr Mayer has time, you have time. So, genius, Yeah, I said,What do you want to do? Jean was a better. You know, that he was a betterbaseball player than he was a football player. He would've ended up in theHall of Fame and baseball had he played, and he said, I'm only the hitting coachand I said, Well, I don't know what a hitting coaches and t ball, but you canbe whatever you want to be. And so, Gene 65 you know, your height almostexactly stands there. And, you know, you gotta see these little kids and heputs the ball on top of the T and he looks down at these kids and goes andthey'd hit it. As soon as they hit it, he'd go. Ron and people asked me, Didthe kids run? And I said, So did the parents. You know, you did it. Uh, SoAugust 1st, 2000 and 1 2001 was a busy year for us. Uh, Korey Stringer, atackle for the Vikings, died of heatstroke. Impossible. How could youhave a professional football player die of heat stroke? But Corey did, and Genecalled me literally that day that afternoon and said, You've got to stepup to the plate. Uh, and I said, What do you mean? You got to be our medicaldirector? I said, What's your current medical director going to think aboutthat? And he said, We don't have one. We've never had a medical director. Soit was a brand new job had never been done before. You know, to most people,I think would have been intimidating. You got to oversee the care of 32 teamphysicians and and all that, but, uh, you know, my point is, it wasn't aboutresume. It was about relationships. Jean hired me because he trusted me. Uh,as a person, you know, he'd known that I built a large and extremely wellrespected group of emergency physicians. So new the business side of things. And,uh, you know, I never got a chance to...

...ask him Why me? Um but you say a quickstory. Shortly after I started, I had a problem, and it was really a toughproblems. Like how you can This is unsolvable, completely unsolvable. So Itook the unusual step of making an appointment at Gene's office downtown.And, uh, and I went in and I explained the problem and and he's sitting therewatching, nodding. And I said, Well, you know, there there's three thingsthat we could do and I could do this. I could do this or I could do that. Andand he looks at me and he says, Just go be Tom Mayor. That's why you are TomMayor. That's why I hired down there and I walked out and I called Maureenand she said, What did Jean saying? I said, I don't have a clue everyone youknow, But I think he was just saying, I trust you. That's why I hired youbecause I trust you. So I think that's true. A lot in in life, you know, whenWhen you started, you know, in the Broncos, in the in the playoff game,you know, it's like Shanahan somehow said, I trust this guy Trust with whatwe're doing That makes sense. Yeah, it does, definitely. And you've been doingit for 20 years now, right? Yeah. It's been great. Greatest job in the world,absolutely the greatest job in the world. I get paid good money to dogreat work. Yeah, and you do do great work. And sotell us this year, like you've probably this year this past year, 2020 wasprobably the toughest year for you as a medical director because of thepandemic and what you had to deal with. So tell us a little bit about thatexperience and everything that took for the NFL to happen. Because without yourexpertise, I don't know if it happens. Well, thank you. Uh, you know, it's allit's all about. The team, always about the team. I will say. Early on inFebruary, I realized that this was gonna be bad. And I advised my now bossD. Smith, the executive director, Uh, the NFLPA and JC trader is our newpresident. You gotta meet J. C. He'd be also be great on the show as well. Uh,he's the center for the Browns. I know you know that. But others might notthat it was gonna be bad. And, you know, I don't think you could have gottenVegas to take odds on how can we play football in the midst of a pandemic? Uh,you know, we stressed early on that we had to have the best advice we couldpossibly get, So D and J. C said, you know, you got great connections, go outand get the best of the best. And so I got guys that I worked with at thePentagon on 9 11 because, as you know, I was the command physician there whohad worked with on inhalational anthrax in in 2000 and one, uh, in the D Coutbreak that I worked with through the years on the concussion issues. JeffLing, who had founded one of the biotechnology office of Of DARPA andPeople From Duke and Harvard and Hopkins and every other Place. And it'sinteresting that the Wall Street Journal asked me, How did you choosethem? And what's the common feature? Because the league had team physiciansand team trainers, but really not experts from the outside. And so theyasked me, How did you choose them? And I said, They're all serious badasses,you know, before I could think. But they were there. People have been inthe fire before. They've been, you know, Jeff Lang has deployed to Afghanistanor Iraq seven times. You know you're gonna shake him up in a board meetingor a debate about testing for the virus. I mean, come on. He's been shot at, uh,same with Dan Hand, who worked at the Pentagon with me and all the otherpeople. So we just we stuck to I would say this. I give a lot of talks on theleadership not just in health care, but leadership in business and inleadership in the midst of crisis leaders in the middle of crisis areally bad time to try to figure out what your values are, what you reallystand for and the three things that we stand for it and, you know, because wetalked about it many times for the...

NFLPA is number one, health and safetyor non negotiable. Non negotiable won't trade it for anything. Number two willgo anywhere the science goes, but nowhere hasn't so in God we trust, butall others must bring scientific data. So opinions didn't matter to us. Showme the data on this novel and emerging virus. So we're changing rapidly andnumber three whole player, whole life, whole family. So the league wasconcerned about playing 256 games, 12 playoff games in one Super Bowl. Wewere concerned about keeping our players safe in the midst of a pandemicthat's never been seen before. Lots of comparisons to you know, uh, back to1911 when the last time something like this occur. So it was It was aprivilege It was absolutely a privileged to lead that team of people,but it was a team all the way. I get far too much credit for it. All I didwas hear their voices and enact what they told me was the best science andthen educated our players on it. Uh, the real story is the discipline of theplayers and the discipline of their families. They protected themselves inthe building. They protected themselves at home, their families isolated. And Ican't say enough about the courage that that they showed in the midst of thispandemic. Yeah, you know, I've interviewed WesWelker, who's a good friend of mine. He's a coach with the 49 ers. He toldme How about the struggles through the year, how hard it was? You know wherehe's doing? Virtual meetings. Guys aren't listening, You know? They'relate. You know, it's not like they gotta come into work, right? So playershad to really step up and understand what this meant. Like, you want to havea job, you know? You want to do this, you gotta You gotta follow theprotocols as well. So you gotta keep yourself safe. your family's safe, allof us coaches safe for this season to happen. Because I think when you if youwould miss a season in the NFL, it would not only hurt, the players wouldhurt the team and it would put everybody back. You know, peoplealready have this kind of misconception of, of everything that's going on. TheNFL, our youth, people love the game, but less and less people are playingthe game as well. Um, right now, yeah, you know, it's, uh, West is a great guy,you know? Obviously was a player. Uh, and I was involved with him when he wasa player, but we stressed over and over again. It's a novel and emerging virus.What does that mean? It means we tell you today may not be true tomorrow, Youknow, the great, uh, great. Uh, psychiatrist Carl Jung said, What'strue in the morning? Maybe alive by the afternoon. But that is the science thatwe know in the morning because it's happening so fast. Maybe contradictedby the science. You here in the afternoon. So they were ready for that.Okay, then we expressed repeatedly to them do it for yourself, do it for yourfamily, do it for your teammates and do it for your community. And in thatorder. And once they understood that, that the protocols to testing theisolation, the making, sure that you know we're not out clubbing at nightbut closest family and you know West may have told you this, but there are alot of people who thought there would be more injuries because we didn't havea pre season. We played no preseason games, Um, or that the quality offootball would not be good. And neither of those are true. We didn't see anymore in. We saw less injuries because we didn't play preseason games. Thereweren't more extremity injuries, hamstring pulls and that kind of stuffbecause there was. We didn't have, you know, O T A s, and they had toacclimated and all that. And I think anybody who saw the season would tellyou points scored the quality of the game. Uh, nothing was eroded by that,and I have to say it was a major change for the coaches. They had to adaptbecause they're so used to getting the building at eight o'clock in themorning. You're gonna be here until eight o'clock at night and quality andknock the rust off. I mean, knock the...

...rust off. I'm a professional, You know?I'm a grown ass man. I don't need to go knock the rust off. I know how to playfootball. So it was a learning experience for them as well. I'm sureWes reflected them. Yeah, it really was. It really was. And, you know, and Ithink the greatest thing about it was that that the we pulled together as agroup, right? As you like, you said a family, you know, the NBA had theirbubble where they were in all one place we did. The NFL didn't have that. Guyswere locked in hotel rooms, they were still going to facilities, and theywere testing all the time. So, um, you know, it was just an amazing thing youdid. I want to thank you. Because the season was pulled off perfectly. Ithought it was I thought it was wonderful, you know? And I thank youfor all your years of, uh, basically service and what you've done for theNFL, because you have made it safe for you made it better for the players.You've done things to contribute to the NFL in ways you probably never evenimagined when you were back growing up as an eight year old and wanted to getout of Anderson, Indiana. Oh, yeah. I mean, I made it to the league. I justmade it a little bit, uh, job category and a little more long lasting one. Youknow, there have been a few people that have played 20 years in the league,including the number 12 and guys like Jackie Slater that, you know, wasretired before you came on. Son Matthew still playing, But it's been a blast.You know, the joy of medicine is the joy of taking care of people. And, uh,and, you know, as you know, these guys are so nice and so whip smart and andtheir men who are looking after their families, and it's just such a joy tobe a part of the whole thing. Yeah. No, it really I'm glad. And I'm glad that,you know, you've been my friend for a song, and I appreciate you taking thetime out of your busy. You're always so busy and taking the time out of yourschedule to kind of share your experiences because our life is allabout transitions, and I think you put it the best way of is don't look atbuilding your resume. Look at building relationships, and that's gonna get youfurther than anything else in life because I have a relationship with you.And I know if I'm ever in trouble or something happens, I can always call onDr Merida to help me pull me out, or or, you know, talk me out of the trees. Soto say so you know, Grandpa Jim used to say when I was a kid. You know, son, ifyou if you work hard and stick to it, everything will work out fine. I can'ttell you what will work out, he said, but if you're really, really fortunateyou live a good life. You'll have four or five friends that when you call themat four o'clock in the morning and you tell them I need you to be on a streetcorner in a bad part of town with $5000 in your pocket, you'll wonder about alot of things, but you won't ever wonder about them showing up. Andthat's just for a You know, you are that kind of a friend. You've alwaysbeen there for us, and we'll always be there for you, as you know. Well, thankyou, Tom. I appreciate it. I appreciate it. And I appreciate you coming on theshow. And if there's anything, you know how I always ask our guests this howcan our viewers are fans? Find out a little bit more about Dr Mayer. How canthey follow you? I know you don't do a lot on social media and things likethat, but, uh, you know, how can our our fans find you? Or maybe what's yourfavorite charity that they can donate to? Well, um I would say, if you if youwant to find me, it's easy. I don't have a website. Um, just not smartenough to to figure that one out. My, uh, my email is Tom T H O m Mayor M A YE R m d. So, Tom, Mayor M. D at Gmail shoot me an email, and I'll help you inany possible way that I can't any issue any problem. You just want to talk.Football will set up a phone call and a time to do that. So, Yeah, happy tohelp. And our favorite charity is a simplified fund. Uh, you know, Kevin,as you know, as a marine, so we always like supporting those guys who who areThe reason we sleep well in our beds at night is because guys like that arewilling to stand up for the country. So...

I appreciate you asking about that.Yeah, I know the Semper Fi Fund that will definitely look it up. And I'lllet you know when your show comes out and there's And, um, I appreciate you.May I Thank you for joining us on your story. Love to Annie and the kids. Yeah. YouTube. Please give Marina hugand tell the kids we said hello. And and I can't wait to see the grandkidsone day, everyone, what a great show we have. Thank you for joining us on.Huddle up with Gus. Catch us next time. Uh, you know, next week, maybe EmmettSmith. I'm not sure. So just catch us next week on huddle up with Gus. Findus in the News 16 31 Digital news studio and on sounder f m Have a greatday. And that's a wrap sports fan. Thanksfor joining in the Fun at the 16 31 Digital Studios. For another actionHuddle Up with Gus, featuring 15 year NFL quarterback Gus Theron, Huddle Upwith Gus, is proudly produced by 16 30 one digital media and is available onApple music.

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