Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 1 year ago

Emmitt Smith

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Joining me in this Huddle this week is one of the greatest, if not the greatest, running backs of all-time, Emmitt Smith. We talk about growing up in Florida, humbling experiences in high school, why he chose the University of Florida over Auburn and his accomplishments in the NFL, and his transition to real estate and business. This was an amazing conversation, and I want to thank Emmit for telling us his story. 

The Dallas Cowboys were rebuilding when they selected Florida running back Emmitt Smith in the first round of the 1990 draft. After a holdout during all of training camp and preseason of his rookie season, Smith reported to the Cowboys in time for the start of the regular season. He wasted no time proving he would be a huge part of the team's future.

Smith rushed for 937 yards and scored 11 touchdowns to earn Offensive Rookie of the Year honors and the first of eight career Pro Bowl nods. He followed that season by rushing for a league-leading 1,563 yards. Smith won four rushing crowns during a five-year span as he added titles in 1992, 1993, and 1995. He also led the NFL in rushing touchdowns three times and contributed 277 pass receptions during that same five-season period.

His best year came in 1995 when he recorded career highs for rushing yards (1,773), rushing touchdowns (25), and receptions (62).

Not surprisingly, Smith's impact on the team helped nurture the Cowboys back to the top of the NFL. With their star runner leading the way, the Cowboys won three Super Bowls over four seasons from 1992 to 1995. Smith was named first-team All-Pro in each year during that four-year period. In 1993, he was named the NFL's MVP and followed that by earning Most Valuable Player honors in the Cowboys' 30-13 win over the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVIII.

After narrowly missing the 1,000-yard mark as a rookie, Smith embarked on a record run of 11 straight seasons with 1,000 yards rushing. His streak came to an end in Smith's final season in Dallas in 2002 when he missed the 1,000-yard mark by a mere 25 yards. However, that season was highlighted by one particular game against the Seattle Seahawks on Oct. 27, 2002. In that contest, Smith supplanted Walter Payton as the NFL's all-time rushing leader.

Smith, who was named to the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1990s, finished his 226-game career by playing two final seasons with the Arizona Cardinals. He retired with a career total of 18,355 yards and an NFL record 164 rushing touchdowns. He also added 515 receptions for 3,224 yards and 11 touchdowns.

...welcome to what surely will be a doozy of a matchup. Brian. Here, sports fans, Whether your game is on the gridiron, at the diamond or on the links, we can only say Welcome to this week's huddle up with gusts. 15 year NFL quarterback Gus parents' passion for sports has taken him on the field and behind the bench is playing for seven NFL franchises with 114 TVs under his belt. Gus knows who the players are and how the games are. One. Uh, it's not every day you get to hang out with an NFL quarterback up. 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 up with Gus. Strange variety. A big welcome. Everyone to another episode of Huddle Up With Gus. I'm your host. Cost Firat. Thank you for joining me in the new 16 31 digital news studio. I'm not in the studio today, but I'm thankful to partner with 16 31 digital news and getting some new great podcasts out there. Also, I want to thank sounder FM for having me on their platform to new partner of mine. And I'm really excited to join Sounder FM and look forward to all the new technologies are doing for podcasting today. One of the, uh, people that I've always admired and watched. Obviously, uh, he's won Super Bowls. He's in the Hall of Fame. He's an amazing person. Uh, he's done everything. Just studying him is amazing. And I'm so excited for this guest today because for me, you know, when I came into the NFL, he was one of my rivals. We never actually played against each other because I'm glad I didn't play defense because I would have never been able to to stop him. But joining me today is a Super Bowl champion. Hall of Famer, Florida High school football player of the century. I think that was really cool when I found that out. Emmett joining today's Emmitt Smith from the Dallas Cowboys M. And how are you doing, buddy? Gosh, I'm doing great. Great, man. It's good to see you. I see you graying up just like I'm grand. Yeah, I wish I could shave my head, but my head is so oddly shaped I can't do it. We don't want to do that. You don't want to keep the hair that you have as long as you can, because once you start leaving, you cannot get it back. You look so smooth. So you've got a good beer going in and all that, man, I gotta shave it, man. You know, my dad shaved every day because that great beard I don't know, I just It was tough for me, huh? For you, Like, for me, It's been going ever so slowly incoming in Greg. What is that like for you? Because I know it's kind of sometimes when you look in the mirror, you know, you think back in the year, you know, when you were drafted by, you know. And there's this young Anderson. Now you see all this. It's crazy, right? Well, yeah, it is crazy, but that's the evolution of time. That's the evolution of man. That's the way things go. Things never stays the same. And so for me, you know, I used to try to diet and everything else, and I just said, You know what? Why am I'm trying to to remain this? Keep this. Keep this thing looking young, when it's really is is part of the natural growth process. And I got tired of just coloring and dying, and I just said, Forget it, let it grow and see what it's what it's like And, you know, people start to embrace it. And, uh, for the younger folks, it definitely distinguished me between my younger years. And now it shows that have aged, aged wisely, hopefully and with a little bit more wisdom. And, uh, I appreciate it a little bit more now because when I look back and reflect, um, those are great memories, great memories. But where I'm at today, I'm not trying to go out of here and run the football any longer, not trying to raise my kids. I'm not doing any of those things any longer. I am where my body says I'm supposed to be right. I...

...love it. I love it. Well, let's go back to when you were racing everybody back and when you were a little kid, you know, because I've read that you started when you were eight year old, eight years old, playing football. But tell me about the first time where you remember phone in love with sports. Was it because if your dad was it because of your brothers, was it because of somebody else in your family or just an idol that you watched on TV? Well, primarily, it's because I because I saw something on television and I saw the excitement of my father's I about what he was watching and not to mention all of my other cousins. Uh, they were much older and they all love football. Every Sunday we would go to my grandparents house and it was about man. It could have been about 13 of us boys and girls, but mostly boys. And so all the boys would gather around the television on Sunday and just watched football, and then we would go over across the park and just throw the football around in the park. Then all of a sudden, we had a pickup game and and then it just became Sunday rituals that we did every Sunday after church. And so that's how I begin to fall in love with the sport itself. And then when I started playing at the age of eight, it just took on a whole home whole. Another just dynamic in terms of, uh, in terms of playing the game started to understand the games for my cousin did. They did. My cousins did a great job of setting the foundation. They taught me how to throw a football. They taught me not to throw a football properly, but they taught me how to throw a football. Uh, they taught me how to tackle. They taught me how the three point stance to two point stands, how to play wide receiver play linebacker played running back and quarterback. I played so many different positions by the time I played the game. I understood the game, Uh, a lot better than than the most eight year old kids at that time. Well, that, you know, that's kind of how I grew up to. I don't have cousins. I had a lot of friends and we were always in that field. We were just in that playground area, always playing football or whatever sport we could. And we didn't have those kind of like today where you know, you send your kids out for clinics and all these things. We just grew up playing it and you learned it. You know, and we had so many great athletes from back in the day. What was your neighborhood like? Did you Did you guys like because I wasn't allowed in the house? If it was light out, you had to be outside doing so. It was the same way it was the same way. But we had to be home before the street lights came on. Yeah, so we didn't go out there. Sometimes it was all day, every day, outside, running up and down the street, going to the local part, having pickup basketball games, pick up football games, just doing things that most kids normally would do. And fortunately, back in the day, we didn't have to worry about a lot of different types of predators and so forth, just preying on kids, unlike kids today. But, um, it was completely different. Everybody played and and everybody participated. I mean, there were games where you was never on the team, but you had to play against everybody on the on the basketball court because there was a time where the game go to 15. But everybody had to guard the guy who had the ball and was going for this 15 point, so it made it very difficult for that guy to to score his 15 point. But what it did, though it created this level of creativity in one's mind, to make everybody missed to even try and strive to get an open shot and to try and make it. And that translated onto the football field, too. Because imagine Steph Curry trying to dribble the ball between five guys trying to stop Steph Curry at one time. It's a trap. It's a trap. You get covering trap. So when you get the ball in your hand, you got to create a moment to create one good shot in order to win the game. And that was the same way on the football field. We threw one...

...football field, one ball up in the air, and 10 people had the top of that one guy. So you make gods myths. Creativity was established back in the day when there were so many people against one individual. You know what? I remember that game now that you bring that up. We used to play that all the time. We had a little court in the town. I grew up in. And I remember that game because, you know, it was for me, that strategy was alright. Who's who is my weak link. If I'm going to try and score, I'm gonna go against the weak guy, right? So I'm already Australia, Like figuring out when I get the ball. I'm gonna go attack Johnny because Johnny is only 3 ft tall. So you learn quickly how to attack the wink links without even thinking about it. I mean I mean, it wasn't like you walked into the basketball court and just saying I'm gonna attack this guy is that when it got down to a critical time in the critical moment to try to win the game, you have figured everybody out on the on the court and you knew who you needed to go up against in order to create the best opportunity for you to win. And that is no different than what we do right now. In professional football, we try to find the weakest link and export the weakest link as much as we possibly can to ensure that we have a best chance of this succession. Right? And I you know what else I love about growing up was that I don't remember. I mean, we had some kids that weren't at the same talent level, but everybody played. We all played like nobody sat down and watched. Like every You just made everybody again. Yeah. You may not have been as good, but everybody participates. Everybody was engaged. Everybody did their part and played as long as they could. And we didn't have any parents, coaches, referees, right. You just kind of handled all that yourself. That was I mean, and I wish I could see kids doing that today. I don't see it that often. Um, you know, not like back in the day. I mean, you know, and that was great about you. Just learned so many skill sets. Yes, they don't even know exactly things that that would eventually materialize themselves in a totally different way. And you can always go back and point to certain points in your life when you're younger years. That would say Okay, I learned this at this at this place. I did this over here. And this is how this is working for me today. That's not I'm not sure kids have that opportunity today to do those things. Things are now more specialized, and kids are focusing on one sport and being forced to focus on one sport versus having a diversity of thought, the diversity of experiences in multiple sports, sports being coached by different folks to learn how to deal with different types of personalities. All those things are somewhat being stripped away slowly. Yeah. No, I agree. I agree. So what was your dad like growing up? Because, you know, my dad, He was He was a guy that worked in the factory, was a hard worker. But, man, he was tough on me. What was your dad like when you were growing up? You know, was he had all the games or, you know, I'm just wondering, like where you get like your because you just had such a tenacious. You have a great attitude. You always have. You had this big smile I watched, but when you get on that field, man, you were just tenacious. And I'm just wondering where you got that from. Well, I think I think I was born with it, to be honest with you, because I've always been one of those kids that was tenacious. Always wanted to be. I was an aggressive kid. I've always wanted to be that person. I wanted to be good at everything that I did. My mom was the one who actually helped push me to that level. My father worked all the time, but he showed up at our games. Whenever he was not working, it was there for us in that regard. But my mother was the one that always instilled in us that we can do whatever we wanted to do if we set our minds to it our hearts and and and put put...

...everything to our heart, mind and soul, that was her thing. Heart, mind and soul. You do heart, mind and soul and anything that you want to do. You're gonna be passionate about it. And therefore you would not quit. And so quick, it was not an option. We started something. We had to finish it. And that's just the way it was. And and And it was all about, uh, not saying what you cannot do. Never use the word I can't now, it may be a challenge for you, but that doesn't mean that you can't you just have to meet the challenge. Now you may not get an A in it. You may get a C, but you met the challenge. And you have you did not quit on yourself. You did not quit on someone else. It's about finishing what you start, man, that those are just words to live by and you know, and you think about how things shape your life. You know, you talked about your cousins and going to that house and you're playing football, and that's where you started. Now you're giving us the words of wisdom that your mom always instilled in you, and it seems like you just kind of kept that going. Did you have, like, a mantra or something as you were growing up and getting older and things that you would always listen to in your head because we all have that playback and it seems like you have some amazing playbacks from amazing people that were in your life. You know, one of my favorite books was the little engine that could I think I can I think I can I think I can. That's all he kept saying himself and at the end of the day. That's that internal belief that you can. That's that spiritual belief. You all things through Christ, Jesus who strengthen me. That's that's that, that that level of faith in that level of belief in oneself, uh, knowing that it's gonna be it's gonna be hard. But as you keep as you keep reminding yourself, I think I can. I think I can. You you will yourself to the place of being successful. You will yourself to the place of achieving what you're trying to achieve. You start to prepare yourself differently and look at things completely differently. And then as you start to gain momentum and gain successes along the way, guess what happens. This level of belief, this level of faith, this level of trust in oneself becomes huge. The thing that you have to guard against his humility and not allowing it to overflow and overtake you keeping it under wraps, knowing that you have the faith and the belief that you can get it done. And that's one reason why you became a professional athlete because you had this internal drive, this internal belief that you can't get it done and when they called your number. You went out there with a level of confidence. Now you was probably unsure at some point. That does not alleviate, uh, you from having this belief that you can, because when you are unsure, it's all because you're not totally prepared, right? You're learning something, and when you're in the process of learning something, you're not as confident. But when you learn it, you become extremely confident, not cocky, confident in what you're doing and confident in your ability to get the job done right. So when you get to a scam, me when you get to high school Now, um and you know, you you've built this confidence up in yourself. But then when we take that next step to high school, there's always a new group of kids, a new group of guys that you've got to kind of be around and you gotta go out and prove yourself. Was there a point in high school, remember, like man, this really humbled me, and I know I got to work harder. You know, I think, um, humble is a great word, but I'm gonna use it in the context of being able to share the spotlight versus being humbled by the game itself. I think the thing that...

...humbles you about the game is the pepper preparation, the training. Because once you get to high school, this is different training. And when you're not accustomed to training like that, when you were playing a Little League football, there was no conditioning program. When you you just to show, you just show up and play. But when you start running and conditioning and throwing up and you're like Oh my gosh, this is completely different when you start lifting weights and the weights are wearing you down and your sores all get out the next day you like and you spoke about a week. It's like, What is this? This is different, and that part in itself is humbling. And so But when it comes down to two meeting the challenge. Most of my high school teammates that I played with I played against when I was playing Pop Warner Ball okay, so I was very familiar with a lot of a lot of people and they were familiar with me. Um, and I never thought I had a second thought about competing, never had never gone on me, and I think it prepared. What prepared me for that was when I was 10 years old. I had to play with 11 and 12 year old kids because at 10 I couldn't play with the nine and 10 because there was a weight limit for the nine kids and I was and I exceeded that. But I was stuck in between the next wave group. So they forced you to play with 11 or 12 year old guys that their first day of practice. I line up and you remember this drill. The Oklahoma drill when you gotta, you gotta run between the talks and on the other side of this 12 year old kid by the name of Billy Sprigs. You remember Billy, Remember Police Springs and I talked about Billy to this day and I'm 10. He's 12. They say Hut! They have any football? Billy Springs hit me so damn hard. Got up days and stacking around and the coaches was all excited. Jumping around. Great job. Great job. Not coaches are having everybody up. Is my daughter again? I'm like, I don't want to do it no more. For the first time I was intimidated because that was the time I ever got hit that hard. And so they put their arms around and tell me you don't have to allow him to hit you, but you gotta stay between the times I'm lining up, I'm scared. He's on the other side and say Hut! And I'm praying He comes at me outside. Step him. I do not make people miss, but I sidestepped that. He failed down. I ran touchdown. I learned a very valuable lesson at that point. Avoid contact at all costs every since. But I say that just to say this, that was a humbling experience. That was an experience that I had to overcome. And we all are faced with our own Billy's Briggs at some point in time, in our lives, and we have to learn how to overcome it. The beautiful thing about it was I did not have time to get to the back of the line and think about it. I got right up and was put into it. If I would have had the time to think about it, it would have weighed heavy on me, and I'm sure I would have been able to overcome it as quickly as easily as I did, right? So have you ever been in an NFL game? And obviously you've been hit by all kind of people and been tackled but been tackled and say, Oh, that was the Billy Sprigs hit. I could just see it because sometimes you just you know what I mean? Like, there's a smell. There's a moment that just takes you back in time, and it's just like that. Was it right? You remember that stuff? Billy's phrase moment, right? That's great. That's great. So when you're going through high school and you're having all this success, obviously, you know, you guys want to state championship, you've done some great things and now you're looking to your college. Did you know where you wanted to go? Like if I have...

...the opportunity to go anywhere I want? That's where I'm going. You knew you were going to Florida? Yeah, I did, Um, but it closer and closer it got to sign and date the harder and harder it became, Uh, because I was torn between two schools. Photo was my first choice. There is no doubt about it. that was my first love. High school was the Gators, and I felt like I was going to join the Gators because I needed to remain a Gator. Right. But in the process of recruiting, I got to know a brilliant coach by the name of Pattaya. I had it all over and I got a chance to spend a lot of time on Auburn's campus. I got a chance to be around Bo Jackson. Brent full would tell me A G uh, you know, all the guys, uh, during that time when when Auburn was real good and and, I mean, I'm in the locker room after after the Auburn Beach, Florida at Jordan Hare Stadium and and I'm there. Bo Jackson, uh, is there swole up? Know how Vincent Bo Jackson really is one of the best athletes I've ever been around and a guy like in all like, Wow! And and And he goes on to win the Heisman Trophy. And their plan was they? They had a Heisman Trophy campaign set up Emmitt Smith and a pathway to get the Heisman Trophy. And man when it came down and making that decision, my mom told me I wasn't going to Alabama period and left a period at the end of it. And so the decision Florida was fairly easily, but I was torn between those two schools. Her mind, heart and soul was made up completely beyond my control. I mean, that was my mom's heart. And you know what? In the end, I think things all all things worked out perfectly well. I don't know if you know this, but I coached Ezekiel in high school. I didn't know that. Yeah. So Ezekiel, uh, my daughter and an FOIA Lucan. I coached him on high school in ST Louis, and then, um, Ezekiel kinda had. It reminds me of when you were saying that because his parents both went to Missouri. Right. And he's got this choice to either go to Missouri and Ohio State is pulling them to Ohio State. And he went through this that that torture of trying to make that decision for a few weeks, you know, because Urban Meyer's calling them all the time, right? Missouri is like your home guy. Like you need to come here. They they're setting their RV every day to our little high school. You know, and there's Eakin in the middle of this, and he's this 18 year old kid and I'm trying to help them out. And eventually, obviously, he goes to Ohio State. Um, and you know, his parents were good with it, but I think deep down they probably wanted him to go to Missouri a little bit. I'm sure they did. I mean, at the end of the day, Gus, deep down in my heart, I would have loved to see my son go to the university floor. I would love to see, but also know deep down in my heart as a father, the right thing to do is allow my kid to make the most informed decision that he can possibly make for his future. And he has to choose his own pathway has to be responsible for that decision, and this is one of his biggest test, and we've always and my job and our job as parents is to provide them with the information that they need and the support that they need not to impose our will upon them, but to allow them to fly FBI. That's why we raise them. I always ask myself the question, and I asked other parents, Are you raising your kids to stay? Are you raising them to leave? If you're raising the lead, you got to allow them to fly and to be able to make mistakes. But when you get down to E. J. The one thing that we focused on and we made...

...certain of this and I think this it helps to be a father and a mother that is going to college, and it helps other that has gone down into college but going on to play professional football. Because now I know the things that are really, truly important to a well rounded athlete and student athlete, if you will, right. But we always talked about the 40 year decision. Now his pathway and my daughter's pathways and my other youngest son pathways are going to be completely different, all because of the word sports, right? So it's a 40 year decision is not a four year decision. It's how do you tap into the alumni, and how do you tap into the workforce what place is going to give you not only the ability to play football at the collegiate level at the highest level and compete against some of the best teams in the country. But also it's going to open that door for you when all else is done. Yeah, and create these everlasting relationships and have a degree that when you say Stanford, that's all you have to say. I'm a Stanford grad. You happen to be a Stanford grad in computer science or Stanford grad in business or Stanford Grad in from Bio Technology or Stanford Grad In this this it is different. It is completely different. It always will put you at the top of the list, you know, especially when people are coming to whatever you want to do. They're going to see your resume compared to other schools and the everything twice before they tell that Stanford kid No, right, right. And no disrespect to my school because I love my school and my school has done a great job, and it's doing a great job in terms of educational wise. But, man, you talk about Stanford, write something different. Well, you know, you talk about the 40 year plan and it seems like you kind of knew that like you go, you go to Dallas. You're drafted in 90. Obviously, we played against each other. But then when you were in Dallas, you got to know Roger Starbuck and and you wanted to go and see what he was about, what he was doing other than football. And and I read that. He said, Hey, if you really want to learn, you gotta come work in my offices And you did that Like you said, I know like you kind of understood what the 40 year plan was, and I Did somebody teach you that like, Well, how did that get instilled in you? Well, as you grew up and where I grew up at, you know, some of the best teachers are the folks that most people won't even think about. Like I even say hello to some of the best teachers are the guys that have just come out of a 20 year sentence in jail, or a person that that that may be homeless but has wisdom but have fallen on hard times? Or your teacher or a fire person or a police officer, or even just a guidance counselor or even a Pop Warner football coach who owns his own construction business, right? But yet, in part, wisdom upon YouTube to afford you the opportunity to start thinking differently versus Put all your eggs in one basket. And I had that. I had all of those everything. Every person I mentioned I had those, uh, including my own relatives that have made major mistakes themselves. I mean, you got caught in the drug situation, had great jobs. I mean, worked at General Motors and worked at Texas instrument, but yet got caught in a certain situation that end up costing...

...them right Nearly as seeing that and understanding that and being able to say, Okay, I've seen it. I understand what this leads to. It's something that I don't want to be a part of. But I want to take advantage of the failures and shortcomings of others, so I don't repeat the same cycle. And when it came down to Dylan, Roger star back. He was a prime example, along with Matthew Johnson, guys that people don't know they being other professionals that are doing great work in business that play sports but has transitioned from the game into the real world of business. Those guys were great illustration of how it should be done and done at the highest level. And that's something that I've always strived for and because I saw myself in my high school coach Charlie Hagar. He told not hospital popcorn because Charlie Eager. He told me years ago he said, Get your education He said, You got great talent, but your talents going to leave you someday but your education will last you forever. Now he was talking about getting a degree. Yeah, there's a difference in get a degree and get a degree in life and getting a degree in business and being around enough business to where, As you know, football, we are always around business negotiating contracts, watching our owners negotiate sponsorship, being around sponsorship parties, being leveraged by the team, being leveraged into endorsement packages, negotiating endorsement packages. All those things entails business, business, business. You are an asset, and the minute you recognize that you treat yourself differently and you handle yourself differently into the into the real world. What we did, I call it fantasy world. We were headed his own for a long time, and what everyday life is to everyday citizen is real, real life and that's the part that I never wanted to shy away from. That's the part that I was looking forward to, but I wanted to ride this fantasy world as long as I could. But when it was over, I wanted it to be completely over and be able to transition into something else and become productive just like I was onto the football field. Well, I think it was amazing that, you know, you get draft in the first round, you go to the Cowboys. But then you had enough mindset to say I didn't finish my degree. I got to go back and finish this. And, you know, I think it sounds like Coach Eggert was in your head saying, You better go get your degree. But to me, that's kind of not a lot of guys will do that right, because they know that they have this fantasy world that they get to go playing and, you know, make some money probably more than they ever can. But you understood that this isn't gonna last forever. No, I did understand that it wasn't gonna last forever. And it's not gonna last forever for these guys, either. I mean, trust me. 100 years of football have shown you will start. You will end. Just don't know when we just don't. Yeah, and so it's a win that that hurts us. And are we prepared for? The win? Is the question that every athlete must ask him or herself. And then the question that needs to be be resolved is what's next. And it's the what's the next part of it. That's very intimidating to a lot of us because we're competing against people that's been doing it for 15, 20 years, if not longer, and we don't know what they know, and we don't know what we don't even know. So so so it can be very...

...intimidating. But I say this. We use the word humility and humble in the context of football in the context of transitioning from the game into real life. It's a humbling experience and humble with ourselves to learn, be willing to learn, be willing to step out there you have what it takes. Why do you think so many corporations want to talk to Africa and want to hire athletes won because you work at it to your your sheer will to be successful. Three. Your ability to work with others. Four. Um, the the overall leadership that you bring to an organization. Five. Just just pure stature alone and your attitude. And you're just there's so much of you that corporate wants and other citizens want and other people need Well, you know, obviously you and Troy and and Michael that, you know, you guys are called the triplets. You guys were the leaders of that team. That's what I feel like. But, I mean, you had amazing players around you as well to write those teams in the early nineties were incredible. So to me, it's like you guys took your fantasy world. You took it to the highest level you possibly could. And then what was great was that you knew there was a transition down the road, and it seems like that team was full of guys who knew that, right? You played for that moment to be big and great, but you also had other things in mind, and and I think you had good leaders around it because sometimes I missed some of that, you know, because I played for so many teams and I left organizations and things, but it seems like you had great people that came before you that that that wanted you guys to be great, not only on the field but also off the field. And, you know, Jerry Jones was kind of the guy who wanted you guys to be like he was the Cabinets. He was the callous. And I'll tell you what, right now, to this day, I give Jerry Jerry so much credit for where I'm at, along with Roger Starbuck and along with Magic Johnson, including Michael Jordan, Those are the folks that I reached out the most to. But when I'm thinking about it all, you're absolutely correct. Our team was full of great guys that were entrepreneurs as spirit and at heart and was driven beyond the game. Troy obviously wanted to do more in the broadcasting and also an investment world. He's done those kind of things once you get to a level that financially that that we were at its about investments at times and the question is, are you investing in other people's stuff and controlling uh, allowed them to control your destiny, or are you leading on controlling your own destiny is just as a matter of decisions. Because investing into one of my project is no different than investment in the project would rather start back. The question becomes, who executes the best? If both of us are executed at the same level, then you probably invest in both of our projects. Right? But if one is investing better than the next, you probably invest in the other side. So it is what it is. But that's that's the nature of the beast. That's the nature of the ultimate remote. Competition is service, quality of service and the yields that you're able to get back to your investors. And you're gonna do what you say you're gonna do when you say you're gonna do it, and it's going to come in on time and under budget. Those are the things that you must, uh, must make happen in order to garnish more investments from others. Unless you're willing to do it all yourself, investing everything and put all your money into just you. You could do that, too, as well. Right? All right. Hey, everyone. Thanks for joining me. Uh,...

...we're talking with Emmett Smith. We're gonna take a quick break. We'll be right back. Hey, everyone, welcome to another episode of Huddle Up With Gus. I'm your host, former NFL quarterback Gus Frerotte. And welcome to the News 16 31 Digital news studio. You know, some people say no news is good news. Well, I say to those people you've never read 16 31 digital news dot com Go to 16 31 digital news dot com To get your latest news, sports, music and entertainment and maybe even listen to your favorite podcast. Auto up with gusts. Check it out today at www 16 31 digital news dot com. All right. Hey, Emma, we're back. Thanks for joining me in the huddle. Uh, we were just talking about investment, and I really want to ask you when you were playing, you obviously invested in yourself, uh, as an athlete, taking care of conditioning, eating, right, doing all those things. So my question for you is did you invest more in your linemen or in your quarterback or your fullback? I invested in my linemen and my fool back more so, but I took care of everybody, but I definitely invested in my line and before back for sure people. You know, When I came in, I was playing with the Vikings, and Adrian Peterson was in his first year, right, And and he had this amazing year and I said, You got to take care of your linemen. He goes, They make more money than I do. I got I said, Dude, it's just about the appreciation. So explain to our audience what that like. There was just an old code in the NFL that you just got to take care of. The people around you like the trainers, the equipment guys. I mean, that was, you know, all the hogs and everybody I when I was a rookie and that Redskin locker rooms are washing football team. They were like, You got to do this right or there's going to be, you know, something to pay later on. So tell us about, like, why that's important. Well, I think it's important to show appreciation. Uh, regardless of what the situation might be, Um, I had somebody tell me my I think it may have been My father told me I need to take care of my linemen, um, and so forth and as when I became rookie of the year and, uh, I went to the Pro Bowl as a rookie. The thing that I did, I didn't get 1000 yards, but I went and bought my Lyman Rolex Rolexes. I paid 75 to $8500 per Rolex, and I had it engraved. Thanks for helping me become. I had it engraved something R O Y 99 had engraved on the back of it. Yeah, I gave my linemen and I gave Darryl Johnston one, and I still see them wearing it to this day they are so And then, as I started to make a little bit more money, I started taking care of. Not only my Lyman, my wife received, is getting a little something and and and also getting the equipment managers and the the the, uh, training staff, as well as the strength and conditioning coaches. And so that's that, because we all did something for each other, right, and it made it a little easier when everybody was doing it. So I was taking my linemen to dinner and that you don't want to do that, you know, that's a that's a big bill right there. Big deal. Then I took him to the Palm one night. Oh, my gosh. I bought them suits. A bottom paintings. I bought them. I bought a model toys. I bought them all. I got him trips to Hawaii. I did a lot of different things. And just to say, I appreciate you and one of the things I've also learned. And I went back to the melody when I was in high school. Um, my high school coach, Dwight Thomas...

...wouldn't and I was a freshman. He won't allow freshmen to talk to the press. So there's one day, um, I'm having this incredible freshman season and about six weeks into the into the season, and my team is our team is doing pretty good, and the press is still begging him to talk to me. He finally break down after this one game, I rushed with 245 yards on about eight carries, escorted by two touchdowns or something like that. Uh, and so I went to talk to the press. He said, Listen, they want to ask you all kinds of questions. Just answer the questions I'm like, Okay, So how hard could it be? So the press start asking these questions, and they made it seem like I did everything and all. I said, Well, I got to hand off over here. I got to hand off over here. It was a bunch of I. I think so. Afterwards, he put his arms around me and said, Listen, every chance you get, you share the spotlight with those five guys up front because they don't get a whole lot of press and you don't you don't block for yourself. You don't throw the ball to yourself, and you definitely then didn't handle ball to yourself. I was like, Okay, Coach, I got it. So Monday rolls around. You're going to have our practice. No, I don't forgot all about the conversation. I just know that I need to share the spotlight. So he causes up the South Lawn nine or seven, want nine defensive players and seven officer players, and we don't have an inside run drill. I'm like, Okay, so I know what's about to happen to tighten my chin strap, they say Hut! They hammered the football. I take off, run into the lime streaming my line laid down. The whole defense hit me, got clobbered. So I get up and say, Coach, I got it, I got it, I got it. And so from that moment on, I've always protected my life. Never blame anything on them, no matter how bad the game may have been. One game against New Orleans, I rushed for two yards, two yards, gusts, two yards yards in four quarters on about 18 carries. Never happened to you before. That's the first time it ever happened. And so outside of not being outside of being hurt. And so the press come in and ask the question, What it looks like you didn't have running lanes out there today that the line did not block for you. So now the line did a great job. I just missed the running lanes myself. I had a bad day. There you go. You can't ever put it on there, so you never throw them under the bus. You shit these guys because they do so much for you and give you the opportunities to be the best version of yourself and when when there is a chance to pat them on the back you do it every chance you get, right? You know, it's kind of funny that experience you have with the press. I had one similar in high school that I learned a lot from. We had a good game. We're playing our rivals in next week and they said, Well, what do you think of their called a tanning Wildcats? They said, Do you think you have a chance against containing Wildcats? And I was like, you, You know, I didn't really know. I'm never really talked to the press before. I'm like, 16 years old and I go, yeah, we should do alright against them. I think will win. It was over like her, Like it was nothing malicious or thinking we were better than it was just, like, felt confident in our team. And that was a hard lesson to learn, because the next week we didn't win and and, uh and the press lets you know then. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Well, my coach let me know. So here's a real happy with me. Here's the thing. You see how people take advantage of vulnerable situation now. You you and your teams probably never spoke to the press before. Don't even have training. These are grown people, and what they're looking for is just a sound bite. But you didn't realize that at the time, because the experience to even understand that. And they took advantage of that situation and put you out there like that, which is which is...

...typical of the press, right? You're manipulative and the only out for what they want. Very selfish. It's Clickbait, and it's them trying to be the first one to the market to break this story, offer your back and offer your reputation and offer your and put more pressure on you. And so you can say, See, you want as good as you thought you were. Yeah, you know, you know. But I I agree with all that, but also taught me a valuable lesson for things that are going to happen to me in my life. And I'm 1/7 rounder and there's a first rounder taken and we're competing in in Washington. And now I'm talking to the press of the Washington Post, right? You're you're on the front page with the president, and it's like, uh, my mind was going back like we talked earlier. I'm going back to like high school saying the wrong thing, like I got to be careful and know what to say because there's other people involved. It's not about you, it's about everyone. It's about this organization. So there was a lot of lessons I learned from that in high school. And, you know, I was. It was hard at that time that I had to deal with it, but I was thankful because I didn't learn it. As a rookie in the NFL, I learned it as like a kid in high school, right? It paid dividends in the long run. Uh, like I said earlier, all things do work together and you're absolutely correct. When I became a Dallas Cowboys and when I went to the University of Water, they had media training. And when we got when I got to the Dallas Cowboys rich down Ripple, uh, sports information guy or R P R guy, Uh, he said, Don't say anything that you don't want to read. In effect, right? Other words. Think before you speak, be courteous, be respectful, and if you don't want to see it in the paper, don't don't don't say it. And even if you don't say nothing negative or if you talk about certain situation and it's not necessarily about you, it's amazing how the paper would take a quote that's not even indicative of the conversation at all and insert that quote into their article to make it appears that you are in support or what he or she is saying or you are against what he or she is saying right and people to understand. Like after we play a game, we literally have, like, 15 minutes before the media is in our locker, right? So it is a game where you only rushed for two yards and you've got all these emotions going on and all of a sudden somebody shoves a mic in your face. You're like, Okay, I gotta not Everybody is prepared for that, right? So that's where they want. They're trying to find that one guy that's going to give them all those sounds like I think the Cowboys did. We started. I don't know. We started this process, but I believe we may have, because you're right, you only have 15 minutes to come in. The media would rush right in and I'll be in my locker just getting out of shower with a towel around my waist. Right. And I got these cameras all over me, and I'm like guys enough. Yeah, you're not close on first. So now they started allowing you to get your clothes on, but you're sitting here bucket naked, putting on everybody's looking at you like I mean, what is this, a flash? Oh. So when we started doing was and I told Rick I said, Listen, I'm having a press conference risk. I'm gonna get my clothes on. I'm gonna be I'm not gonna be sweating. I'm gonna be presentable. I'm gonna be professional. And I have a press conference. Yeah, he said great. So we started sending these press conferences to Troy, Michael and myself, and we would go in that kind of rotation. So whoever was done went to went to the podium, and sometimes Troy would go right out of uniform with, uh, came on and everything else and do a press conference that way with a hat on. And sometimes I would go in with just a lot of times, I would come in just like I would, but if it was something like...

...late night game. Then I would probably go in with just a cowboy stuff on and all that kind of like your stuff back onto the camp. One of my favorite things ever in the locker room. Because, you know, you got all kind of personalities in there. I don't remember a lineman offensive line. We had trade Johnson. And so, Trey, he got sick of it, too, Right? Because, you know, he's just Lyman, right? He's sweating. He wants to calm down and get a shower. All that he said he used to call me sniper. Right. He goes, Alright, Sniper Screw it. I'm just gonna be naked the whole interview. And he never would wear a towel anytime. I don't care, you know? And I'm just like, That's awesome. There's trade £350. Walk around a lot. He's like, Hey, if they want to come in, this is who I am, right? Uh, it was the best. I don't know. You guys had a great locker room like that. Were you? Oh, yes. Oh, yes. And you had some amazing leaders. Who were the guys in that locker room that I'm sure. Obviously, the three of you were the ones that kind of controlled everything. But who are the guys that always kind of kept it light. Kept the fun kept, you know, Nate, Noon name. Um, Frank Cornish. Um um uh, Charles Haley. Who else would do it? Kevin Gogan. Oh, Kevin, Kevin. Big goes. He can say whatever he was because he was a side of American. Exactly. Dion. I mean, we had a bunch of guys that just had nothing but fun. And it was awesome just to be around because you needed to have that in the locker room in order to take some of the pressure off of everyone else, right? Oh, yeah. There's no doubt about that. And so you go through this amazing career. I mean, you've done things that nobody ever has done in the NFL. And so when you accomplish this and you're standing on that stage in Canton, tell me. I mean, I'll listen to your speech. It was amazing. You know, everybody. I mean, there's so many people think. I don't even know how you start writing this, but from the kid an eighth grade shoulder pads you had like, everything. It's kind of like to me. Everything has to flash before your eyes. When you're on that stage, it does. It does it. It's amazing how time has flown by, um, and as a kid, you know, becoming a Hall of Famer, uh, was the icing on the cake of my entire career? Um, because it gave me for the first time in my life, I think I actually sat down and paused to reflect over my entire football career in my life and to be able to go back in time and think about the process and the progress that was made and what was accomplished throughout that whole entire, uh, my whole entire career in sports. The Hall of Fame gave me a chance to, uh, embody that in the in the form of a speech. And that's when you realize the importance of the or the importance of the sport that you play and how you played it, the coaches, that you had the importance of the people who impacted your life as well, because if you don't take the time to really reflect and decompress from all this stuff, and not only that, it gives you a chance to appreciate your journey. Yeah, instead of just rolling through life. Yeah. And and And And there, there, there are times when we should take time out just to reflect just to decompressed and to think about those folks. Uh, and it seems like it was just yesterday gossip. Oh, I can...

...imagine. And and now I am 16 years removed from the National Football League. And and and so, uh, sitting here watching my son start up his his career at Stanford. My daughters graduate one graduated from Duke. Another one getting really graduated from Texas A and M in May. And I'm about to send my youngest daughter off to college in about a year and a half, so it is gone by quickly. But it just seemed like it was just yesterday, uh, command like you and your cousins out. It was your aunt's house where you guys used to go play in the backyard grandmother's house, your grandmother's house. That's right. That's right. I mean, to me, it's amazing. And did that feel, you know, you talked earlier about the fan like you live in this fantasy? That's like you're the pinnacle with this fantasy right now, the Hall of Fame. And that's like the ending. Now I'm going to start my next journey, my next transition in life to do that. Did it feel a little bit like that for you after you decompress? Say, okay, I'm ready to go and and move on. I already knew I was ready to go. Once I retired, I jumped right into working with Roger Starlet. Mhm. So I went right into the real estate business in oh five and dabbled in technology ever since, uh, and real estate ever since. So the Hall of Fame. What it did, though it gave me a chance to just take a breath and really appreciate the 20 some years of football that I played and go back and just say, Wow, you accomplished a lot. But it also gave me the fuel and the the faith to know that I'm not done. There's more to be done. And it gave me the foundation to stand on confidently that I can't do what I'm doing now, and I can do it at a high level. I do have the tools. I do have the thought process. I do I just got to continue to surround myself with quality people and and continue to move the ball forward and and cut the right deals and be accessible and and continue to earn the right to do business with whomever I'm trying to do business with, right? And obviously, you're doing great in business. I mean, you started something in Baltimore as well. Um, you started another company in Baltimore. What made you go from, you know, Dallas? I mean, it's like it's like, Okay, I got everything I need right here in Dallas and all of a sudden you go to Baltimore. What? Because I was trying to figure that that that journey out here's the thing When I was working with the star back company, um, and the startup company was a global company, by the way, and working with them, there was an initiative that involved minority and diversity and inclusion that they were working with a corporate client with, and so they approach me. Okay, because I was in the office, But little did I know they had approached another group out of Baltimore. Now this other group didn't know me, and I didn't know them But for some reason we end up getting connected on a project that they were doing in Baltimore and they needed my help on some stuff. And me and my team, my small team. My job is a team that I was working with. We flew up the Baltimore we met these guys, they showed us the project that were that they were working on and neither some assistance on. And then we sat down afterwards to start having a conversation about what they were doing, what I was doing. And then they started talking about doing some diversity and inclusion stuff with this particular company that we were talking to. They were talking to the same company. Now we were competing for the same business to minority companies competing for the...

...same business, and they're not as huge. And I'm not as big, but I'm like, Why are we competing for the same business? Why don't we just join forces right? That's awesome and we join forces and that gave me the Baltimore office that also gave me the ability to reach the Philadelphia market as well, and so because I wanted a much more broader platform than just Texas be able to go where a client wanted to take me. And so and that's what I have to this day have a joint venture now with Newmark Knight and Frank not to start back company. And that takes me globally with any company that I want to that that really that really want to work with me, and I want to work with them as well. Yeah, that is awesome. Like you think about. I mean, obviously everyone knows your name. Your your your cowboy. You played in the NFL, but then you talk about like trying to reach for the next stars is global, Right? Is taking your company global? Hey, doing doing what you gotta do to take your company forward and do it positively. And not only that, but create other opportunities for other folks as well. Because there's a lot going there. There's a lot to go around. Yeah. Yeah. All right. So one last thing I was I was talking with Michael wilbon about, you know, we're talking all kind of things, and we talked about he's from the the D. C area. We were talking about RFK and he told me a story about, um You guys were going to play at the new stadium New Jack Kent Cooke Stadium. You made the bus driver take a detour and go past RFK. Is that true? Yeah. Yeah, I wanted to see RFK. Well, cause I don't know. I mean, I've obviously played there a few times. You probably play there more than I have, but, um, it's just it was just such a cool place with the bleachers bouncing the hog, it's and the band And there was no other experience like that. May be going to the Raiders, right? Yeah. No, uh, dog pound in Cleveland. Yeah, maybe, but, I mean, just from a stadium aesthetic standpoint, RK was phenomenal. Uh, it was so loud. And there everything was on top of you. And, uh, of course, it's in the nation's capital to so I really, truly appreciated planning. RK really did. And FedEx feel was cool, but there was nothing like old school arcade, but yeah, it was amazing. It was amazing. So Hey, Emmett, I really appreciate you sharing your story with us about how sports shaped your life because, you know, and I think back what I'm going to take from. This is about your mom. You know, the heart soul in your mind putting it all together. Follow your passions. And you've done that. You're at the you're at the top, and I've always admire you. And I appreciate you joining me on huddle up with gusts and let our fans know how they can follow you. Or, you know, maybe what your favorite charity is, And maybe they can help you out. Yeah, you can follow me at Emma Smith at M and Smith, 22 on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram. Awesome. And I know you're working with any charities, right? And I know you. I think you still have one. Well, we're closing our charity now. We we sent our kids team 22 kids off to college. I've been at the charities space for about almost 20 years straight. Man, I'm trying to get out there to go go to my my kids games and my kids activity, trying to get them all in college now myself and just focusing on those things. But I'm still active in terms of supporting, uh, many food pantry right here in Dallas and some other charities as well. That's awesome. Well, don't be charity Detroit and Michael out on the golf course, right? So make sure you practice that putting. That's the most important thing to worry about. Michael. I can beat my You can beat Michael Troy Choice. Probably pretty good, right? I don't think he plays golf anymore. Oh, really? Well, we all got these issues coming up as we get...

...older. Right? Hey, I appreciate it, man. Thank you for spending time on Huddle up with Gus. Most definitely. Hey, everyone, Thanks for joining me on the huddle up with Gus. What a great show what a great person Emmitt Smith is. And and please visit him at Adam Smith, 22 on Twitter. And, you know, it's just amazing these people that have cheese so many high levels in their life and their careers, Um, and you hear from them what drove them to be great. And hopefully you can take a little bit that with you. So, um, thanks for joining me in the 16. 31 digital news studio. Thanks to Brian Baumann. Thanks to Iain Kiss, thanks to Terry Shulman. Everybody helping me out and appreciate sounder FM for for letting me join their platform. Everyone have a great day and I hope you enjoyed this episode and please go to our website, huddle up with gusts dot com and like and share and subscribe. Have a great day, everyone.

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