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Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 10 months ago

Matt Birk

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Joining me in the Huddle this week is my former teammate and friend, Matt Birk. He played center and was a Super Bowl Champion with the Baltimore Ravens, a 6-time Pro Bowler and Walter Payton Man of the Year. He had an incredible NFL career and continues his endeavors off the field with his company, https://www.mattbirkandcompany.com

Join me in the Huddle with Matt Birk!

...welcome everyone to huddle up with Gus.I'm your host, 15 year NFL quarterback Gus, for, uh, we're here in the new 1631 digital news studio. If you wanna learn more or listen to previous shows,you can check us out on our website. Huddle up with gus dot com, or youcould listen to us on the new radio dot com app. Wherever you listen to yourfavorite podcasts while in the huddle, our guests describe how sports shapedtheir life. Now let's join the huddle. Everyone welcome back to huddle up withus on your host guest for a 15 year NFL quarterback. Uh, you're joining ustoday in the 16 31 digital news studio. You can also listen to us on K s I X inCorpus Christi, Texas. Uh, today we're joined by a new old friend of mine.Sometimes I was really, really close with him. Uh, and sometimes I wasn't,so we'll find out what that means. But joining me today six time Pro Bowler totime, All pro, uh, center. Great father. Great husband, You know, doing a lotfor his community. Six time Viking man of the year. You name it. This guy'sdone it. Joining me today is my good old friend, Matt Birk. Matt, how're youdoing? I'm great, Gus. It's good to see you again. Great to see you. You look wonderful.Matt is one of these guys that left the NFL, got real skinny and then tookpictures with his shirt off. I never did that. So, Matt, what was that likefor you to lose all that weight? Well, it wasn't. It wasn't hard. You knowwhat the secret to losing weight is. Just need to start at a really highnumber, which I was was about £315 of my plan day. So there was There wasnowhere to go but down. And it's nice when you could be down to 2. 40 or to50 and everybody's telling you, man, you're skinny. What they mean is I'mskinny compared to what I used to be. But it's not unfortunate because I loveeating. And so if you're an offensive lineman and you're naturally not £300love of eating actually serves you well. And then I'm done. Plan and I get toget down to at least a somewhat normal size. So no more of those days of youand I going to lunch and you eating too cute job burritos with everything on insome good cheese and all that. I think the first time when you first signedwith the Vikings, you're like, Hey, let's grab a bite to eat. And I waslike, Yeah, we're gonna go to this place and I took you to the burritojoint and it was like a drive to because my calories were important tome And yeah, you sat down and you got one burrito and I got to and we, uhthat's that's how it all started for us. Yeah, I've been going on the wrong waysince we've been done. I I'm looking at the often I'm looking like I could playmaybe, like left guard right now. So, uh, you know what do you What do yougonna dio? It is life. I'm like you. I love to eat, and, uh, you know, Ialways say when we were playing and we got the opportunity to go in, work outhard every day, do those kind of things, and after 25 years of doing it straight,man. My body just told me that I don't want to do that anymore. Now I'm tryingto get back and right the ship. So it's been a journey for me. It's been crazy.It is kind of fun. They'll be in untold athlete. At least at least I don't feelthat guilty when I don't work out because like you just said, I workedout hard for so many years. So I feel like I'm entitled to skip work out here.There may be, you know, 10 or 12 in a row. Yeah, so there's so many things Iwant to talk to you about. But let's get started from when you your firstmemory from when you were a kid, it could have been some family member.Could have just been an idol you had. I know you grew up in Minnesota, butwhat's that first memory where you remember like man, I love sports. Thisis what I wanna do someday. Gosh, uh, yeah. I mean, I don't know if a Sfar,as I can remember it was lucky. I grew up in a neighborhood. It's just a bunchof kids just running around you know, in the streets, in the alleys, right.It was the eighties. Um, times were different than they are now. And I canremember our house was right in the middle of the block, and I can rememberwe would, um we would play football my yard and then the two yards next to it.We would just, you know, there was a tree and there was sidewalks andwhatever, but we would just play tackle football. Yes, I was probably five orsix years old and there was 89 and 10 year olds. And you just It's just whatwe did, you know, we had I remember we had a blue. It's a football. If youremember that, it's a football. It was like a step up from from the Nerf. And,uh, we just played outside and I can remember those games, and it's just Idon't know, sports is just what we did, man. You know, it was e read the sportssection every single day, like memorize it, just pour over it cover to cover,like 20 times, and we didn't have cable or anything. So stay up and try to getthat two minutes and sports on the 10 o'clock news and and that was it. Yeah,it's just sports is just part of how I grew up and have to. Two youngerbrothers were pretty close in age, had...

...a dad who was a baseball player, and itwas just It was just what we did. Yeah, I always had a ball in the house,always had a ball in your hand. That's the way I was growing up. I was theyoungest of four and I had to find my friends in the community. That's werode our bikes everywhere, just like you, and we were always out playingbasketball, baseball, whatever. It didn't matter. Andi. I always thoughtthe greatest thing about that was there was no parents. There's no referees.There's nobody telling you. You just kind of figured things out yourself.And if you fell and got hurt, the other guys came, picked you up and y'all itwas always something that you learned from in those situations. And I believea lot of my sports memories are like yours where they came from being in theneighborhood. Yeah, I wasn't, you know, of course, weplayed like rec league stuff. I wasn't any good at sports, so that might havehelped a little bit. But I never did any travel teams or made any All Starteams. In fact, uh, might claim toe fame, if you will, Was that I neverwanted trophy on growing up on my younger brother, who was a greatathlete, and he kind of seemed to get not to travel. Sports was this hugething. It certainly wasn't what it is today. But he would make all the AllStar teams and they would win. He has hit this room. My little brother had aroom full of trophies and I had nothing but a majority of my sports were playedin the yard in the alley. I don't know how we did it, but a bunch of us wouldjust bike up to the to the playground. And they were like kids from the otherneighborhoods were there, and somehow we just all knew that we were meetingat a certain time and we would There was no watches or anything.Streetlights popped on you. You rush home and that was it. You know, I'msure. I'm sure we romanticize it. a little bit, Gus. I'm sure it wasn't allthat were that it was cracked up to be. But, man, with all these kids, I have abunch of kids and trying to navigate this youth sports world. I mean, Igotta I gotta believe at least it was better than it is now. Well, I canalmost guarantee our parents sent to put didn't put the miles on their carslike we do, because we have to travel and take our kids everywhere becauseeverything is organized. There's not some neighborhood group going outanymore and playing in the back. I've never see it anymore. And I live in alittle small town in Pittsburgh. You just don't see it anymore. It is kindof sad. We do romanticize it, and times have changed. But, um, I just thinkthat kids missed that a lot. Yeah, I got I got a little bit oftrouble. I shouldn't say anything. You put on Twitter, you're going to getblowback from, but you know, this the pandemic. And obviously there's a lotof things going on there. But one of the things I said was, I'm kind ofenjoying the break from youth sports. Uh, more time with the family. Moretime. My boys in the yard with a ball neighborhood Kids, actually, kind oflike coming over and saying, Hey, what are you doing? Lett's. It kind ofreminded me of that, and it kind of made me made me smile a little bit. Uh,yeah, I know that the pandemics not gonna last forever, but it was kind ofkind of enjoying that pause for for me personally, for my kids, so they couldexperience a little bit of how I grew up. And then us is a family, too. Imean, there are some seasons where we hardly ever have family dinner together,and that's and that's really unfortunate. And I feel like we do apretty good job of not getting caught up in everything and saying no to a lotof the the travel sports, But But it's hard. It may be because because I havea kids. It's just the sheer volume of kids. Its's impossible. Uh, but yeah,it Z yeah, I don't know. I mean, you know, I don't think we're gonna go backto those days, but it is. I agree. It is important for kids to have thatunstructured, no parent playtime. And they can They can really just be kids.Yeah. So you had a few brothers you played with you. You were growing up.You kind of had sports in your family. It seems like, um, when you get to thatnext level, So where your brother is older or younger than you, they're both younger. But there's onlythree years total between three of us. Also, you're pretty close. So you go onto like that high school, that transition, you're leading the way foryour brothers and you go to that. That ninth grade step was always big for alot of people. Um, you know, because then all of a sudden you may be able toplay varsity sports. You may be playing all these other things and doing thesedifferent things. What was that experience like for you from, you know,growing up in a neighborhood all of a sudden in high school. And there's, youknow, it's a different game for kids. And sometimes that transitions prettyhard. Yeah. I mean, I think I knew I wasn'tgreat at sports. I was actually short fat and slow and weak, and but I justloved it, you know, It didn't it didn't bother me that I wasn't good at sports.I guess I just always, you know, I always knew that I wasn't one of thegood kids. I wasn't picked first. And so I was okay with just going out forthe team and and and trying out and and...

...then something kind of happened betweenmy freshman and sophomore year. I grew like seven inches. I actually thinnedout. I discovered the weight room and I kind of felt like Man, I like, I likelifting weights and I wanna be I wanna be like a big, strong guy. And then thebiggest thing was that I actually Then I Then I went out for football for thefirst time in 10th grade, and I kind of discovered that I had a few gifts thatI didn't know I had, which was getting in people's way and grabbing onto him.And so I For the first time, I really start having gets in a sport which wasfootball. And then, uh, you know, I think just because I kind of hit agrowth spurt physically came into my own a little bit. I was loved.Basketball's got pretty good basketball all of a sudden. And then it was kindof like Okay. I mean, I was never one of the most athletically gifted guys,but I loved it. I loved Thio, but it was in the weight room or just shootingbaskets by myself. I put in what I would call the lonely work. I justloved doing it. Nobody ever had to tell me to do it. My parents would never ina million years with my parents ever forced me to do anything or say, Hey,you gotta go practice this or you gotta go lift weights. They just they let mebe. But it was something that I just I had the intrinsic motivation Thio Thiodo whatever it waas thio get better. And, uh, you know, by the time I was asenior in high school, I was I was I was I wasn't a great, but I was. I wasa pretty good high school athlete. I went to high school that has a goodtradition of sports. I mean, we've got Heisman Trophy winners and first rounddraft picks and all the sports. But I was kind of lucky my year. There was alittle bit of a lull, and I was able Thio was able to play football andbasketball and have have a lot of success and have great experience. Well,I think you were that guy that you're definitely I did hear that you had somegood defense of skills on the hoop court locking down, Uh, what was hisname Jacobson or somebody like that that you locked down for? Yeah, You thegreatest, greatest high school basketball player in the state ofMinnesota. We played him in the section finals and we beat him, and I held himto 29 points. And the reason he didn't have 50 because I let him shoot as manythrees as he wanted. And he he was a little off that night. Yeah, and if hecame inside, he had to deal with somebody who likes to grapple a littlebit. Probably, huh? I was by that point, I was definitely afootball player on the basketball court. Yes. Yeah, I used to. I was the sameway. Like I love basketball, but I used to get fouls just for boxing. Peopleout right, Because, you know, I'm gonna put my butt into, you know, suddenly goflying. They're like, That's a foul And I'm like, What? That's what Coachtaught me, you know? But I think sometimes that physicality on thebasketball court isn't what everybody is wanting. And when I tell you what.And again I watched basketball now and at my high school, I couldn't even makethe team. Now. I mean, I was a 64 center, which was about maybe maybemost centers were 65 or 66 but 64 was not a short sent. Nowadays, it seemslike the kids are like 6 10, and they're they're bringing the ball upthe court. It's just it's just insane how, I guess, because of specializationand and other things, how how good high school sports have gotten. So you weretalking about before how we grew up, and it just kinda happened, you know, emean unless unless you're unless you're blessed with a huge amount of talent.Unfortunately, if you want to play, I think that most high schools you dohave to take youth sports pretty seriously, which I'm not saying is agood thing. I think it's kind of a bad thing, but it's just the way it ISS. Yeah, you know, I I look at my storyand I'm a little bit like yours were in, You know, I played football in eighthgrade. In the ninth grade, I had a major accident on the football field. Ididn't play for another two years and then 11th grade, I started playingquarterback first time I ever played and we ran the wing tea. It's not likeI was throwing the ball around, you know? But I was a big kid, like yousaid, Um, today, you know, if I didn't, if I wouldn't have started playing whenI was in in youth and been had that skill set and had that knowledge By thetime you get the high school, you're kind of behind the eight ball. Yeah, I mean, high schools. Now they'reyou know, they're they're these high school kids. They're watching film yearround, and they've got the iPads and I remember in high school, the only filmwe watched was Saturday mornings. After the game, they wheel in one of thosebig tube TVs. It was just a big It was only like 19 inches, but the thing washuge. You know, it was on one of those carts and navy cart, and they put theVCR tape in, and we 30 of us on offense for laying on the floor on the coachwas I mean, you know, you had one. It was it was like there was no film. Youdidn't learn anything from film. You just went out and played, you know, onDNA nowadays, the way that these high school kids, the film work, that theydo in the off season training and the...

...practicing, its's just like it was whenwhen we were in the NFL. Um, and you know, again, it's just the way it is.But it just seems like it seems like the innocents has gone from from youthand high school sports. And, you know, I think once you get to college, okay,it's a little understand. It's a business and coaches are making aliving and you know their families are involved and okay, but I just I reallyit really doesn't sit with me very well that there's kind of in this thisprofessionalization of high school and now even even youth sports. And youknow, the end of the day, it's just not good for kids. And I think it Ah, lotof kids. Uh ah, lot of kids don't get the opportunity to play becausefinancial reasons, because time, commitment, whatever, why theirfamilies can't can't do it. And it's unfortunate because I know you know whyyou're doing what you're doing. And, ah, lot of what what made me is because ofthose those experiences that I had planned sports, they helped shape who Iwaas, they helped help me develop a lot of skills that I use in my everydaylife, whether it's as a husband, as a father and business on. And you justyou just hate to see that that that opportunity and taken away from somekids, Yeah, I totally agree with you that, you know, the cost of it reallyhinder some kids. And then I think that, too, is if some kids don't grow likeyou. You talked about hey and not till 10th grade that I discovered that mybody started growing and had all these had all these changes. And if you werein new sports today and you were that Matt Burke that was eight years old,those coaches would be like, Oh, he doesn't have the skill or the talent.You know what I mean? Like they put all these parameters on these kids likethey should be in the Pro Bowl at eight years old, nine years old, 10 for allthese you sports and I agree with you. It's it's absolutely wrong. It shouldjust be about having fun and and teaching them to love the sport theylove. Yeah, the way I say it is is right now,you sports. We're trying to figure out who's the best. And what we should betrying to figure out is what's your best you know, for each kid and justwork with that kid toe to grow and develop Pond have a great experiencebecause, you know, sports, er, sports. You don't get to play sports forever. Imean, you, you and me, we got were the 99th percentile. We got to play untilwe were old in their mid thirties late thirties. Uh, most people you know, ifyou know, if you're lucky right, you can play in high school and, uh, andnow even even that's getting harder and harder to do. And then sports organizedteam sports, air gone. You miss that window and yeah, I mean, I saw some ofmy best memories. Most fun happened and even grade school. I can remember backthat far. It doesn't have toe. Everybody's worried about getting theNFL or the NBA or the NHL. It's like, man, no, you don't understand. Like,you know, don't don't don't just don't use sports. A za means to an end, youknow, enjoy, enjoy whatever you're doing today and whatever level you'replaying at, um, you know things. Old things, old things will take care ofthemselves. Yeah. You know, you create some of your best friendships in sportsSome of those people that you you you know I can I'm like you. I think backThio like eighth grade basketball. We're playing up a level against ninthgraders, but we're all eighth graders, and we all put in the work. You know,we had a coach that just drove us into the floor, you know, it was all aboutdefense, and we all worked hard. That was the great thing was nobody was. Youknow, we can play a little bit, obviously, were kids, but we just whenwe got there, we worked and it was just I love those experiences, you know. Andsometimes when you get older like you go to Harvard and then all of a suddenyou go to the pros. There's all these different mentalities. They didn't growup in the same like you, and and that's difficult to put all that together.Thio be a winner, right and toe, actually, just be good to each other. Ithink that's really difficult. So what was it like map for you? All of asudden, you're in Minnesota and tell me about, like, the whole recruitmentprocess because so many kids go through that and it's different nowadays. Buttell me what your experience was like when you were getting recruited to goon and play football at the next level. Well, I wasn't super heavily recruited.I still kind of fashion myself as a basketball player. When I was a seniorbut didn't know that Yeah, I was really gonna have a chance to play in college.I was getting recruited by some small schools, and actually, it was prettygood student as well and like sports. So I looked into a physical therapyprogram and found one at Marquette University, where I could be in fiveyears. I could be a licensed physical therapist that that would be great. Itcould be like an athletic trainer and work around sports. And at the end ofmy senior year of football, my coach said, Well, there's some schools I wantto talk to And I said Now you know I'm all set. Yeah, you get a few lettershere and there But I said, I said I'm all set. I got accepted to market andI'm gonna be a physical therapist And...

...he's like, Well, some of these schools,like Ivy League schools and service academies And I was like, Oh, okay, so,uh, really good wasn't didn't have any scholarship offers or anything likethat. But God got accepted into Harvard University and just thought Boy, that'sif I could play football and go to school in a place like that. That zagreat opportunity, right? Couldn't couldn't pass it up and it was kind ofit was sort of last minute because Harvard had a coaching change and againdifferent time. They were late to the recruiting game, but it just, uh it allfell into place. And so I said, Well, I guess I'm gonna someone play footballin college and go go really far away from home. Right? And how was that foryou? Because I know I left Pittsburgh and went to Tulsa, but I actually hadsome kids that were from Pittsburgh. So, like I was felt okay. But we had a lotof kids who left and were homesick. How was that transition for you your firstyear at Harvard? Uh, you know, I kind of thought that boy was a little fullof myself. I thought she's, you know, kind of killing it here in high schooland Harvard. It's one double a non scholarship football. So it's like Dthree. You know, I'm gonna I'm gonna go out there and light the world on fire,and, you know, im school always came pretty easy to me. Well, I got thereand I was getting my butt kicked in the classroom. I was getting my butt kickedon the football field because now you shut your 18 and you're going to getguys there 20 to like men. I was still a boy and really, for the really firsttime in my life, I mean, there was like, I shouldn't say First time my life, butwhat my expectations were in how I thought it was gonna be and how itreally was didn't match up. And it was It was a blow to my ego in my pride,and I seriously considered leaving. In fact, if it would've been up to me, Iwould have probably left. But, uh, my dad, who is not a man of many words,kind of told me is like, now you're you're gonna stay on. Uh, they stayedfor the first year and and then, uh, you know, got my feet under me a littlebit and and stopped kind of to be what role on It's just stop being a baby and,uh, dug in and and worked hard and, uh, you know, again started to kind offootball. Things started to click a little bit. I mean, I say to you knowthis and I think anybody that's had success in sports knows it's not justyou. I mean, you know, great coaches and teammates and just the rightsituation and environment that fits you and your your ableto flourish. You know,all those things kind of happened after after my freshman year. I had a greatgroup of friends that I was with who also loved toe, you know, lift weights.And we wanted to get big and strong. Way were meatheads. Um, but that was agood thing, right? Like it was just be focused on lifting heavy weights andeating big pasta meals versus a lot of the other junk that you could do incollege. And, you know, we're reading, like the body building magazines andwatching, pumping iron and just meatheads Uh, and, uh, you know, Thenmy senior year comes around, and obviously I never thought I'd go to theNFL. But the year before that, there was 23 guys from the from the IvyLeague that got drafted in the NFL, which never happened. So all of asudden, like scouts were coming and looking at the Ivy League. And I got upto £310 which was, you know, legitimate that's NFL weight, but also when you're3. 10 in the Ivy League like you could do some damage E d and I was going,They were still 2. 30. Exactly. So I say I might have the best highlightfilm with any college prospect ever because, uh, you know, I mean, Ibelieve guys, Hey, look again. It's dim, but back then, we work just as hard aseverybody else. But we're probably as a whole, you know, £20 lighter than £2030lighter than the one guys are. Receivers probably ran 474 eightsinstead of four force. But we tried hard. It just so happened that by thetime I was 21 years old, I mean, I'd kinda again. I wasn't done physicallymaturing at 18, I grew and got bigger, stronger, faster. When I got intocollege, and by my senior year I was kinda had it together. And, you know, Igot a chance. He was late round draft pick by my hometown team, the MinnesotaVikings. Yeah, that's crazy. So tell me aboutthe Ivy League. Is there a lot of smack talk between schools when you're outthere? E mean, Yeah, there's some smack talk,but it Z you know, you can imagine the kind of I mean, listen, we're not likewearing ascots and, uh, and smoking pipes. I mean, you know, if you'replaying football in every, so you're you're probably a football player morethan you are, and, you know, Ivy League material. But, I mean, yeah, it zitspretty intense. I just I think at the end of the day, though, there's, uh Imean, I have no idea what it's like if you play in the Big 10, if if there's abond amongst all Big 10 football...

...players or not. But I think now thatI'm really far removed from it, when you meet somebody who played footballin the Ivy League, there's a There's a I don't know if it's a brotherhood, butthere's there's a bond there. Well, I definitely think there's a bond there.I mean, you guys only get so many games, there's there's really no championshipright there. It's just different how they approached it over the years. Butthose rivalries go back, you know, for such a long time. So you know, it'slike when you go from one team to another. When you play for theMinnesota Vikings, you know your rivalries. Anybody in the NFC North? Uh,everyone. We're talking with Matt Birk. We're gonna take a quick break here,but we'll be right back in the 16 31 digital news studio. Hi, this is former NFL quarterback GusFrerotte, 16 31. Digital advertising is your one stop shop to promote yourbusiness and get new customers for award winning Creative to getting asonline in display video O T T connected TV and streaming audio Go to 16 31digital advertising dot com. EMP. The multi format network is here to helpcreate, produce, distribute and sell your content from or information. Senda message to info at a m p dot TV. That's info at double a m p dot tv Hey,K s I X listeners, you got a new show coming your way. Join me. Gus Frerotte,15 year NFL Q B and host of Huddle Up with Gus. Every Sunday morning at 10a.m. I talked to celebrities, veterans and professionals like MatthewMcConaughey and dig for Mill about how sports shaped their life, joined gustBorat and his guests in the 16 31 digital news studio on Huddle Up withGus every Sunday at 10 a.m. Here on sports radio. Okay, s I X has someonein your family lost a job recently, and now you can't afford your mortgagepayment Or do you have a rental property and your tenants aren't payingyou quick cash offer can come to the rescue and pay you cash for your homeimmediately. Yes, sell your home and get cash all over the phone withoutdealing with real estate agents and risking your safety by showing yourhome to lukewarm buyers. You don't need to lose your home to foreclosure. Ifyou have any equity in your home, we will buy it and give you cash withindays, all in a simple over the phone and virtual process called quick cashOffer. Now, before the economy gets worse, sell a home you can't afford orjust don't want to get the cash you need. Today. 804 707113 804 707113 804707113 That's 804 70 71 13. Hi this is former NFL quarterback Gus Frerottetelling you that 16 31 Digital news is your daily source for online newscontent featuring National and international stories on news, politics,entertainment, sports and lifestyle. Log on today at 16 31 digital news dotcom. EP The multi format network is here to help create, produce,distribute and sell your content from or information. Send a message to infoat a m p dot TV. That's info at double a. M p dot tv. Hey, everyone, welcomeback in the huddle. You can find us at radio dot com wherever you listen toyour favorite podcast. Now let's join the huddle. Everyone, welcome back to the huddle Upwith the best on your host. Best for us. We're speaking with Matt Birk playedfor the Minnesota Vikings, so won a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens.He was an All Pro, is a Pro Bowler man of the Year. Walter Payton, man of theyear award winner. You name it Berks. Mr. NFL, he's done it all. He's evenworked for the NFL when he left and retired. So, Burke, you've been in theNFL for for a long time on Ben. All of a sudden, you're this young kid atHarvard and you know, you follow sports at that point, you understand what'sgoing on and tell me about your experience where you were when youfound out that you were gonna get drafted, that you were gonna go playfor your hometown? Well, I was, and I was in my dorm roombecause everybody at Harvard lives in the dorms and, uh, had it was a bigdorm. There was eight of us eight guys, and we had this big common area. And,of course, uh, you know, it was the crowd was growing as the second dayback then there's only two days of the draft. Is that as the draft was, what'sgoing on? More and more people started coming in the room, and, you know,we're going to the sixth round, and it's like there's quite a few people inour room and way Have one phone, right?...

Nobody is allowed to use the phone thatday. I'm gonna strangle you. If you tried to get on the phone waiting,waiting, waiting, and e remember, it would ring and everybody would be quiet.I talk and you know, you know how teams call and say, Hey, we're you know,we're thinking about taking it with this next pick, and so I e take acalling and hanging up. And I would say it was the It was the Chiefs and it wasthe Packers. And then I got a call. It was it was Denny Green who was. Hewasn't a scout. He was the head coach, the Minnesota Vikings and I was a bigVikings fan, and I knew he wasn't calling to say, Hey, we're thinkingabout taking the head coach only calls if they're going to take it. He said,Do you want to come play for the Minnesota Vikings? And I was like, Areyou kidding me? And he said, Oh, your name is gonna pop up on the screenright here And it popped up in the room, went nuts and it was a great moment.You No, no, no cell phones. Back then gusty. I could remember I e. I wastalking toe talking to people for the coaches and the press, and it took melike an hour and a half toe. Get free to call my mom and dad. And, uh, when Icalled home, I said, Did you guys hear? They said, Oh, my gosh, somebody justcalled us and told us I mean, this is an hour and 15 minutes late. Uh, andthey just heard that I got drafted by the Vikings, but that z how the worldwas back then it wasn't. It was an instant like it is a game. That was, Imean, obviously, obviously a great day for for us. It was a great day for you.I was just talking on a show last night that I do. It's called Thursday NightTailgate, and, uh, I was saying like, I don't know if I would have wanted to goback home and play for the Steelers even though I tried several timesbecause I know even when I visited back home as a player, the calls, the peoplethat that wanted things, that tickets can I see you? Can I do all this? Andbecause we were talking about Dwayne Haskins and everything he's goingthrough at the Washington football team because that's his hometown and I thinkhe kind of went down the wrong road. And I think you're a shining example ofwhen you do go play at your hometown. What what good things can happen andhow the positivity can work. So tell us about that. You go back home fromHarvard and and now you're in Minnesota. How did you deal with all thosesituations? Well, if you're a quarterback, it'sprobably a lot harder because you're the guy, right? That position is uniqueand a lot of ways, you know, for me, it was great. Um, I come back home, myfamily, my friends, my you know, my buddies from high school. I wasn't somebig football star when I left, so they don't really care. When I came backthat I was still playing football, you know, they they loved me and caredabout me for who I was not what I was doing. Um, yeah, You certainly get alot of the those people on the fringe that all of a sudden start coming atyou a little bit. But it was that was felt. He was always pretty easy for mebecause I had just a great, great core and I really needed him because when Iwhen I got back here to play for the Vikings, it was It was a lot likecollege when I first got to college, where it's that big step and it's a lotof failure. At first, I mean, for my first two years, I was a backup and Ihad to go to work every day in playing scout team, and I had to block JohnnyRandle or try to block Johnny Randle. I blocked Randall for two years, so likewhat's I mean? You get up. It was like, Oh, you're playing for the Vikings?That's awesome. I'm like, You don't understand what my days look like, youknow, way go out there. There is he never took a playoff in hislife for a practice walk through is nothing so like, you know, you justkeep failing over and over and over. It's hard, and there's somebody whereit's really hard. So it was great kids to know that had that support and justjust kept just kept plugging away, plugging away and again. I'll sayanybody who's had success and sports knows that is not you, necessarilyyou're part of it, but just got to be in the right situation. And, you know,Mike Tice was was was probably the exact coach that I needed at that time.Mike played a long time in the NFL. He fought for everything. He was a toughguy, so he toughened me up and got me ready. And in my third year, there wasa the starting center. Jeff Christy, Pittsburgh I Hey, he left the of freeagency and Mike said, We'll give you a chance. Thio win the starting centerposition and s o, you know, having those two years to learn to get my buttkicked by John. But toe sit behind Jeff, who was one of the best in the leagueand just watch him and learn from him. We actually room together on the roadlike that. If I had gone to a team in a situation where they needed me to playright away, I have gone out there and I would have failed miserably. And then,you know, in the NFL, if if you're young and you don't you don't show somesuccess early on, they'll just they'll get ready in because they got you got anew draft class coming in next year. You only get so many chances on filmfor teams to see if you can do it or...

...not. And if you can't, they'll justthey'll just move on real quickly. So for two years I got toe kind of hangout and learn and develop. So do you feel like that isn't important? Because,you know, we see so many guys come in the NFL that can do it, and thenthere's so many they can't do it. They these teams, they throw them out therewithout any experience. They say, Oh, they played at Penn State, They shouldbe good on den. They go out and they fail miserably and we see it withquarterbacks, with linemen, with everybody, um and so do you feel likethat? There should be that grace period of They need to learn a little bit fromthe older guys. They need to learn some a little bit from the coaches beforethey make that big jump to being a starter. I think that's ideal, particularly withquarterbacks. I mean, I'd be sure to get your take us, but you know it'sit's more of a curse than a blessing, I think to be drafted early on in thefirst round is a quarterback. Because you're getting drafted, do a reallycrappy team. And they're drafting you because they need you to play like ASAP.And so you know that doesn't work out a lot. I mean, look what I mean. PatrickMahomes is Patrick Mahomes, but he got to sit for a year and watch AaronRodgers got to sit for three years. Maybe that's not what they would havechosen. But I bet looking back, I bet they could say, Boy, that that washelpful. That was really helpful. Eso Yeah, I think if it's and and but itZain, it goes back to the U Sports discussion. Now, in the NFL, there's nopatients. You know, Coach is not a lot of coaches that have enough securitywhere they can tell the owner. Hey, look, we're gonna play a lot of youngguys this year, and we're probably gonna go four and 12, and you're gonnahave to trust me. Um, you know, coaches are pretty much on most of our on onone year contracts. Unless you're unless you've got some equity in thebank like a Bill Belichick or John Harbaugh. Mike Tomlin, you gotta yougotta win every year. Please be competitive. So they need these. Theyneed young guys toe to step up on deep play. Well, now and they but, um, don'thave the time Thio sit around and go through the growing pains with you. Yes. So what do you think? For you? Imean, when you started playing playing right, you sat for a few years, youstarted playing at center. Um, what do you think that first year really taughtyou like Because you just became an all Pro after that. And so you had thisbackup knowledge from watching Jeff Christie. You went against one of thebest players ever against you every day on Ben, all of a sudden, you get in thegame. What do you think? That the first year, What was the big learning lessonfor you? Um, doesn't it for me? My first year,it waas The biggest thing was how every single week, um, obviously, you got toshow up and play. It's one thing to be Just be practicing. And if you're ifyou're a backup, Okay. Wednesday Thursday you know, it's a it's apractice. Your practicing full speed but full speed practices, not fullspeed game e mean now It was like I'm doing all the practice and every singleweek you've got to be physically ready to play on Sundays and, you know, onMondays you wake up after playing on the old Metrodome turf. It wasmiserable and it was like, Man, I gotta play again next week and the week afterin the week after E. Remember early on thinking, How am I gonna make it? How'smy body going to make it on DSO? You just kind of get into that zone whereit's literally you just live you live one week at a time and then it did. Itbecomes one day at a time. Like what? I can't. It's Tuesday. My body feels likecrap. I can't even worry about Sunday right now. What do I have to do?Tadeusz Faras getting that routine of treatment and getting the film work andlifting and and all that and, uh, again I had great, you know, I gotta watchJeff and then that my first years, Todd Steussie and Korey Stringer and DaveDixon guys like that. So knowing that they were doing it and being able towatch them do it, I mean, was I wasn't gonna be like, Well, I'm not gonnaObviously, I'm not gonna tap out like I can't do that. I mean, those guys werecounting on yet. Um, but it was just kind of that that that physical grindof actually playing 65 70 snaps every Sunday takes it takes a little gettingused Thio. Yeah. And I know that that room you were in too if you didn'tbring it every day, you were gonna hear about it. Yeah, the vets were they were vets.They there was a standard. And Mike Tice, um you know, he liked Thio. Hewas looking for for opportunities where maybe you weren't. Maybe you werefeeling a little sorry for yourself. Or maybe you weren't. You were You wereturning it down a little bit. Is we used to say when you're pulling aroundon a on outside zone or a screen pass, are you Are you really? Are you reallygoing after the guy? Are you Are you turning it down? And, uh but that's theThat's the mentality. You know, so much of it, Gus. So much of it is mental,right? I mean, everybody in the NFL is...

...obviously talented, has the ability todo it, But then it really becomes about about mindset and your mentality, abouthow you're going about your business, because there's a lot of guys that arequalified toe have your job or that job. There's a lot of guys there's. There'smore guys good enough to play in the NFL than there are positions. And so Ithink that that's what separates guys that stick and guys that don't ourmental approach that they have to the game and to their jobs. Yeah, it is hard because you're in thelocker room, you're doing the same thing day in, day out. Maybe you'rechanging some of the plays. You're really going through a long season andit's the same stuff day in and day out and for me, I always love to have alittle fun, pull some pranks in the locker room, do some stuff, really nothurt anybody. But sometimes people saw that as I wasn't focused or beingserious and uh, you know, sometimes it's just There were just things I hadto do to get through it mentally, right? Because I had kids. And you know thiswhen your kids were home in your wife, all of a sudden, you're married, andyou got three little ones at home and things that coaches don't care aboutthat stuff, right? It's just about getting your job done and doesn'treally matter what you got going here. You got to get it done. So youhave to learn how to cope with all that as well. Yeah, I know. You gotta have fun.Fred's Amber Liddy, the longtime Vikings trainer, uh, who used toe bythe time we were there, and he was kind of Ah, trainer emeritus, if you will.You told me. He told me, and I said, because you got to make sure you havefun when you come to work and it's so hard. And there's all this pressure andyou put so much into. But yeah, you have to have those released times.Those valves play pranks, tell jokes, Just go out in the locker room, makefun of guys. Um, you know, I would say you're never gonna laugh. I'm nevergonna laugh. A Zhar da's. I laughed in the locker room. Uh, it was just man.It was big because everything was just so intense. And you needed it so muchthat when something funny did happen or you like it just made it that muchbetter. Because it's like you. You just you needed that just to get through theday. Well, there's so many experiences I had in Minnesota that I never hadanywhere else. Like we would play dominoes in the morning, right? It waslike, Whatever got to the table first before there would play, right? Well, Ilove that. And Thais would come down and read the paper like bitch about thesports section. You know, there's a head coach, you know, otherwise, butthere's a head coach coming down and sitting with us and read the sportssection in the equipment room. Well, you and Boston I and Shaun Hill, orplaying dominoes. It's like, this is crazy. What is this? And then and thenwe'd come in for lunch if we'd have lunch set up in our locker room. Well,what was that on Friday, right? Yeah, that was a good move. move, Move. Oh,the pork chops. They're really made pork chops. Oh, yeah, The body ballsfrom JD Heights and the pork chops, the best. The best man, That's those arethe things that got you through, right? Yeah, but you're looking like you'regetting your pork chopping in the back of the locker room. There's the dudestanding naked changing and you're going, Where am I gonna eat? So youjust go sit in your locker, you find the training room E. I mean, just thinkabout that. So that's crazy. That old facility, it sounds ridiculous now, butback then, it's like That's all we knew. E o cribbage Burke would be kickingsomebody's button cribbage every day like there was just that was your down. I was that man. I love that stuff. Itwas it was e was just reminisce 1008 when I came back. Um, I remember Iwas I was not with my family. I was commuting from ST Louis and I drovethrough this little town and they had a great little doughnut shop and Ibrought the doughnuts in, and Pat Williams looks at me and goes my donut.And then That's kind of how the whole doughnut club thing started. Like Patwas like, I want the biggest doughnut they got. So every Saturday morning, Iremember at the end of the year I'm bringing like, 12 dozen doughnuts andthrough the equipment room door, just carrying him in for everybody. And andwe used to make that one little trainer. What was his name? He was like an intern or something. Wemade him eat that big German chocolate donut. Every like, um, they What washis name? We all say way. I think I think I think was a Rob Roach,because there waas Roach. I don't know. Those were the things that you know,whether it's Friday lunch in the locker room, Saturday morning Donuts cardgames on the plane, you know, I mean...

...victory Monday's you know, that wasthose were the things. Those were the memories those were. Those were thehighlights, you know, you work so hard, and then to have those to have thosefun things or traditions, that's just that's part of the whole experience.And those are the things you really miss. I don't miss playing it all. Idon't know about you guys. See, I don't really miss plan. I got I got my film,but I miss I miss that kind of thing. Oh, yeah, I I actually enjoyed that,Like in 2008. My last year in the NFL was the first year I ever got tocontrol the radio. The stereo. So I had my little red iPod when I weight liftand I that's what I put on all these dudes to be lifted. And I put on my old,you know, 70 80 rock or whatever I was listening to at that time. And it wouldbe like, What is this? I'm like, this is great music. What are you talkingabout? You know, but these young kids, they don't want to hear all that stuff.But I'm like, maybe someday you'll get to 15 and you'll be able to do it. Yeah. Music wasn't as portable backthen. So when when I had control the radio on Fridays, I called the WhoFridays Because I played the who and these guys would come in. These youngguys, they would beg me to change it like the music was so important. I'dalways say like. All right, you can You can have control the radio. If you cantell me who sings this song and you know, they would always just like youknow, it's like some 23 year old kid db or something. Uh, you'd be like RollingStones. The Beatles, like there's just like they never who e z Yeah, Control.The radio is such a big deal, man, because it was one. It was like youwere senior then, like you were big time. If you if you have control theradio, you're like, man, I have made it in the NFL. And then the second thingwas, I mean, it was real power, like guys who paid for you to play a certainstation or bitch about the country music or whatever. It was just thatzone things. It was great. It was great. So I wanted one thing I wanted to askyou because I did it seven times, right? I went to new teams a bunch of times,and you kind of get used to it after a few times. But you went once, right?You went to the raisins and played for them, and you go toe. You know, youhear stories about what the Ravens locker room was like in a differentatmosphere. And I had to assume it was way different than what the Vikings waslike. So tell us a little bit about that. You go to a place where you know,it's run by Ray Lewis and and some of those guys on defense and and just whatan atmosphere, what a teams they had. Yeah, it was. It was definitelydifferent and going to a new team late in my career. It was It was good. Itwas It was pretty comfortable in Minnesota, but go to a new team,totally new surroundings, New City. And then it's like, I gotta I gotta provemyself like I'm 32 33 years old. I'm like, you know, when your mindset isdifferent because, you know, you know, everyone knows you, but they don'treally care what you've done. They want to see what you what you got now, right?And they were coming off a F C championship, so yeah, I mean, I was alittle bit, you know, it's a little bit on edge because it's Ray Lewis and EdReed and Terrell Suggs and Baltimore. The whole brand was built around thedefense and defense carried the day. Uh, and so it was a little bit intimidating.And you kind of tell when I was there to what they was John Harbaugh secondyear and talking to guys who had been there a long time on offense. They'relike, Yes, we are the You know you don't know what I'm saying when I saythis. The red headed step child here, like defense, bullies us. It's alwaysabout defense. They look down on the offense, and they were really There wasa conscious, conscious effort from the offensive coaches of, like, reallychanging the mentality of guys that played offense like we don't we don'tback down from these guys. We don't care. And it was just the timing wasright. Um, Joe Flacco was a young quarterback had, like Ray Rice, LaurentMcLean. You bring in a guy like an Anquan Boldin and all of a sudden, nownot only did you have talent, but I think you had tough minded guys andabout my square in my second or third year in Baltimore, it kind of got about,even with offense and defense. And then by the time I think I left, I think theoffense was actually a little bit ahead of the defense. And so I mean, inpractice, we didn't take. We didn't take anything from the deal. There wasno, there was no pushing after the whistle. There was none of that. Youknow, there's always fights in practice, but about the about halfway through mytime in Baltimore, it got it got super competitive. And I think the defensefinally realized that, Hey, the offense is not, you know, we're not there. Nota handicap anymore. And I think guys like Ray and appreciated that becausefor most of their careers, defense had to carry the day if they were gonna win,the defense had to play lights out. And that wasn't the case anymore. Yeah.Yeah. So you you experience the whole Super Bowl, Uh, you know, and winningit. Tell me before you know we let you...

...go here, but I got a couple otherquestions for you. But tell me just about that experience for you, and Imean, I played 15. I know other guys like my like Ryan Fitzpatrick. He'splayed 16. Some of us don't even get to sniff it. You've been there. You wannatell us about that experience for yourself? I mean, obviously, it's It's what youwanna do. That's the goal. And if you play a long time and you don't doesn'thappen, I mean, you start to wonder, is it ever gonna happen? Which was me. Butit happened. I mean, as far as playing in the game, you're so laser focused.At least I was. And I was like, Don't be the guy that screws it up like E. Imean, I was like, I am gonna make sure. Then I'm gonna take care of my job. Idon't want to say I wasn't I wasn't playing not to lose playing, But I waslike, no matter what happens, I'm just gonna make sure that like I do my job,I'm probably never been so laser focused on dial. Been ever in my life.People say, Well, make sure you enjoy yourself. Oh, wait. I'm not gonna, like,relax and enjoy myself and then, you know, snapping over the quarterback'shead or something. So playing in it is just It was almost kind of like it'salmost outside of space and time, like I don't even know if it really happened.But winning it in the way that we did kind of way to do a safety kick. We hadto tackle them way up three points when when that guy got tackled and you kindof look around for a second. That's your teammates, and you're just like Ireally can't e can't believe it happened, you know, on, then yourfamily is running out on the field. It's just it's just one of those. Youdon't have many of those moments in your life right where it's just pureelation. And I don't know, man, it's I know. I'm very cognizant of the factthat nobody deserves to win a Super Bowl. Guys like you and a lot of theguys play a long time and never get the chance. And so I think at the end ofthe day, when I look back at, I just feel fortunate to be on a team that wasable to put it together and and be able to do that. It's a great memory. Do Ithink it validates my career? or anything like that. No, it doesn't.Because guys were a lot better than me. Never won a Super Bowl. So you justfortunate that that you're kind of right place, Uh, right time and we talkabout those memories. And believe me that that night after the Super Bowl, Igot I got a lot of memories and just glad glad that I have Yeah, no, I do to,you know, and it's fun to share him. And it's fun to bring him back because,um, you don't get to do it as often as you want to. You know what I'm saying?So I appreciate you coming on with me and and, you know, reliving some ofthose because, uh, I never took more pleasure in winning anything than whenI would win Bones and, uh, in the locker room against you and Moss. So,you know, grand. He thought he was the best. You went to Harvard. I'm justthis guy that's playing backup quarterback, and I'm beating people inbones. So it was a lot of fun. Here's the thing when you got two minutes, Soyou even know how to play dominoes. We taught you and then you became youbecame a very good player, Domino. So when you won, I actually took somepride in that, too. Yes, Yeah, but you never taught me cribbage because I justcouldn't figure it out. It was just too much for me. But I have taught my adomino. Now, Yeah, it's math was not my strong suit. But, Matt, before I letyou go, you've had an amazing career. You've got a great family. Tell us whatyou're into now. And I mean, I know you've done a lot since you left theNFL, but tell us what you're into specifically these days and how all ofour listeners can confined you. I guess if you wanna find you Goto,Matt Burke and company dot com, I do a fair amount of speak in corporate andfaith based speak, and I really like doing that stuff is a Sfar as businessinterests, I helped launch an app called Super Squares, which is a reallyfun, easy game. You play it, it takes predictions and combines it with theold football squares game that we all play football parties. It's free toplay. Takes two minutes and you win some pretty serious prizes, just aboutgiving fans a little bit extra adrenaline and fun when they watchfootball, which is now that I'm back to being a fan, that's what I want. So Isaid, Hey, I want to create a product that that does that and it's calledSuper Squares and, uh, that in the eight kids keep me pretty busy, gussy.Oh, yeah, I I don't know how, like I follow you on on thing. I don't knowhow you're doing all this stuff. And then you got eight kids, too. So Ialways just assume you're doing like a video from your car driving to one ofyour kids. Events are going to see another kid in college like E. Rememberthose days? It's crazy how busy you get. So enjoy a brother. It's kind of it'skind of a blur, but yeah, we're trying. We're trying to enjoy it as well. It'shere. Well, I appreciate you, Matt, and I appreciate you coming on and joiningme today on Huddle Up with Gusts. It was a pleasure talking to you andcatching up on some old stories. Superfund reconnect. And once you getIf you come through Minnesota, let me know. I gotta I gotta bone set in thecloset somewhere. Weaken, Weaken. Slap him down one more time. Alright, We'regonna do that. We're gonna go catch...

...some northern pike and musky to I'mready for that. Maybe we could go out And Dave DickDixon's Ah, little little shed ice somewhere I wanna be Oh, thank you. Uh,e think Dave weighs about £500 now. I'm not standing next to Dave on the ice. Idon't care how thick it is. Uh, that's pretty good. That's pretty good.Alright, Berkeley, take care. Be safe and healthy, my friend. And happy NewYear. Good brother. Happy New Year. All right.I want to thank everyone for joining us on another episode of Huddle up withgusts. You can find us wherever you listen to your favorite podcast. Ifyou're in Texas, you can listen to us on K s, I X and Corpus Christi. And, uh,we're here at the new 16 31 digital news studio. Check him out on socialmedia as well. You can find me at Gus Frerotte or at huddle up with dust. Soappreciate you listening? Have a great day and Happy New Year. Hi, this is former NFL quarterback GusFrerotte, 16 31. Digital advertising is your one stop shop to promote yourbusiness and get new customers for award winning Creative to getting asonline in display video O T T connected TV and streaming audio Go to 16 31digital advertising dot com EP The multi format network is here to helpcreate, produce, distribute and sell your content from or information. Senda message to info at a m p dot tv. That's info at double a m p dot tv Hey,K s, I X listeners, You got a new show coming your way. Join me. Gus Frerotte,15 year NFL Q B and host of Huddle Up With Gus Every Sunday morning at 10a.m. I talked to celebrities, veterans and professionals like MatthewMcConaughey and Dick for Mill about how sports shaped their life. Join GustBorat and his guests in the 16 31 digital news studio on Huddle Up withGus every Sunday at 10 a.m. Here on sports radio. Okay, s I X attention business owners, you and yourcustomers are listening to this commercial right now. Face it. Everybusiness needs customers, even yours. The sports circuses of prime time,nationally syndicated program that's carried on ABC, NBC, CNBC and Westwood.One news affiliates, plus CBS, Fox and NBC sports affiliates across NorthAmerica, with coverage from Hawaii to New York. Also, the sports circus isavailable to the 180 million subscribers on my heart radio and thesports circuits gets about four million website visitors per month, which couldclick through your website and bring sales. The sports Circus provides greatcontent featuring celebrity guests from sports and entertainment to ouraudience every weekday, which your company could greatly benefit from byincreasing your visibility, foot traffic, eyeballs to your website andcalls from potential customers. Call us right now at seven 0 to 7999 935 again70 to 79 9993 five or email us at info at the sports circuits dot com. That'sinfo at the sports circuits dot com. Drive your sales today by advertisingwith the sports circuits Has someone in your family lost a job recently and nowyou can't afford your mortgage payment Or do you have a rental property andyour tenants aren't paying you quick cash offer can come to the rescue andpay you cash for your home immediately. Yes, sell your home and get cash allover the phone without dealing with real estate agents and risking yoursafety by showing your home to lukewarm buyers. You don't need to lose yourhome to foreclosure. If you have any equity in your home, we will buy it andgive you cash within days. All in a simple over the phone and virtualprocess called quick cash Offer. Now, before the economy gets worse, sell ahome you can't afford or just don't want to get the cash you need today.804 707113 804 707113 804 707113 That's 804 70 71 13 Hi, this is former NFL quarterback GusFrerotte telling you that 16 31 Digital news is your daily source for onlinenews content featuring national and international stories on news, politics,entertainment, sports and lifestyle. Log on Today at 16 31 digital news dotcom I am. The multi format network is here to help create, produce,distribute and sell your content from, or information. Send a message to infoat a m p dot TV. That's info at double a m p dot TV.

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