Sounder SIGN UP FOR FREE
Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 8 months 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 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 Welcome to this week's huddle up withgusts. 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. Gus 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. Strange variety. A big welcome. Everyone to another episode ofHuddle Up With Gus. I'm your host. Cost Firat. Thank you for joining me in thenew 16 31 digital news studio. I'm not in the studio today, but I'm thankfulto partner with 16 31 digital news and getting some new great podcasts outthere. Also, I want to thank sounder FM for having me on their platform to newpartner of mine. And I'm really excited to join Sounder FM and look forward toall 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 SuperBowls. He's in the Hall of Fame. He's an amazing person. Uh, he's doneeverything. Just studying him is amazing. And I'm so excited for thisguest today because for me, you know, when I came into the NFL, he was one ofmy rivals. We never actually played against each other because I'm glad Ididn'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 Highschool football player of the century. I think that was really cool when Ifound 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 tosee you. I see you graying up just like I'm grand. Yeah, I wish I could shavemy 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, becauseonce you start leaving, you cannot get it back. You look so smooth. So you'vegot 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 wastough for me, huh? For you, Like, for me, It's been going ever so slowlyincoming in Greg. What is that like for you? Because I know it's kind ofsometimes 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 theevolution 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 andeverything else, and I just said, You know what? Why am I'm trying to toremain this? Keep this. Keep this thing looking young, when it's really is ispart 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, itdefinitely distinguished me between my younger years. And now it shows thathave 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'mnot trying to go out of here and run the football any longer, not trying toraise my kids. I'm not doing any of those things any longer. I am where mybody says I'm supposed to be right. I...

...love it. I love it. Well, let's go backto when you were racing everybody back and when you were a little kid, youknow, 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 youremember phone in love with sports. Was it because if your dad was it becauseof your brothers, was it because of somebody else in your family or just anidol that you watched on TV? Well, primarily, it's because I because I sawsomething on television and I saw the excitement of my father's I about whathe was watching and not to mention all of my other cousins. Uh, they were mucholder and they all love football. Every Sunday we would go to my grandparentshouse 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 onSunday and just watched football, and then we would go over across the parkand just throw the football around in the park. Then all of a sudden, we hada pickup game and and then it just became Sunday rituals that we did everySunday after church. And so that's how I begin to fall in love with the sportitself. And then when I started playing at the age of eight, it just took on awhole home whole. Another just dynamic in terms of, uh, in terms of playingthe game started to understand the games for my cousin did. They did. Mycousins did a great job of setting the foundation. They taught me how to throwa football. They taught me not to throw a football properly, but they taught mehow to throw a football. Uh, they taught me how to tackle. They taught mehow the three point stance to two point stands, how to play wide receiver playlinebacker played running back and quarterback. I played so many differentpositions by the time I played the game. I understood the game, Uh, a lot betterthan 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 offriends and we were always in that field. We were just in that playgroundarea, always playing football or whatever sport we could. And we didn'thave those kind of like today where you know, you send your kids out forclinics 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 wasyour neighborhood like? Did you Did you guys like because I wasn't allowed inthe house? If it was light out, you had to be outside doing so. It was the sameway it was the same way. But we had to be home before the street lights cameon. 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 pickupbasketball games, pick up football games, just doing things that most kidsnormally would do. And fortunately, back in the day, we didn't have toworry about a lot of different types of predators and so forth, just preying onkids, unlike kids today. But, um, it was completely different. Everybodyplayed and and everybody participated. I mean, there were games where you wasnever on the team, but you had to play against everybody on the on thebasketball court because there was a time where the game go to 15. Buteverybody had to guard the guy who had the ball and was going for this 15point, so it made it very difficult for that guy to to score his 15 point. Butwhat it did, though it created this level of creativity in one's mind, tomake everybody missed to even try and strive to get an open shot and to tryand make it. And that translated onto the football field, too. Becauseimagine Steph Curry trying to dribble the ball between five guys trying tostop Steph Curry at one time. It's a trap. It's a trap. You getcovering trap. So when you get the ball in your hand, you got to create amoment to create one good shot in order to win the game. And that was the sameway 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. Creativitywas established back in the day when there were so many people against oneindividual. 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 grewup in. And I remember that game because, you know, it was for me, that strategywas alright. Who's who is my weak link. If I'm going to try and score, I'mgonna go against the weak guy, right? So I'm already Australia, Like figuringout when I get the ball. I'm gonna go attack Johnny because Johnny is only 3ft tall. So you learn quickly how to attack the wink links without eventhinking about it. I mean I mean, it wasn't like you walked into thebasketball court and just saying I'm gonna attack this guy is that when itgot 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 youneeded to go up against in order to create the best opportunity for you towin. And that is no different than what we do right now. In professionalfootball, we try to find the weakest link and export the weakest link asmuch as we possibly can to ensure that we have a best chance of thissuccession. Right? And I you know what else I love about growing up was that Idon't remember. I mean, we had some kids that weren't at the same talentlevel, 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 asgood, but everybody participates. Everybody was engaged. Everybody didtheir 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 wasI mean, and I wish I could see kids doing that today. I don't see it thatoften. Um, you know, not like back in the day. I mean, you know, and that wasgreat about you. Just learned so many skill sets. Yes, they don't even knowexactly things that that would eventually materialize themselves in atotally different way. And you can always go back and point to certainpoints in your life when you're younger years. That would say Okay, I learnedthis at this at this place. I did this over here. And this is how this isworking for me today. That's not I'm not sure kids have that opportunitytoday to do those things. Things are now more specialized, and kids arefocusing on one sport and being forced to focus on one sport versus having adiversity of thought, the diversity of experiences in multiple sports, sportsbeing coached by different folks to learn how to deal with different typesof 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, youknow, my dad, He was He was a guy that worked in the factory, was a hardworker. But, man, he was tough on me. What was your dad like when you weregrowing up? You know, was he had all the games or, you know, I'm justwondering, 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 justwondering where you got that from. Well, I think I think I was born with it, tobe honest with you, because I've always been one of those kids that wastenacious. Always wanted to be. I was an aggressive kid. I've always wantedto be that person. I wanted to be good at everything that I did. My mom wasthe one who actually helped push me to that level. My father worked all thetime, but he showed up at our games. Whenever he was not working, it wasthere for us in that regard. But my mother was the one that alwaysinstilled in us that we can do whatever we wanted to do if we set our minds toit 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 andanything that you want to do. You're gonna be passionate about it. Andtherefore you would not quit. And so quick, it was not an option. We startedsomething. We had to finish it. And that's just the way it was. And and Andit was all about, uh, not saying what you cannot do. Never use the word Ican't now, it may be a challenge for you, but that doesn't mean that youcan't you just have to meet the challenge. Now you may not get an A init. You may get a C, but you met the challenge. And you have you did notquit on yourself. You did not quit on someone else. It's about finishing whatyou start, man, that those are just words to liveby 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 playingfootball, and that's where you started. Now you're giving us the words ofwisdom that your mom always instilled in you, and it seems like you just kindof kept that going. Did you have, like, a mantra or something as you weregrowing up and getting older and things that you would always listen to in yourhead because we all have that playback and it seems like you have some amazingplaybacks from amazing people that were in your life. You know, one of myfavorite books was the little engine that could I think I can I think I canI think I can. That's all he kept saying himself and at the end of theday. 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 thatit's gonna be it's gonna be hard. But as you keep as you keep remindingyourself, I think I can. I think I can. You you will yourself to the place ofbeing successful. You will yourself to the place of achieving what you'retrying to achieve. You start to prepare yourself differently and look at thingscompletely differently. And then as you start to gain momentum and gainsuccesses along the way, guess what happens. This level of belief, thislevel of faith, this level of trust in oneself becomes huge. The thing thatyou have to guard against his humility and not allowing it to overflow andovertake you keeping it under wraps, knowing that you have the faith and thebelief that you can get it done. And that's one reason why you became aprofessional athlete because you had this internal drive, this internalbelief that you can't get it done and when they called your number. You wentout there with a level of confidence. Now you was probably unsure at somepoint. 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 learningsomething, you're not as confident. But when you learn it, you become extremelyconfident, not cocky, confident in what you're doing and confident in yourability to get the job done right. So when you get to a scam, me when you getto high school Now, um and you know, you you've built this confidence up inyourself. But then when we take that next step to high school, there'salways a new group of kids, a new group of guys that you've got to kind of bearound and you gotta go out and prove yourself. Was there a point in highschool, remember, like man, this really humbled me, and I know I got to workharder. You know, I think, um, humble is a great word, but I'm gonna use itin the context of being able to share the spotlight versus being humbled bythe game itself. I think the thing that...

...humbles you about the game is thepepper preparation, the training. Because once you get to high school,this is different training. And when you're not accustomed to training likethat, when you were playing a Little League football, there was noconditioning program. When you you just to show, you just show up and play. Butwhen you start running and conditioning and throwing up and you're like Oh mygosh, this is completely different when you start lifting weights and theweights are wearing you down and your sores all get out the next day you likeand you spoke about a week. It's like, What is this? This is different, andthat part in itself is humbling. And so But when it comes down to two meetingthe challenge. Most of my high school teammates that I played with I playedagainst when I was playing Pop Warner Ball okay, so I was very familiar witha lot of a lot of people and they were familiar with me. Um, and I neverthought 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 withthe nine and 10 because there was a weight limit for the nine kids and Iwas 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 dayof practice. I line up and you remember this drill. The Oklahoma drill when yougotta, you gotta run between the talks and on the other side of this 12 yearold kid by the name of Billy Sprigs. You remember Billy, Remember PoliceSprings and I talked about Billy to this day and I'm 10. He's 12. They sayHut! They have any football? Billy Springs hit me so damn hard. Got updays and stacking around and the coaches was all excited. Jumping around.Great job. Great job. Not coaches are having everybody up. Is my daughteragain? I'm like, I don't want to do it no more. For the first time I wasintimidated because that was the time I ever got hit that hard. And so they puttheir arms around and tell me you don't have to allow him to hit you, but yougotta stay between the times I'm lining up, I'm scared. He's on the other sideand say Hut! And I'm praying He comes at me outside. Step him. I do not makepeople miss, but I sidestepped that. He failed down. I ran touchdown. I learneda 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 anexperience that I had to overcome. And we all are faced with our own Billy'sBriggs at some point in time, in our lives, and we have to learn how toovercome it. The beautiful thing about it was I did not have time to get tothe back of the line and think about it. I got right up and was put into it. IfI would have had the time to think about it, it would have weighed heavyon me, and I'm sure I would have been able to overcome it as quickly aseasily as I did, right? So have you ever been in an NFL game? And obviouslyyou've been hit by all kind of people and been tackled but been tackled andsay, Oh, that was the Billy Sprigs hit. I could just see it because sometimesyou just you know what I mean? Like, there's a smell. There's a moment thatjust takes you back in time, and it's just like that. Was it right? Youremember that stuff? Billy's phrase moment, right? That's great. That'sgreat. So when you're going through high school and you're having all thissuccess, obviously, you know, you guys want to state championship, you've donesome great things and now you're looking to your college. Did you knowwhere 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 itbecame, 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 aGator. Right. But in the process of recruiting, I got to know a brilliantcoach by the name of Pattaya. I had it all over and I got a chance to spend alot of time on Auburn's campus. I got a chance to be around Bo Jackson. Brentfull would tell me A G uh, you know, all the guys, uh, during that time whenwhen Auburn was real good and and, I mean, I'm in the locker room afterafter the Auburn Beach, Florida at Jordan Hare Stadium and and I'mthere. Bo Jackson, uh, is there swole up? Know how Vincent Bo Jackson reallyis 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 getthe Heisman Trophy. And man when it came down and making that decision, mymom told me I wasn't going to Alabama period and left a period at the end ofit. And so the decision Florida was fairly easily, but I was torn betweenthose two schools. Her mind, heart and soul was made up completely beyond mycontrol. I mean, that was my mom's heart. And you know what? In the end, Ithink things all all things worked out perfectly well. I don't know if youknow 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 inST Louis, and then, um, Ezekiel kinda had. It reminds me of when you weresaying that because his parents both went to Missouri. Right. And he's gotthis choice to either go to Missouri and Ohio State is pulling them to OhioState. And he went through this that that torture of trying to make thatdecision for a few weeks, you know, because Urban Meyer's calling them allthe 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'mtrying 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 theyprobably 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 haveloved 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 isallow my kid to make the most informed decision that he can possibly make forhis future. And he has to choose his own pathway has to be responsible forthat decision, and this is one of his biggest test, and we've always and myjob and our job as parents is to provide them with the information thatthey 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 myselfthe question, and I asked other parents, Are you raising your kids to stay? Areyou raising them to leave? If you're raising the lead, you got to allow themto fly and to be able to make mistakes. But when you get down to E. J. The onething that we focused on and we made...

...certain of this and I think this ithelps to be a father and a mother that is going to college, and it helps otherthat 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 wellrounded athlete and student athlete, if you will, right. But we always talkedabout the 40 year decision. Now his pathway and my daughter'spathways and my other youngest son pathways are going to be completelydifferent, all because of the word sports, right? So it's a 40 yeardecision 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 notonly the ability to play football at the collegiate level at the highestlevel and compete against some of the best teams in the country. But alsoit's going to open that door for you when all else is done. Yeah, and createthese everlasting relationships and have a degree that when you sayStanford, that's all you have to say. I'm aStanford grad. You happen to be a Stanford grad in computer science orStanford grad in business or Stanford Grad in from Bio Technology or StanfordGrad In this this it is different. It is completely different. It always willput you at the top of the list, you know, especially when people are comingto whatever you want to do. They're going to see your resume compared toother 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 myschool has done a great job, and it's doing a great job in terms ofeducational wise. But, man, you talk about Stanford, write somethingdifferent. Well, you know, you talk about the 40 year plan and it seemslike 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, yougot 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, ifyou really want to learn, you gotta come work in my offices And you didthat Like you said, I know like you kind of understood what the 40 yearplan was, and I Did somebody teach you that like, Well, how did that getinstilled in you? Well, as you grew up and where I grew up at, you know, someof 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 havejust come out of a 20 year sentence in jail, or a person that that that may behomeless but has wisdom but have fallen on hard times? Or your teacher or afire person or a police officer, or even just a guidance counselor or evena Pop Warner football coach who owns his own construction business, right?But yet, in part, wisdom upon YouTube to afford you the opportunity to startthinking 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 atGeneral Motors and worked at Texas instrument, but yet got caught in acertain situation that end up costing...

...them right Nearly as seeing that andunderstanding that and being able to say, Okay, I've seen it. I understandwhat this leads to. It's something that I don't want to be a part of. But Iwant to take advantage of the failures and shortcomings of others, so I don'trepeat the same cycle. And when it came down to Dylan, Roger star back. He wasa prime example, along with Matthew Johnson, guys that people don'tknow they being other professionals that are doing great work in businessthat play sports but has transitioned from the game into the real world ofbusiness. Those guys were great illustration of how it should be doneand done at the highest level. And that's something that I've alwaysstrived for and because I saw myself in my high school coach Charlie Hagar. Hetold not hospital popcorn because Charlie Eager. He told me years ago hesaid, Get your education He said, You got great talent, but your talentsgoing to leave you someday but your education will last you forever. Now hewas talking about getting a degree. Yeah, there's a difference in get adegree and get a degree in life and getting a degree in business and beingaround enough business to where, As you know, football, we are always aroundbusiness negotiating contracts, watching our owners negotiatesponsorship, being around sponsorship parties, being leveraged by the team,being leveraged into endorsement packages, negotiating endorsementpackages. All those things entails business, business, business. You arean asset, and the minute you recognize that you treat yourself differently andyou handle yourself differently into the into the real world. What we did, Icall it fantasy world. We were headed his own for a long time, and whateveryday life is to everyday citizen is real, real life and that's the partthat I never wanted to shy away from. That's the part that I was lookingforward to, but I wanted to ride this fantasy world as long as I could. Butwhen it was over, I wanted it to be completely over and be able totransition into something else and become productive just like I was ontothe football field. Well, I think it was amazing that, you know, you getdraft in the first round, you go to the Cowboys. But then you had enoughmindset to say I didn't finish my degree. I got to go back and finishthis. And, you know, I think it sounds like Coach Eggert was in your headsaying, You better go get your degree. But to me, that's kind of not a lot ofguys will do that right, because they know that they have this fantasy worldthat they get to go playing and, you know, make some money probably morethan 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 lastforever for these guys, either. I mean, trust me. 100 years of football haveshown 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 thequestion that needs to be be resolved is what's next. And it's the what's thenext part of it. That's very intimidating to a lot of us becausewe're competing against people that's been doing it for 15, 20 years, if notlonger, and we don't know what they know, and we don't know what we don'teven know. So so so it can be very...

...intimidating. But I say this. We usethe word humility and humble in the context of football in the context oftransitioning from the game into real life. It's a humbling experience andhumble with ourselves to learn, be willing to learn, be willing to stepout there you have what it takes. Why do you think so many corporations wantto talk to Africa and want to hire athletes won because you work at it toyour 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 somuch of you that corporate wants and other citizens want and other peopleneed 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 aswell 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 levelyou possibly could. And then what was great was that you knew there was atransition down the road, and it seems like that team was full of guys whoknew that, right? You played for that moment to be big and great, but youalso had other things in mind, and and I think you had good leaders around itbecause sometimes I missed some of that, you know, because I played for so manyteams and I left organizations and things, but it seems like you had greatpeople that came before you that that that wanted you guys to be great, notonly on the field but also off the field. And, you know, Jerry Jones waskind of the guy who wanted you guys to be like he was the Cabinets. He was thecallous. And I'll tell you what, right now, to this day, I give Jerry Jerry somuch credit for where I'm at, along with Roger Starbuck and along withMagic Johnson, including Michael Jordan, Those are the folks that I reached outthe 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 atheart and was driven beyond the game. Troyobviously wanted to do more in the broadcasting and also an investmentworld. He's done those kind of things once you get to a level thatfinancially that that we were at its about investments at times and thequestion is, are you investing in other people's stuff and controlling uh,allowed them to control your destiny, or are you leading on controlling yourown destiny is just as a matter of decisions. Because investing into oneof my project is no different than investment in the project would ratherstart back. The question becomes, who executes the best? If both of us areexecuted 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 inthe other side. So it is what it is. But that's that's the nature of thebeast. 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 yourinvestors. And you're gonna do what you say you're gonna do when you say you'regonna 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. Unlessyou're willing to do it all yourself, investing everything and put all yourmoney 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'regonna take a quick break. We'll be right back. Hey, everyone, welcome toanother episode of Huddle Up With Gus. I'm your host, former NFL quarterbackGus 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'venever read 16 31 digital news dot com Go to 16 31 digital news dot com To getyour latest news, sports, music and entertainment and maybe even listen toyour favorite podcast. Auto up with gusts. Check it out today at www 16 31digital news dot com. All right. Hey, Emma, we're back. Thanks for joining mein the huddle. Uh, we were just talking about investment, and I really want toask you when you were playing, you obviously invested in yourself, uh, asan 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 yourquarterback or your fullback? I invested in my linemen and my fool backmore so, but I took care of everybody, but I definitely invested in my lineand before back for sure people. You know, When I came in, I was playingwith the Vikings, and Adrian Peterson was in his first year, right, And andhe 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 theappreciation. So explain to our audience what that like. There was justan old code in the NFL that you just got to take care of. The people aroundyou like the trainers, the equipment guys. I mean, that was, you know, allthe hogs and everybody I when I was a rookie and that Redskin locker roomsare washing football team. They were like, You got to do this right orthere's going to be, you know, something to pay later on. So tell usabout, like, why that's important. Well, I think it's important to showappreciation. Uh, regardless of what the situation might be, Um, I hadsomebody tell me my I think it may have been My father told me I need to takecare of my linemen, um, and so forth and as when I became rookie of the yearand, uh, I went to the Pro Bowl as a rookie. The thing that I did, I didn'tget 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 itengraved something R O Y 99 had engraved on the back of it. Yeah, Igave my linemen and I gave Darryl Johnston one, and I still see themwearing it to this day they are so And then, as I started to make a little bitmore money, I started taking care of. Not only my Lyman, my wife received, isgetting a little something and and and also getting the equipment managers andthe the the, uh, training staff, as well as the strength and conditioningcoaches. 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 takingmy linemen to dinner and that you don't want to do that, you know, that's athat'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. Ibought a model toys. I bought them all. I got him trips to Hawaii. I did a lotof different things. And just to say, I appreciate you and one of the thingsI'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'tallow freshmen to talk to the press. So there's one day, um, I'm having thisincredible freshman season and about six weeks into the into the season, andmy team is our team is doing pretty good, and the press is still begginghim to talk to me. He finally break down after this one game, I rushed with245 yards on about eight carries, escorted by two touchdowns or somethinglike that. Uh, and so I went to talk to the press. He said, Listen, they wantto ask you all kinds of questions. Just answer the questions I'm like, Okay, Sohow hard could it be? So the press start asking these questions, and theymade it seem like I did everything and all. I said, Well, I got to hand offover 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 awhole lot of press and you don't you don't block for yourself. You don'tthrow the ball to yourself, and you definitely then didn't handle ball toyourself. I was like, Okay, Coach, I got it. So Monday rolls around. You'regoing to have our practice. No, I don't forgot all about the conversation. Ijust know that I need to share the spotlight. So he causes up the SouthLawn nine or seven, want nine defensive players and seven officer players, andwe don't have an inside run drill. I'm like, Okay, so I know what's about tohappen to tighten my chin strap, they say Hut! They hammered the football. Itake off, run into the lime streaming my line laid down. The whole defensehit me, got clobbered. So I get up and say, Coach, I got it, I got it, I gotit. And so from that moment on, I've always protected my life. Never blameanything on them, no matter how bad the game may have been. One game againstNew Orleans, I rushed for two yards, two yards, gusts, two yards yards infour quarters on about 18 carries. Never happened to you before. That'sthe first time it ever happened. And so outside of not being outside of beinghurt. And so the press come in and ask the question,What it looks like you didn't have running lanes out there today that theline did not block for you. So now the line did a great job. I just missed therunning lanes myself. I had a bad day. There you go. You can't ever put it onthere, so you never throw them under the bus. You shit these guys becausethey do so much for you and give you the opportunities to be the bestversion of yourself and when when there is a chance to pat them on the back youdo it every chance you get, right? You know, it's kind of funny thatexperience you have with the press. I had one similar in high school that Ilearned a lot from. We had a good game. We're playing our rivals in next weekand 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? AndI was like, you, You know, I didn't really know. I'm never really talked tothe press before. I'm like, 16 years old and I go, yeah, we should doalright against them. I think will win. It was over like her, Like it wasnothing malicious or thinking we were better than it was just, like, feltconfident in our team. And that was a hard lesson to learn, because the nextweek 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 thething. You see how people take advantage of vulnerable situation now.You you and your teams probably never spoke to the press before. Don't evenhave training. These are grown people, and what they're looking for is just asound bite. But you didn't realize that at the time, because the experience toeven understand that. And they took advantage of that situation and put youout there like that, which is which is...

...typical of the press, right? You'remanipulative 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 morepressure on you. And so you can say, See, you want as good as you thoughtyou were. Yeah, you know, you know. But I I agree with all that, but alsotaught me a valuable lesson for things that are going to happen to me in mylife. And I'm 1/7 rounder and there's a first rounder taken and we're competingin 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 wetalked 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 peopleinvolved. It's not about you, it's about everyone. It's about thisorganization. So there was a lot of lessons I learned from that in highschool. And, you know, I was. It was hard at that time that I had to dealwith 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 thelong run. Uh, like I said earlier, all things do work together and you'reabsolutely correct. When I became a Dallas Cowboys and when I went to theUniversity of Water, they had media training. And when we got when I got tothe 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 youdon't want to see it in the paper, don't don't don't say it. And even ifyou don't say nothing negative or if you talk about certain situation andit's not necessarily about you, it's amazing how the paper would take aquote that's not even indicative of the conversation at all and insert thatquote into their article to make it appears that you are in support or whathe or she is saying or you are against what he or she is saying right andpeople 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 whereyou only rushed for two yards and you've got all these emotions going onand all of a sudden somebody shoves a mic in your face. You're like, Okay, Igotta 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 thosesounds like I think the Cowboys did. We started. I don't know. We started thisprocess, but I believe we may have, because you're right, you only have 15minutes to come in. The media would rush right in and I'll be in my lockerjust getting out of shower with a towel around my waist. Right. And I got thesecameras 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 sittinghere 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 Isaid, Listen, I'm having a press conference risk. I'm gonna get myclothes 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 towent 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 likeI would, but if it was something like...

...late night game. Then I would probablygo in with just a cowboy stuff on and all that kind of like your stuff backonto 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'tremember a lineman offensive line. We had trade Johnson. And so, Trey, he gotsick of it, too, Right? Because, you know, he's just Lyman, right? He'ssweating. He wants to calm down and get a shower. All that he said he used tocall me sniper. Right. He goes, Alright, Sniper Screw it. I'm just gonna benaked the whole interview. And he never would wear a towel anytime. I don'tcare, 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 roomlike that. Were you? Oh, yes. Oh, yes. And you had some amazing leaders. Whowere the guys in that locker room that I'm sure. Obviously, the three of youwere the ones that kind of controlled everything. But who are the guys thatalways 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 sideof American. Exactly. Dion. I mean, we had a bunch of guys that just hadnothing but fun. And it was awesome just to be around because you needed tohave that in the locker room in order to take some of the pressure off ofeveryone else, right? Oh, yeah. There's no doubt about that. And so you gothrough this amazing career. I mean, you've done things that nobody ever hasdone in the NFL. And so when you accomplish this and you're standing onthat stage in Canton, tell me. I mean, I'll listen to your speech. It wasamazing. You know, everybody. I mean, there's so many people think. I don'teven know how you start writing this, but from the kid an eighth gradeshoulder pads you had like, everything. It's kind of like to me. Everything hasto 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 theicing on the cake of my entire career? Um, because it gave me for the firsttime in my life, I think I actually sat down and paused to reflect over myentire football career in my life and to be able to go back in time and thinkabout the process and the progress that was made and what was accomplishedthroughout that whole entire, uh, my whole entire career in sports. The Hallof 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 ofthe sport that you play and how you played it, the coaches, that you hadthe importance of the people who impacted your life as well, because ifyou don't take the time to really reflect and decompress from all thisstuff, 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 todecompressed and to think about those folks. Uh, and it seems like it wasjust yesterday gossip. Oh, I can...

...imagine. And and now I am 16 yearsremoved from the National Football League. And and and so, uh, sittinghere watching my son start up his his career at Stanford. My daughtersgraduate one graduated from Duke. Another one getting really graduatedfrom Texas A and M in May. And I'm about to send my youngest daughter offto college in about a year and a half, so it is gone by quickly. But it justseemed 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 backyardgrandmother's house, your grandmother's house. That's right. That's right. Imean, to me, it's amazing. And did that feel, you know, you talked earlierabout the fan like you live in this fantasy? That's like you're thepinnacle with this fantasy right now, the Hall of Fame. And that's like theending. Now I'm going to start my next journey, my next transition in life todo 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. OnceI retired, I jumped right into working with Roger Starlet. Mhm. So I wentright into the real estate business in oh five and dabbled in technology eversince, 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 20some years of football that I played and go back and just say, Wow, youaccomplished a lot. But it also gave me the fuel and the the faith to know thatI'm not done. There's more to be done. And it gave me the foundation to standon confidently that I can't do what I'm doing now, and I can do it at a highlevel. I do have the tools. I do have the thought process. I do I just got tocontinue to surround myself with quality people and and continue to movethe ball forward and and cut the right deals and be accessible and andcontinue to earn the right to do business with whomever I'm trying to dobusiness with, right? And obviously, you're doing great in business. I mean,you started something in Baltimore as well. Um, you started another companyin Baltimore. What made you go from, you know, Dallas? I mean, it's likeit's like, Okay, I got everything I need right here in Dallas and all of asudden you go to Baltimore. What? Because I was trying to figure thatthat that journey out here's the thing When I was working with the star backcompany, um, and the startup company was a global company, by the way, and working with them, there was aninitiative that involved minority and diversity and inclusion that they wereworking with a corporate client with, and so they approach me. Okay, becauseI was in the office, But little did I know they had approached another groupout of Baltimore. Now this other group didn't know me, and I didn't know themBut for some reason we end up getting connected on a project that they weredoing 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 theBaltimore we met these guys, they showed us the project that were thatthey were working on and neither some assistance on. And then we sat downafterwards to start having a conversation about what they were doing,what I was doing. And then they started talking about doing some diversity andinclusion stuff with this particular company that we were talking to. Theywere talking to the same company. Now we were competing for the same businessto 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 andthat gave me the Baltimore office that also gave me the ability to reach thePhiladelphia market as well, and so because I wanted a much more broaderplatform than just Texas be able to go where a client wanted to take me. Andso and that's what I have to this day have a joint venture now with NewmarkKnight and Frank not to start back company. And that takes me globallywith any company that I want to that that really that really want to workwith me, and I want to work with them as well. Yeah, that is awesome. Likeyou think about. I mean, obviously everyone knows your name. Your youryour cowboy. You played in the NFL, but then you talk about like trying toreach 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 itpositively. And not only that, but create other opportunities for otherfolks 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 Michaelwilbon about, you know, we're talking all kind of things, and we talked abouthe's from the the D. C area. We were talking about RFK and he told me astory about, um You guys were going to play at the new stadium New Jack KentCooke Stadium. You made the bus driver take a detour and go past RFK. Is thattrue? Yeah. Yeah, I wanted to see RFK. Well, cause I don't know. I mean, I'veobviously 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 bouncingthe hog, it's and the band And there was no other experience like that. Maybe 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 appreciatedplanning. RK really did. And FedEx feel was cool, but there was nothing likeold 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 shapedyour 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 alltogether. Follow your passions. And you've done that. You're at the you'reat the top, and I've always admire you. And I appreciate you joining me onhuddle up with gusts and let our fans know how they can follow you. Or, youknow, 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 andFacebook and Instagram. Awesome. And I know you're working withany charities, right? And I know you. I think you still have one. Well, we'reclosing our charity now. We we sent our kids team 22 kids off to college. I'vebeen at the charities space for about almost 20 years straight. Man, I'mtrying 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 thosethings. But I'm still active in terms of supporting, uh, many food pantryright 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 makesure 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 prettygood, right? I don't think he plays golf anymore. Oh, really? Well, we allgot 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 showwhat 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 cheeseso many high levels in their life and their careers, Um, and you hear fromthem what drove them to be great. And hopefully you can take a little bitthat with you. So, um, thanks for joining me in the 16. 31 digital newsstudio. Thanks to Brian Baumann. Thanks to Iain Kiss, thanks to Terry Shulman.Everybody helping me out and appreciate sounder FM for for letting me jointheir platform. Everyone have a great day and I hope you enjoyed this episodeand please go to our website, huddle up with gusts dot com and like and shareand subscribe. Have a great day, everyone.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (144)