Huddle Up with Gus
Huddle Up with Gus

Episode · 2 years ago

Merril Hoge

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Merril Hoge joins Gus and Dave in the Huddle but at somewhere new! Tres Rios Pittsburgh, on Carson Street was celebrating their 3rd birthday and invited us in. Tres Rios has amazing authentic Mexican food and some of the best drinks in town.  Merril was a great interview and shared some amazing stories from the moment he feel in love with football to catching gophers on farms in Idaho. Ever since Merril was eight-years-old, he dreamed of being a professional football player. Growing up in a small town in Idaho, the goal seemed unrealistic. But Merril didn’t just dream about this goal. From that young age, he used the words “Find A Way” to take action to overcome any obstacle and to attain any goal. Today, as he continues to strive towards his own goals, he also uses his Find A Way philosophy as a parenting tool, and challenges his children, Kori and Beau, to Find A Way to achieve their goals, overcome obstacles and take ownership of their lives. Merrils stories are endless and too many to write but I think you will find his Donnie Shell story very intriguing. He brings relentless passion to every endeavor and showed Dave and I what a leader looks like in the Huddle! You can learn more about Merril on his Website: http://merrilhoge.com/merril/   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

Welcome to our podcast huddle up with gusts, where we talked to guests about how sports helped shape their life. I'm your host, former NFL quarterback gusts fraud, and I'm joined by my longtime friend and coast Dave Hagar. We are a RADIOCOM original podcast and you can find it's on the new RADIOCOM APP or anywhere you listen to your favorite podcast. Now let's get in the huddle. Hello everyone, welcome to another episode of Huddle up with Gusts. I'm joined by my cohost and longtime friend, Dave Hagar. Oh we so, Dave, where are we a day? We're at truce. Pardon me, I was just finishing a chip. Their trace Rio's on East Carson Street. It is I'll tell you right now. I'll just get it out of the way. I grew up sixty miles from the Mexican border, Tuson Arizona. This is as good of Mexican food as I've ever had my life, and I've had I've been about forty restaurants. Are Probably you're not surprised when we visual fresh, you know, homemade, like you can taste it. It's at everything's going to made. Merrill just said, a Taco after leave them just when you look at it looks different. I mean that means it looks fresh. Telling if you guys, we're gonna get this thing done right here Carson Street, you know, new renovation going on and Carson Street and Trace Rios is leading away with their amazing foods. Well, what's especially exciting as you're having their third birthday party this weekend. So yeah, it's it's the you know it's there's some set success here too. We may have to come back this weekend. So Dave in the huddle with us today is not a none other than Merril Hodge. So, Merril, thank you for joining us in the huddle. My pleasure. We're extremely excited to hear your story about how sports shaped your life. So one of the questions that I always ask to start with is what was that first memory you have of when you were young? Was it a family member? Was it watching it on TV that really made you fall in love with with the with whatever game you love at that time? Well, I'll probably is no different than a lot of kids that played a lot of sports. Like I'd love that I could go from football to baseball to basketball, to wrestling, I even Rodeo. I cowboyd actually for a while. Would you read? Well, I'd bare back and I did CAFF Open. So in fact, actually I I quit, got kicked off the Soth my and my sophomore year in high school and I went into rode on. I went into cowboy and one of the first jobs I ever had, which I can promise you this as long as you do a podcast, I promise you, there's nobody that ever had this job. He was one of the first jobs I ever had. I mean had delivered papers. That was one of my really first jobs as a kid. But when I was around ten years old we got the we got a job to trap gophers. So in the West Irrigation is important where you flood air game. It's not like the east were rains all the time, all right, I mean the West, when summer hits, no, nobody gets any rain. That's why snow is so important that irrigate like that. So they flood are agate that have wheel lines, hand lines, pivot lines. So the area that they flooded are agate farmers and ranchers. If you can imagine, if you're going to flood ere gate, you know, twenty acres. You want it to be able the water to be access and move across all ten acres. What if you have a bunch of Gofer holes? The water goes down on the golf so they hate go first right cattle will step in it. Horse of step in a hole and they bust their legs. So they hate gophers. So my brother and I actually were hired to really trap gophers in an eight hundred acre radius. And so here's what we do. We saddle our horses. We'd take thirty traps because it takes two traps per goal for role. So you really only going to attack for fifteen goal for holes morning and in fifteen at night. You know, when you get the go for you cut the Tel off, you put it in a we had a little glass container like this, and then we'll at the end of the weekend we drive down to the local market store, hand them our our job tails. They give us a dollar a tel. So it was it was one of the greatest jobs I ever had. We we ride horses all over up in the mountains, you know, down in the howold back in the day? How would everybody get Ahold of you? They just on my uncle. Well, let's see what it was. Actually we'd stay with my uncle so he would calm my parents to say, list I'm going to pick him up after work, which would be about midnight, which basically you know when you're ten years old like that was like, oh my gosh, waiting up for that was terrible. But by time we made the ride out there, it's a half hour away, and then we had all of Saturday and Sunday to trap Gophers Muse love. That was more labor intensive than Bill Murray style the dynamite, right, but if that will listen, the dynamite came out later. If we could see that, you know, Bill Murray show is much later in the day. But had we hadn't seen that earlier, we might have tried something like God some times. But to answer your question, really was I walked into my grandparents house at age eight and its first time I ever saw football and television, and I had been asked many times as a kid...

...to that point, like what do you want to be when you grow up? What would you like to do? And I don't expect people to know what they're doing a d Aj but I remember thinking don't I really have no idea what I want to do, but when I see it on TV, I members the Green Bay packers. I don't know who they were playing, right, but I was. I just captivated. I was like, I had no idea. These cats are doing what I've been doing in the backyard on TV and I was like, here's what was great about I knew what I was going to do. I like, I'm going to I'm going to do that when I grow up. I'm going to play in the National Football League. So I couldn't wait for somebody to ask me what I was doing because I was going to hammer them with you, I'm going to play in the NASTIONAL football league. And as soon as I did that, I remember be an ass. I'm like, I'll play the national football league. Oh, son, you know how hard that is. You have the odds of you playing in the NFL are. Oh, don't put you all all your eggs one basket. I want you to be disappointed one day. Or it was impossible right, and it was probably that experience where I see things through a child's eyes more than most adults, because the people who are supposed to encourage me where the first ones to discourage me. Right and I'm there forgot that as a kid. So you know want and you ask a kid what their dream is or what they like to do, like you, the adult in the conversation. Right. Yes, I mean most playing in the national football you got mean point old two percent of high school kids, senior high school kids ever, play in the NFL. Okay, that that is a small margin, right, I get all that. However, Somebody's doing it and yes, the odds are tough, but it's possible. So why discourage you kid, versus encouraging, which also led me to understand how resilient kids are. It's probably I'm so passionate about kids and making things better and safer for them, you know, creating platforms and opportunity so they can grow and develop and hopefully they've their dreams. Well, most of the odds of being from the small town in Idaho when in the NFL. That that's staff. Yeah, well, that that becomes even even listen, I only took one plane ride you all my college and all my football career. Like I went my hometown, went from elementary school or kindergarten through college, my favorite same town, hope, way through. Yeah, and yeah, played in the Big Sky, which is a one double a school, even though our football at that time. I mean in the Big Sky here's the guy, here's the coaches that exists in the big sky. Jim Cutter, which is dirt Cutter's Dad, right. So jick cunner is there. John Fox, Brian Billick, Andy read kind of blended do that area to you had his name is skating me up at coach university. Dennis Ericson. Yeah, he was at IM. Yeah, we had a whole host of John Fox. I've mentioned John Fox. I think Caloris S him. Marvin Lewis, who was Marvel Lewis, was my linebacker coach when I got title state. Wow, dirt cutter was my high school coach before I went to idle state. So you got two coaches in the national football league that both dirt cutters from Polk Tell Oh ido. I'm from Polke Tllo idoe and a current we all. He went to highland high school. I went to highland high school and Takesom Hill the New Orleans saints. Is He from beat open? He's from my high school, Highland. So a few people have come from that area. But to your point, I mean the odds of that happening. But Jake Plumber, do you write? Jake plumber is from Boise. So he's on the other say he's a far state. We hate. Okay, right, I love them now, but back then you hate that. Yeah, you had that Porganza. So my best man of my wedding where my wife's out there. John Freeze. Come I okay, John Freeze up. Played against John Freeze. So he plays like your so he was up in Moscow. So night. Who you had up? Panhandle freeze up here. Jay Plumbers over here, although in high school he goes there as on a state and plays and then idle states over in Southeast Warner. A lot of great people have come out Idaho. I so coach Lenehan. So I Lenehan was one of my coaches. He's a Scott. I've played again. Scott was a lot of quarterback at a universe at home, right, and then stink. We know. I'm Martin Laires. We all call let against. I put again mark slayer. Yeah, so there's a lot of guys aligneman. When I put when he was university idol, not offensive line, right. So I mean it's not the power. I always tell people like Alabama, you know Floriday were scared to come to Idaho state. We wanted to come and nobody want to come up. We want to come to the dome. Now, being a IDO state guys, you dig it. Well, that's a great thing, right, I'm so day. It's a great thing about this is that you can just edit it all out. So one of the things that when you get into high school, you know you've been playing all your sports, right, and you said what your junior year you didn't play it. When, my sophomore year I saw you your I gotten kicked off. quit that Skylin mutchell agreement, coach, and I got from or all sports...

...early all sports I want. I went to cowboy. I went into cowboys. Did coom cowboy? Is that what cowboy? Rodeo? You know, you commit to Royal Cor you commit the cowboy. I mean. So, have you ever gone on a board? Yeah, well, not a legitimate bull. Now, listen, you got a perspective here. Okay, when you're one, fourteen, fifteen, now you get put. Okay, we'll just we'll just use the term of steer. Steer is not a bowl, okay, right, a steer is that potential bull that had that ended when they cast. Right. Okay, so right, that that end is so much that that it is that ended his his opportunity to be a bowl and most, almost all potential bulls are. That's done to him and it's really for the meat factor, the tender part. You don't have a lot of a lot of but you don't need a lot of bulls anyway for that reason. So you could ride steers like that. We would ride to kind of build up to that, but I never got to wear I was riding bulls. I wrote bare back, which is a horse, I mean which is and that actually those are legit. Not at a national Rodeo level, you know, caliber of an animal like a build the bowl in the bare back that exists at that but all the things exist in a in a local Rodeo. So how did you get back into football and sports? Well, I was I was really working on calf rope and that's what I really was trying to be good at and one day I'm out working on I can't. I wrote a calf and I go to throwing and I can't throwing and I'm like and I and I the frustration of it all. I should really hit me right then I was like, you know what, like you can really, I'm gonna go CAF roll right now. My brother was calf rope forever, in in the life, in window and in look, in life's journey, you have all these windows that you pass, but there's no reverse. Like you can't back up and relive your softmore are here in high school. You can't relive senior year. And I'm like think goingness. I was smart enough to go out. You know, I'll never be able to play football again once these next few years or old what Droll, you're not going. That's over and then and my heart really had that's what I wanted to do. I just tryed into a bad situation with a head coach and I was a kid and I didn't I didn't handle it right and I didn't have it. A good support system around me for people like my dad was not he was not involved in me, in my he was not involved in my life in the sense of like a teacher and a mentor. Right, you know, he was a dictator and he provided for the family and that's, you know, which is listen. I have great value and respect that, but he wasn't there to help guide me and give me counseling and help me do those times and I made that choice. Did He? Did he see sports was not just like another job, like you just you said, an activity in school. You didn't saying yeah, he didn't see actually he didn't see it in anyway. Here's what's Great. He was a great athlete. He was. He played, yes, scholarship play football. was a state wrestling champ shoot. I used to. I got into a lot of a lot of made me love a lot of football as he was an official. So we would be ball boys and that was like the coolest thing to go to the high school game of college ranks to be ball boys. So I love that. But he was not. I remember my dad talking to me about out football or any sport ever. You know, about what he thought about it when I made mistakes. You never said you know, when I quit the team, he didn't even ask. You know, he was not. It was like White's quit and I'm like, well, we just had a fallen out and mean the same thing about it. You know, I didn't talk to me about it. Yeah, I just got of got lucky. I woke up to realize I don't want to regret my next two years. Well, it's lucky that you did that. Thought about that on your own, because a lot of times most stuffs will have a coach or a mentor like that other than her parents, that will push us. For instance, I broke my neck and ninth grade playing football, wasn't really going to play again. And then my wife's father, who coached me in high school, Harry, well we recently just passed away last week. He pushed me, but not in a way like hey, you got to get back out here, saying hey, just come around the team, just be around everybody, you don't have to play, just be around everything, and eventually I got back into it right where. You know, my dad was an old iron was well, millware only you know that that was you did your ass back out there. You know, it was a lot of different and Harry just kind of brought me back into where I fell back in both of football, because in ninth grade when you break your neck you're pretty Tirn't scared. Sure you know I'm going back out there, but eventually I did and things went on from there. So you know, we all have different mentor so did beside yourself. was there somebody else you had in your life. That kind of helped you get back into that and kind of well, you know, actually there was one guy who has been instrumental in my life, ironically indirectly and then eventually directly, and it was really Walter Peyton. I I admired Walter Peyton from afar and how he how he played the game, how he trained.

I found him to be fascinating because I was running back to so that made me, you know, like him and want to watch him. But his style of how he played and then how he trained in a unique way, and I think you always got to remember the access to find out how he trained. Two things he did back in the late s early s are not what they are today. Know where you have massive you know information, ways to get that with the wooden blocked under your heels and run the run? Yeah, running a bills right, it wasn't that. The dirt heel is what I heard about. Not Heard about that. So and he did it. You know, in the offseason he trained in you unique way and I was like wow, that was and I tried it. So I tried to run these stairs and here. I tried to create my own Walter Payton kill and I want to know more things about him. I actually went to the library one time took to search on information of Walter Payton and this lady was trying to help me and I really couldn't find out much about him with the library that I didn't already know. A few years passed on and he was going to put I heard this tape of him that he was going to put out called winning in life, and it was a variety of things that was going to be on this tape. It was going to be his charity work that he does, his family life that he did and how he trained. And I was like, well, I only care about how he trains. You know right. I'M A kid. I don't care about family and I don't care about Cherry. I want to know what does he do that can help me, which I've always encouraged people. Circumstances happened to us all rather their self afflicted or what happenstance, regardless of how the circumstance came in our way. Okay, it's our job to change that circumstance, correct it, make it different. You know you don't want to, if you want to make excuses, point fingers and cast blame. That is a poison recipe for disaster and it's a quitters mentality and I'd always from a very early act. My first book I titled Was Fine To wake because those words inspired me right to take action. So an I get this tape by Walter Payton. I'm fast forward to all the stuff that's born me to death. I get to an interview process, the interview or's first question. She asks him what makes you better than everybody else? I'm like, oh my forever, the reason waiting. I'm like, that's exactly why I bought this beautiful now you guys know Walter Payton and I don't know and know people that all hear or listen to your podcast. They may have hurt him, but they may not know, and I don't assume everybody does know all about him, and you might not even know this about him. This was always said about Walter Payton. He wasn't the biggest, he wasn't the strongest, he wasn't even the fastest, he was just the best. Now I'm going to tell you this at age fifteen. That's confusing. How the world can somebody who's the best in the national football league, the all time leading Russia. You're not the biggest and the strongest or the fastest like that is like it didn't make sense to me as a kick as yeah, I think most kids, when you're growing you're like all the biggest, strongest fast are always great, but this is a great life lesson for me. It still is one of the most profound things I've ever heard of human being said. I lived by it. It became me. I adopted this immediately from hearing it. But he paused for a second and he looked at and he's like, I want it more than they do every day of the week now. When I heard that, I was like, well, I can do that. He goes when I Pratt, when I train in the offseason and I'm nobody's with me on that dirt hill at six o'clock in the morning, he goes, I want it more than they do. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, he said, we're getting ready to play on Sunday. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I want it more than they do, he said. Then at Sunday at one o'clock, Oh, you better both believe I want it more than they do. Well, here's what I did from that moment as a kid, I was like I'm going to do that every day I practice, every day train and every day I play. I'm going to do I'm going to I'm going to want it more than anybody else. How I prepare, how I how I get ready, than how I play now, as life has moved on from that experience at around fifteen to today, which is some thirty years later, it is still a mentality I had. I have it's what I developed that moment and that second. But here's the key to the whole thing. When he said it that most people like. If you say hey, do you want? You want this? Would you like to play the National Football League? Would you'd like to do a B or suit, everybody will say Y, that yesterday. But then when you say you got to do this every day, that's where people start falling out. That's where they're like, I didn't know is...

...every day. And if you looked at Walter Payton skill set, okay, did he have a unique skill set and was gifted guests, but he got the most out of his skill set at a high level. Now, one thing that I learned, because in my career ended. I was like, man, I really kind of failed. I did. I never become close to because I use Walter Payton as a standard. Now, for a moment I'm like, well, anybody who uses Walter Payton a standard probably has disappointment. I go that's probably the wrong guy to could pay. But here's what that I at the end of the day, that he taught me that I have no regrets in and I think anybody in life, if you'll listen to what I'm telling you and you do it, you'll have the same piece I have. I got the most out of my talents because of how Har I trained, how how I played, and that I have piece with like I got the most out of my task. It took me as far as I could possibly go. I don't look back and go actually, there's only one regret. It is back when we didn't know better, there I could arrested more. You know, I worked myself so hard sometimes and I really was, and you know I beat myself down versus have myself primed and ready. But that habit has been true still this day. I use it all the time and it's it's the thing that has separated me in many times, especially in a profit, because I'm a tist. I how many guys got cut and you go, ok, that guy's bigger, stronger and faster. But when you think I'll consistency, you think of smarter and every day when they wouldn't they evaluate you. There's just too many inconsistent if you think about human performance really we think in very basic terms like run fast, jump high, how strong are you right? But there's more to human performance than just that. Right, nobile. If you don't have every ingredient to bake a cake, and cakes not going to turn out right right. So part of that human performance is what's in here, and we say that all time in football. Right. That guy had a lot of this inside his chest, not because he could fast throw. Yeah, that helps, but if you don't have that in there to do one want it more than any one else, then your human performances is going to be high as and they certal doubt about it. And so that's where I look at human performance and I see all those guys that that there were a lot of guys could throw the ball harder than me, you know, make throws better than me, but could they do it all the time when they're working harder than me. Right, because those are the things that keep you around in your business, in your job and whatever you do for a long, long time. What I tell people it actually applies to every this not their sports. I mean there's every any craft that you're in, if you can live by that model. Do you know? Chucking all taught me the the uncommon approach, which is really white. He widened my scope and looking at my craft and there was more that I could be doing that I was doing right, and I made that a part of my makeup from that moment on to like how what can I do more on every play versus just my job right? And I can give you boring story upon boring story that would never make sports center. But, as you know, when you're sitting there on Monday and you're watching tape and you're like Holy Calm Marle, you know you want to Dex from my thanks for your help there. Or you know what, you can get the fumble, because right now, if you don't get that fumble, you know, how often do you hear that? You're not standing over there, you're getting yourself to the ball. You don't all just dozens and dozens of experience like that were like your teammates and your coaches value it right exactly. So here we want to take a little short break, come back and and talk a little more to Merriwvalay. Stay and play in your next getaway to Los Angeles. 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It's tremendous rate service, handcrafted drinks, everything's homemade. That's that's a good margarite is Merril, you had a Margarita at what do you think? Without to listen from the TACA says, I walked in, I saw the food, I was like, okay, this is this is different, this is like fresh and special, and I'm like, I wasn't really that hungry, and then they're talking about how they make everything. I'm like,...

I'll take a B and c right now. So we want to get into, you know, a little bit of Merrill's next stage in life. Right. He goes to Idaho State and then all of a sudden and he's in the NFL draft. You gets drafted at ten crown I think, but still sitting. Yea. What was that experience like? Tell us what it was like play for the Pittsburgh steelers. Well, I'm going to make this pretty succinct. When I was a kid, my favorite team was the Pittsburgh steelers. Who's your favorite player? Walter Payton, and so I had both of their pictures up on my wall since I was a kid. It in Idaho. The what's the team? Is it the Bronco? Well, it could because you're in the West. But now you always have to use perspective and bring people back to what would what did you have that was accessible back in, you know, the late s early s? Okay, it was like ABC, Monday night football. That was your real axis was on right the time stealers. Who's win the Super Bowl all time? Stevens. So it isn't like San Diego and Denver. I didn't realize sandy and Denver or even a plane in the NFL for years because it was just pissper really like you know, got direct DD and you've watched thread zone, chanlel see every team for they that didn't exist. You haven't know that. You had a couple games. Monday night was the biggest night and the steelers one the and ironically, I had had this irritating friend of mine. She was in my math class and she was a cowboy Knight. She loved the cowboys. I like, Oh, this is so painful me. So every time your steelers and cowboys play the stealers would always win. I could wait to get to school on Monday right when that happened. So I was a big, a huge Steve A fan. And when I can't went to combine and I had I'm glad that they don't have tape from back then because I could go down and then when I like come out and just here underwear and stand in front of well, all of those things go to. This would have been I actually would have made Tom Brady look good. I had gotten the flu like four days before the combine. I lose twelve pounds of Oh my God, I actually here. Was My goal for the combine because I was on spantibiotics and all the stuff I had. I had to get more pro more doctor's written prescription and note what they had prescribed for me because when I did the drug test they didn't want something to ham up as a false part to me. So that was the majority of my work. When I got the combine his hand and to everybody all the medication I was on. I was atrocious in every aspect of the combine. I ran the forty yard desks and I'm telling you, I felt like I was in quick saying and this is not a lie, I because I don't I'm not smart enough to make this up. They don't have the lasers. Everybody's acts out on the field. Well, there they were, all stopped. Yeah, and so I was like I ran a forty. I know it's horrible, and I'm like, I just want to kind of get an idea of where I stood. You know, if it's short of you know, the sun dial to you know. I mean. So I actually there's a raider scout and I was projected to go to the raiders in the fifth round. Is something mock drafts out of. For some reason a lot of people have to go to the raiders and I just kept the guy on the shoulder and I said I go. Would I go? What I run at forty in he turned to me and he said you don't want to know, but here's what's going to happen to you. He goes, somebody's going to draft to you're going to back somebody up, they're going to get hurt, you're going to take their job and they're never going to get it back. Wow, all right, I'm bact the hottest. Yeah, probably. I'm minded to know was my forty exact. I didn't get forty. I was like, but I walked away this gun. And what what happened? I get drafted by the steelers. I'm backing up Ernest Jackson and Frank Pollard and what I could do everything. So I became like chuck valued that I was our third down back. My most people never know that. I mean I don't know what the full back in the in the country are. In the National Football League was there is your third down back to and yeah, so I that's how can I make the team? But by time my second year comes around, I remember chuck saying, okay, listen, you can run, catch and block, you're going to start. And I started for almost the next ten years here in the Chicago and that's what happened. And that actually ernest had gotten banged up a little bit. Frank was on these honey's really his last year and they got rid of both of them. Actually, I didn't have a backup for almost eight years. When I'm back and I didn't have a backup, we had all jailbacks and I was the only and you know, I played third down. I have nobody at third day purpose than you were doing everything catch involve Backfield, you were. You know, there was third down as one of the most important by right, because that's when a lot of crazy blitz has come. And now that's why I could listen. I loved, I mean I we played against Buddy Ryan. So if you want to play against Buddy Buddy Ryan, if you never know what your you did the most bizarre third day. He could do things that were so onsound, but he was banking on we're going to get your quarterback before you have a clue what's going on. But dickhole crew is my running back coach, who's a brilliant coach. We...

...we sit and talk about it and he would they literally come down with us, and I don't know what he's going to do, but here's what you gotta says. Okay, like they had played with money. They play with five defensive linemen and they would line them, let's start them on one side of the guard or the other and then line him all the way outside the tackle and then bring all five like we can't expect off it's in line to slide all the way out there. We can't expect them to see all of them. So you got five yards of death. You haven't advantage they don't. They got things in their face. You got some depth. You got to filter that out and just pick some people up to help him out. You know, I had a responsibility, but I'm like, they might mess up, so you got to account for and they would trust me with that, and I'm to tell you this, I can't think of many. I ain't any time where I wasn't able to do that. Like I could talk, I knewhen they were blitz and I knew they were coming from. All the thing I had to have to do strow the ball. That's a special skill, because I played with a lot of running backs, a lot of people in this league, and being a quarterback in the shotgun and throw down and known where they're coming and if you have a back that can pick that, yeah, there's a lot of protections that you don't have to call and you trust. Run your simple protections and your back's going to pick the the guy up and you knew it would. You Trust that right. That's you're right. Chester Taylor was like that and when I played for the Vikings, all right, okay, you just come in side pick it up. You just just knew what to do, you know, but there were other guys were. You knew that he was Mike Sam, Mike Sam. That's it, all right. You know what I mean and you appreciate this. To It, I'm sure they were like this will coach. They blocked my guy. Well, but the other guy ran right by you, I mean right, which I was my guy. I'm like, what do you came that like? Walk Again, the right, tackles with right right, but here you had to SAM. Said, well, I wasn't that again, runs right by the back right. It's like, why didn't you pick him up? But that's my less on. My Guy. I'm like, but he's gonna kill quarterback. Yeah, that it's you're just like yeah, I would might do exactly. So. So you played for the steelers. You had two different coaches. Yeah, two different coaches that are now all the same. What is that like you? What do you think as far as are there coaches now that are coaching that you think could be in the same level those? Yeah, I don't think any coution. Bill Belichick is like those two guys. And you know Herman Editors, her med words, and I were on espn one day and Herm was talking about you know, this is old school you know when he's talk about accountability, responsibility, you know, work and be prepared, and is he's going through it all. I've said, you know what, her I don't believe in that. I just I don't think that there's anything. I don't think old school is. I think that's the only school. You're going to tell me that working hard, being accountable, being prepared, being responsible, those things are any different in the s than they are to day. It's really likes staple. Really, when you think about success, and this what's I love about sports. That's a part of everybody who successful something. All of those things exist. Good winners self reflect good winners make changes of good winners, you know, create a plan and then they take action. You know, they don't sit point for guards making choose regardless. So it's not just football. Chuck was the greatest man that I've ever been around. I was smart enough think the Lord I was. I got drafted and I was twenty one in the NFL and I'm telling you, I remember sitting one of my first meetings when he was talking. Doll actually was the chief to is the chief and Mr Rowney, I mean the chief, and Chuck, and I remember thinking you know what, every time you sit in this see if that guy is up there, pay at tension to the things he's telling you, because what ends up being some of the greatest council I've ever had in my life. Think he was the greatest man. And See, I say that because he wasn't just a coach, he was a fabulous life teacher. He was true, he was amazing at how he prepared you for life's work. And then when Bill Cower came in, I remember all of us, if clearly myself, I was just like, man, I would hate to be that dude. Yeah, I'm like, this is not going to be easy. And you know on you know, I remember having his first his very first, our first team meeting. He had talked about he listened, I'm going to take care of you throughout the week, and that's how I'm trying to chuck. We play the should we have shortguard's goal line? Eight plays live on Fridays? Yeah, because we should get in the shower go oh my gosh with table three and all. Now he's got to play Sunday before and all. We're going to win them all this week. and Bill was really Adam about taking care of us, but being prepared. Then you take care of me on Sunday. And Man, he lived up that. He had an energy that was an enthusiast. Like I wanted to play for bill. I didn't never I didn't want to let chuck down either going wrong. But he made you self accountable. He was like, like Chuck, on Saturday, like this is I'm done. Okay, your job now to get ready on Sunday. This is your job as not my job. and Bill was much different, but he...

...got the same results. Like he didn't want to fail him. You wanted to play for him and at the end of the day, I think that's one of the most important things from a leadership and a coach. Can they get everything out of him and can you want to play for that Guy Right? Can he ask you? So? I I mentioned Dirk Cutter. See, dirt cutter was my high school coach and dirt cutter was one of the greatest minds that I've ever been around, and he's a guy. I experience that in high school, like he could ask me to do things. I remember he was asking me to do this throwback pass in this game that we're playing up in boys, you capital high school which was right, Jake Plumber's high score right, although Jake's way behind me. So they mean they're tearing us up. We just were playing like the wishbone. I mean every every ball they hand is to me that it's boring here. Hodge, last Hodge as like, oh my gosh, is anybody else understand? So they decide let's go a throwback pass and as I come tout, sounds like Turk ain't no way. I go. Think by time that ball gets to me, I'm never gonna throw that back. He said, can you get it done for me? And I remember take kid, I'll get it done for you. I'll get it done for you. And sure as, sure enough, though, by time they pitched me the ball, I got like I remember their black and gold. They're after they're screaming on me. I grabbed the tip of the ball and I just throw it as hard as I can't our quarterback, who's wide over, because all that we got and we end up winning, but it was just like, you know, he gave me that extra I'll get it done for you. I don't know how I'm going to do when we get it done for it. and Bill was like that. I love playing for Bill. It's an honor to play, actually for both guys. Yeah, I came at and Dave, as you mentioned before, you went through the list of people he's played with her now all of Famer. We counted between coodes and players were coming. Seven Hall of famers. Yeah, he made up. There might be more. We were just going through. Well, okay, you count donny show. Yeah, because Donnie Shell Locker next to me. I learned a lot by Donnie show and I first got in the League. People always ask this is a fans like no, hitch of the hardest, and I'm like, well, let's go no further than my second week of training. Can Torpedo John, I mean, but see Donnie show, because we would are practice, were more live practice. So they we got after it and Donnie Shill I take the bags week five, week four or five, it was later in training. Can't because he, Donnie shall would always like blow up a running back, blow up a guard and then go over and he'd put to it to hand, touch on the running back on on the other sideline, screams like three yards deep and chuck you. I'll be losing lose these mind right. You got to get this guy block, we can't. Let's just saying. And then Donnie would go run it again, right, it's that was just got add fuel to like, you know, at insult the injury. And I would always watch this plays and I'm like, man, if I ever ever and that whole when they call that play, I'm going to up kill him, I'll destroy him, I'll end his career when they call it, because we had like ten running backs back then, right, you know, you have a hundred players, ninety two hundred players, and what better way to make your mark? But the odds of you getting in the huddle and having that play called when he was in there is like, you know, Vegas or because the odds are against you. Yeah. Well, I'm tastes like week four or five, I get hudder only at thirty eight, boss on, like I'll look out, thirty ones out there. I'm like, Oh, this is I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm want to hit, I'm going to killing Donny sholl never be the same after this plays over. So they pitch the ball. When I tell you everything, I got from the deepest part of my soul and hard I hit him with and as I hitting my entire body just crumbles. Both the lightning screaming down the back of my neck. I felt my pads give way. My helmet comes off. I my my strap was busted on my snake it. I'm like, I'm literally I feel parallax is. I'm like, my legs are staying, I mean, my shoulders killing me. My Helm that's rolling off to the side, you know, my own boat. My cheek pads are rolling everywhere and chucks like marrow. That's the way to eat. But he got you just gotta keep your legs going and I was thinking that I can't fill my legs. Oh I just I can't even fill my legs. And you know he touched the bag and you know chucks lose these mine. I here run again and I was thinking, man, if they ever run that again, do not let me be in that huddle. I was like, I'm chatting now. Donny show was five hundred ten, one hundred and ninety five. I mean could strike you. He was the best striker. I've love it. If it's got, go to NFL films. Go to NFL films and see Chuck taught that same foot, same shoulder, and he mastered that. He had had like what t thirteen years? He had mastered it. I had like twelve, thirteen days in this thing. I knew not by like if I could ever strike like that. If you go back and look at the plow game that we're Earl Campbell was hit at the goal line. That they show an NFL. Right, yeah, that was the beginning of end of rl or Campbell. And people don't realize I was donny. She'll ready. Donny show was the donny show was the standard at safety before Ronnie Lot. Oh, yeah, before Ron and people forget that and don't realize he has the most interceptions by a safety and n suitable history. He couldn't catch cold when he got here. But you got donny like players stall war or weady. You know, we didn't come stall wars and stall wars. So demoni, Dawson,...

Demani, Dawson, a rod woods, Kevin Green, Rod Woods and I got drafted together. Yeah, money Dawson was my neighbor. Brother D and I are really close. I love brother D. So you go through your career, you retire, you're making that move. I think you retired the year I came in the League, in one thousand nine hundred and ninetywe one of them. Yeah, so I was drafted at ninety four by the Redskins and you making that next transition in your life. What was that like? Did you know that you were going to be going and doing broadcasting or trying that? Trying that out? Well, be honest with my crew. Way, my career ended in Chicago. I'll go back to a chuck no lesson. He always talked about your life's work. He said, guys, ain't football. You know, be prepared. You know, if you haven't got your degree, get it. The stage is you're going to get very few people get he said use them, don't abuse them like I'll never forget that. Use them, don't abuse mom. Was that mean? And there's so many players and people feel like, because you played me, I fail, you're entitled to them. Which is it? I'm I know without a fact it's a it's the wrong attitude to have, because people were more than willing to give you an opportunity to look at you and give you things other people won't, but they are quick to end it if you're going to be, you know, disrespectful and arrogant about it. Right, and you see love it so well, DD the local radio station here. One of the gave me this. I had not if you two said in high school or college you've ben asked me like what do you want to do? I mean not of giving you like something in fitness, something to teaching and coaching. I would have never said broadcasting done even if I wanted by thought process, but because I was I would listen to chuck null. They asked me to do to be their first. Actually, I was one of the first players ever to do a call in radio show back in like the eighty seven. Yeah, I get asked to do this. They did anything like that. Remember PAT DV? So I do it for a local B ninety four be no, yeah, remember so by? I do a call in at B Ninety Four. On Fridays after practice I have to go sit in pat handling and Dan Edwards. Pat Handling runs the giants. Pat Handling now runs Jacksonville. Okay, I had to go into their office and they had to listen to me do the radio show. So I do this. It becomes a big thing. People start talking about it. In the summer dvee asks me. I'm I'm dumb, not stupid. They go how much is be ninety four paying you and I I pause. Just enough because they weren't paying the squat right, right, just enough for them to go. What if we put a package together? I'm like sure, you know, put package together. I'm like, so they offer me tenzero. Okay, good. Think you didn't answer right. Well, yeah, right, right, because because, because I'm a bad negotiating right. So they off be tenzero dollars. But the key is I have to come to the studio on Monday after games and I was like, I remember thinking, okay, the money was I was like, I already got to get up at like, you know, six thirty. I got up at thirty, but the state, I was in the South Hills and I was in the actually, I'm going to pass the studio on the way down through to thefore pit tunnel. So like I kept here and Chuck. You don't use your stage doing abuse your stage. You know, really do your part in the process and as think your life's work. I'm like, you know, I just I better do it. So I agree to it. First Time I ever walked into a studio was that day. I remember I opened the door and it was like something captivated me. It's like he just grabbed me, like you know, all these can like I've never seen. This was like this coolest thing I've ever seen and I'll start asking questions. So that sparked my passion to work towards broadcast. So different than anything you've ever done in your life. Yeah, right, and it was just it's so I started doing Thursday shows. When I get signed by the bears. Part of my deal to go to Chicago was I did a twohour Monday night football show at Walter Payton's. Yeah, I did the seed myth of the CB, I think, CBS pre impost game TV shows. I had broadcasting contract as part of my my transition. Yeah, to play in Chicago. Some of my career ends. I actually actually, you know what I was really because the way my career ended, because it was like week five of the season. I've had improper care with head trauma, and people think concussions in it and that's not the case. It was improper care that ended my career and I was not in a good place. I was going through the press. I've seen counseling. I mean, I was a train wreck and I was relating on a couch. Looking now remember looking down going I am. I'm a disgusting mess and here's a challenge for me to take action and change things, you know, quit point fingers and casts and blame and make an excuse. I mean, and it's terrible. I lost my career, but if I keep doing that, I'm going nowhere. So I really start reaching out in the coaching and kind of broadcasting. Yes being had been talking to me. Well, Mr Rooney called me.

Ms Rooney asked me if I would be the first player to come into the broadcasting booth at the steelers and I remember saying well, casting, I go, Mr and I go. I don't think myron would like that, and he's like, let me just remind you something. That's not Myron's choice. But I got a good point right. So I become the first. You most people would never know that because they didn't let me talk. It was, I mean Bruce Gilbert, who was the it was a WTA when he was the director, programming director for WT. They actually called me into the office after a few weeks because it was not going well, because Myron didn't want me there. Yeah, Myron, even though I tried to listen to my not I admire you, I respect you. I'm here to learn. I will do whatever you ask me to do. I don't see a little bit. Yeah, meeting if he is, I ain't canting work Yang in America and just walked away and was like you go with him. Well, you want to listen, I can. I can get where he was feeling. Oh, here's a player taken over, because this is kind of like, really, what happened on Monday night football? It was against Dandy dawn and poward coup sell. Right, see, Howard Coachel really believe Dandy down had no business being into because he's a football player. Wasn't a broadcast. He was adamant that you can't do this because you played football, you're not a broadcast. Yeah, which was obviously the wrong but who's the best way? I don't care what we're talking about. He's in somebody who has lived it and experienced it. That best one to share it. Right. You know, this really is you, Howard Cosell, as good as he was. Kild never tell you the depths, but what it's like to walk inside those white lines, step in the huttle. He was a noise of entry, right, he was. He was love it. I loved Howard. Yeah, but that's how really mireless he was, just like you, didn't belong here. Yeah, I mean they watched it, they never lived right. And so when you look at today, all the broadcasts that are out there, you did for what ten years? I think you could twenty one. You were in broadcasting for twenty one, twenty minute, twenty doing it. Yeah, so well, I was twenty one of the ESPN and I I really I worked. I did in a year. That's almost twenty five years. Who you've been doing for a long time and who who do you like listening to? Like you say this, this group was duos doing a game. You know what I actually you enjoy. I like. I like Troy. I mean I like that group, that that team, troy and Joe Buck. Yeah, Joe Back, I think I love Joe brought humor. I've known Joe Buck forever. His wife works of the ESPN. I've known her forever Troit and I've always I like that. Here's why I like could they they? There's some broadcast teams that just won't shut up. I mean it's like, oh my gosh, let it breathe, you know. And do you like Tony Good okay. I mean I think he's gotten to the point where I'm like, oh my gosh, Tony, just let him play to play, just let him do it. I mean just he's prediction. He's a lot of stuff and he's predicting it wrong. Now he knews giving a hundred different things that they're just flying over your head. I'm like, tech, you gotta, you really got to know what you're doing for the even understand what you're telling people, you know, and it's okay to let the play happen. So cable it. The Fan enjoy what there as. They got that, you know, that's the one thing you have what TV as you always have the visual form and it's not like radio, where you got to constantly, Ye, keep the viewer what's going on. You have to put a picture in their mind, you know, and I exai. I did a lot of I should I used to do play byplay too. I've done play byplay and color, and that's you like a playbyplay guy. Here's what I believe, like the less words the better, right, you know, I'm in first ten, you know, homes back complete to okay, right, bump. Then you let your color. All Right, I do a lot of good and and I just I just think they he's gotten so the point where you're like there's never a break in the air, you know. Yeah, you think like I look back at some of my favorite when I used to watch it was madness, Summer Davis, classic as classic kids. When they were on there they were just too they were, you know, mad scribbling on the screen, doing a lot of that stuff and and to me that was like, okay, you had it. One Guy who they both were just in their element, but John was grained in it for year. You know, actually, I think one of the greatest awards I've ever gotten. I made the all maddened team in ninety three, I think, or ninety two hundred and ninety one maybe. And Madden, you could only be on the mad team if you watched you play and get a game. Meek, you couldn't be a part of that. And what made me, what got me on the team, and I'll be played the Philadelphia Eagles and I had a good game number wise, but there was two plays back to back that I block Reggie White. He had beat our guard and I stepped up and now ready rides is like slapping me. We're coming back. I mean I'm screaming the Bristow we're coming back, having like that, but I'm fighting right. Don't so. This happens back to back. And Madden went not. He's like Maral Blocking Reggie by what. You know how we did. And then when they made me part of the team,...

I you know, they called me. You know, they didn't here to hand you it. They give you this plaque. That is it's that football trench coat. Picture the award, I mean the Claque they give you ways about thirty five pounds. Wow, it is one of the coolest awards I've ever gotten in trophists has everybody's name on the back of that. There were a part of the team. That you as it is. It is actually, and back then that was better than the pro bowl, like if you made the all man team. Yeah, then, actually, then you're you're the best football player that year and that was better, better than problem recognized by by Madden. Yeah, you tricky lads. I'm thanks getting was that from that? Didn't remember. Yeah, I think it was. Yeah, it was. It wasn't, because it's in Detroit and ninety nine. They we played play the Redskins that game. I mean oh my gosh, we would get but that hey bad. One of the last Turkey's actually had out there right now. Yeah, they just have all those legs down, six Turkey legs and me and Johnny Morton and and God, who was a big defensive end that Robert Burche. We all got one. I forget be but it was great. I mean just you know and you're on the headset and man's asking your question. It's like that's what you grew up watching. It's kind of cool and even though you're playing the game, there's so much of a part of a kid that comes out of you when you're in those situations, which is a lot of tires, no doubt you know. His name's forget his name is escaping, but he called my playoff game against the Denver broncos. Oh my was his favorite line. I thought he had the greatest voice and he the greatest way of calling the game. He was a play byplay guy cast on it and he's one of his he was known by he would like Oh my, I'm trying to think of his name. Doesn't help us not even sparking it, but I'll think of it because in fact Bill Walsh was the color guy. I Oh yeah, during the game and I'm trying to think of his name. I remember. We'll come back to it. But you don't think there's a lot of you know, I like Chris Collins were coming. Chris, I think, does a really good job and could tell and he does a really good job about there, you know, and so on. If I've playing guys and you know, either almost good. I just it's like you don't like it's it's just a TV like let things breath a little bit, because you have visuals to help help people. Yeah, because he called a few, you know, Games early. Worthy called the plays before and there's a lot of praise and then it's almost like treads. Yeah, and and and, even though he's young, he'll learn, you know, like sometimes it's okay, just, yeah, I know, I get it. So before we get into our no huddle section, that will do here. You know, I want to give a shout out to the La Weston Bata Metro hotel. I'LL IN LA and trace rios for you know, our wonderful food, are great drinks, wonderful place down here on College Carson Street. Get ready to have their third birthday day. Can't wait we're coming back just a few days from now. I know I got to come back and have some more tacos, so I'm really excited with you on that. Boys, Start Your Day sunny side up at the Weston Bonaventure Hotel and sweets and enjoy breakfast for two on us. No matter how you plan to spend your trip to Los Angeles, started every day with a hearty meal to kickstart your morning. Enjoy breakfast for to on us for each day you stay. For reservations, be sure the Promo Code S Ford B appears in the Promo codebox when making your online reservations at marriottcom Max Slash la xbw or call one eight hundred, two to eight ninety, two hundred and ninety and ask for Promotional Code S for B. So, Merrill, before we get into the no huddle and then the show, I want you to tell us a little bit about everything that you're doing now and and you know, I know you're into so much. I mean I follow you on social media, you're on Linkedin, you're doing so much, you've written a book, an author, you're talking about so many things, but tell us about your passions right now and where you're going in a few will I will tell you this. This is my second book. Now. If any of my high school or college professors teachers ever heard I wrote to a book, it is that. That's just one thing. There's your response right now. Probably like what they like. There's hope forever. In fact, this should give everybody hope. If I can do this, anybody can do it. That being said, this became my passion because we've heard the narrative. You know, you know, kids are having you know, if you get good cushion, you're going to have some issue later in life, some concussion, which is science fiction, doesn't exist. Will first of all, if it were true, people need to realize the the leading cause of head trauma in the country is drinking. That's going to contrive to actually this. If you could put all sports together, you can put car accidents together and you would never come up with this. In what caught was the leading cause of head trauma in the country, tripping and fall and right. So leading at people go. You can't at first of all and think who's alledgible, eligible to trip and...

...fall? There's hundreds of millions of people in this point of that way. Everybody. It's the leading cause ofhead trauma in this country. I wrote the book because when I started to read the scientific literature right, and if people start trying to argue with anything that I'm about to say, just show me the scientific literature. And I got to clarify what scientific literatures that isn't journals like Jama their scientific papers. Because I actually did this in somebody sent me a sports illustrate article. So they don't even know what a scientific literature is. I'm like, right, is not sports illustrated. In fact, that's the last place I would look for the truth. But I really wish, wanted to know and now played football for my concussion and improper care ended my career. I've been coached youth football for twenty years. My son started playing a seven. I'm like in my got of things and my experience of things as I just didn't make sense. So, but how do you come back a narrative you're hearing if you don't understand it? So I don't understand it, it's hard for me to come bat it. So I really went on a search. I went across this country. It took me to Canada. I met with every europathologist that would sit with me and discuss tell me, and all it asked IMS like listen's explained to me what ct really is, what's causing it. Every one of them, the first one said it to me. The last one said it to me like Merril, CT is a towel pattern in an observation state. I go we have no idea what is causing it and we don't know if it's even got symptoms from it. And we have three hundred cases in the medical journal to this point. A hundred of them never played sports, never had a concussion and never had to his your head trauma. So I'm like now, wait a minute, well, I have we heard about that right right there, you can't point out sports and you specifically can't point out football, and I'm like, how could this narkive get to this point? The last lady I was talking to us, Lily Haserati, who's one of the great minds up in Canada. She goes, you know what, go read the SPEC spectrum of disease paper. It was a scientific research paper authored by an M key and she was quoted in the media as saying, after doing that literature of that science paper, that all football players had it. She come up in the conclusion. All players have our show. Really, she goes go read that paper. So I read the paper and I know want you want me to read the paper in the conclusion. I'm paraphrase in here, but this is basically what it says in the paper. She author. She wrote you cannot use this research paper because it's such a garbage to give anybody any sense of degree of CT in professional athletes or military. It's in the paper. Well, so exactly. And I'm like, well, why high would she say the opposite in the media? And then why wouldn't a journalist who just had that quote? Why wouldn't he go read the paper, read the conclusion then come back to an go and why would you lie? Well, why would you deliberately abuse the hypocritic oath that you signed to do no harm? Because you know many people read that? You know how many people think that that is something that is actually truthful and that you know honest. I couldn't sleep. I I couldn't sleep for we got his kept Kevin Eating at me and eating at me, and then it came to this really decision in my life. I Know Boston University is corrupt. What they have done is criminal. If I do nothing about it, am I any better than they are? Right, I'm just like they are. I've just chose to ignore it and let them a cure start continue to this narrative. And I couldn't. I small the papers I read, the more science research I looked at, the more doctors that had explained it to me. I'm like, this is a sham. These guys have deliberately created a narrative to scare people, bully people and threatened people. If you looked at an article that just came out and live washing post about we go about Dr Mala. Who did? They the concussion movie off. Okay, he switched scans, he switched tissues, he created something from Mike Webster did. Mike Webster did not have my quips or died a heart failure. Anyway. He never died of any socalled brain disease. The brain dies ease is not worth kills you right and that it doesn't cause you to make commit suicide like they lead you to believe it happens. And he actually wrote an article back about a two thousand and sixteen consensus that they they made and he was going by those guidelines. This tells you just how completely corrupt they are. In two thousand and sixteen to so we understand what consensus is in science. We bring all this scientific literature on this tew pattern called Ct. We look at all the science and we say, okay, there's enough scientific evidence here that it's a disease. We then also have staging. It's stage one, two, three or four. Then we also do consensus on here the symptoms from it. It has to happen in science. It's mandatory.

In Two thousand and sixteen they did it and it got revoked, it got kicked out. There was no consensus. They didn't finish consensus. So at this point in this state, that has never happened in so in Paris they're having the huge meeting with all of these scientists to decide on consensus. But who do you think does not want this, this meeting to happen? Boston University doesn't not have it. Why don't they want it to happen? They've already made in the disease. They already talked about staging and they already talked about symptoms. It's never been done, it's never been complete. So they've been running around creating narrative they can't prove. There's no paper, scientific paper, that has cause or link in it. None. There is no scientific research that has clearly defined it's a disease, here's the staging and here are the symptoms. So just those things right there. If you do your own research and your own work right, you will find out it is the dead truth of it. So then you got to start asking yourself for a wait a minute, why would you do all? Why would you do that? The millions of dollars that they get from the NIH with the Nah and I H is just accountable for this too, because your feet and you're ruling evil, you're fueling corruptness without holding them accountable. And then if anybody stands up and says something to the contrary, that's a scientist, you know. Yeah, they get butcher or they get threatened, and I know that it's happened. I've seen it happened and I understand a little bit while they're scared. Okay, you can't ruin my medical career. Okay, you can attack me from a scientist, but when I did this book, Dr Cummings, I did get a three board certified friends with Professor Out of Boston University who had seen the exact same things because he didn't want his son to play, and we actually met and enjoying forces on the book accidentally because he was experiencing the same things. I almost didn't let my son play until I was like, wait a minute, I'm a I got access to all that paper, I'm going to go read it. And the more he read it was like, oh my gods, so this is not the truth. So do you think that basically comes down to? These people are trying to find him a way to make mother, I'll do something. Really, they make they get millions of dollars for creating a of them. They get they get government funding for making millions for creating a problem. Now you know what? Now let me add this too, because soon as we start talking like this, people oh you don't think head trauma's important, kid in the fist. Well, you're not saying that, I know, but who questions? And head traumas aren't or't? It's it's because that we take care of it and protocols. And here what I was going to say to it is that, for me, the NFL's part is is that the pressure on a player to get back on the field when you know that a head trauma is going to take some time. I've played with a lot of guys who've had major, major injuries and they don't like Frank White Jack. I'm sure you know, Frank. Sure, yeah, Frank's had a lot of issues and problems with that and but it just kept going right. It's like your situation. If you take if they would have taken the time to let you feel right now, different than a broken leg or anything else. They just couldn't see it, so they threw you out there faster than it happens again. Then he cleared over the phones and yeah, so something Cook Yeah, something to clear that out. You know, frank, why check play roughly when rose his years? Oh God, he he played somewhere around me a little bit, like probably like nine two to two thousand. So what you got to realize? Okay, lose this perspective. This is kind of like the pilgrims. Let's say they came back and they did a podcast and all of them were ticked off because they didn't have planes, trains and automobills when they can cross Parkay. But you start now, you like maybe it didn't exist. There's a reason we didn't have. I'm yeah, sure, would have been easier. So you have to understand. What information resources did we have at the time? No, yeah, play and I played in resources. Something I'll give you, make sure I don't. I leave this for him because there's so many great non Abasive, non medicated treatments that can help people with many trauma and even an emotional and mental health issues that we need to start spread and spreading hope and inforcaation and education to empower and help people to open up and talk about so we can get him to hell. But when you look at what we're going on, what was going on with players in one thousand nine hundred and ninety four? Yes, I take it. I take a concussion on I'd have a severe head trauma on a Monday night game in Kansas City. This is what's severe. Is Here's the two greatest signs of severity for head trauma. It's not really losing consciousness. That looks bad, but it's not a real indicator. What's the indicator are your cognitive recall and stability. So if you got a guy who still wobbling for a while, who I'm sitting there and then there's all kinds of different cognitive learning. There's retro grade and interial grade. So what's Retro Grade? What's your name? Right? Okay, here's in serio grade, for here's Intro Grad. You've never been here. What's the name of this restaurant? Right, so what you was a day...

...hoole. Right. There's a whole host of things that you got to be you got to be challenged on and make sure you call well if you're struggle with those things hours later. Okay, that's severities, pretty good. That's that's severe. You know somebody who can lose consciousness like Mason Rudolf? Take makes rudalf when you looked at his car to recall and sharp as attack five minutes later. No stability issues. They can't be mad at next week, just for for safety aspects of it. But he didn't really have any symptoms, whereas I do. It didn't lose consciousness. I had all these issues and five days later I get called by the doctor and they clear me over the phone to go back and play. Did you throw up? No, never throw up. I know one frank had really bad we replying home. He felt slipping and he woke up right way for a up and then the see that could be a symptom. Those, those are all symptoms that should have been you know, as you based on, if even the information back, because I'm in one thousand nine hundred and ninety four. What did they know at that point? Even think about today, if you go see your doctor, just your regular doctor that you see all the time for your check up, what's the one thing that he will never ask you about? Your brain? Well, if you don't do to do an M D, an MD, you know he's not going to ask you about that, unless you're injured already or if you've had a previous and if you just going in healthy and you've been had greater check outs, he's not going to say, let's take a look at you, bring let's see what it's like, when to help, because we have something compared to you later they do with every other issue, another part of our body. Then this's a good point and something I don't the way. I think you could do that truly as you have to do some type of a baseline or cognitive thing so you can get get where you stand. You know, I feel and see. I don't know if they have, but it all boils down the money to right, you got to get from birth for you got to find ways those doctors get reinburs for a lot, right and see, I don't know where their education is. From that perspective, how do I really do see? That's where you got to go to a neural doctor to really do that, which you actually bring up a really interesting point that everybody slipsten. You can go to a neural doctor and say, listen, I'd like to look at my brain health. You know, can you evaluate, because I've actually thought about doing this with Mickey Collins when my career ended back in one thousand nine hundred and ninety four. Here's what they did for me, mean Joe Run, who's one of the greatest minds on this planet. This is the only tools they had back then. They're like, he gave me two years, he goes, you got about eighteen month to to your window to see if you can recover based on what you have recovered in by eighteen months or not covered. That's kind of what you're going to be stuck with. Yeah, nowadays, my son might just my son just went through this is freshman year, and keep mind he slipped in a shower. It wasn't even in a football game. It was four days before football games. I can't play, okay, was not a football field. He this lingers for a couple a year and a half. He finally goes in. They give him a cognitive plan where they do cognitive treatments every day, I mean exercises, if you will, and they do a training program too to match up to it. Yeah, to help repair the area of the brain that has been traumatized, which they can do that as they identify the are in ten days. I'm telling you, guys, he was I like, I hadn't seen that clarity for almost a year since he had slipped in the shower hit he said yeah, and it cleared him up. That's why you know. And it's rethink concussionscom it's a great website for people to be informed and a power specially rethink two customs up breathings. Rethink concussions. And then for mental health and the magnetic treatment therapy, you have my own, my Transformationscom my transformation, which is another good one for people who have anxiety depression issues. Nice, but there's treatment and help. That's not medicating. Get you off medication right yeah, so there's a lot of great thing that well, medicating that's just mask everything's just it. It's a right. They're not really healing it, they're masking. If anything, success rate in medication is so minimal. This magnetic treatment therapy is about seventy percent success rate first treatment. When you have reoccurrence, meaning you kind of go back into it, their success rate second go around is eighty seven percent. Medication goes down, not up, the second go route. So there's there's amazing things that are out there. We need to play having protocols and treating ahead trauma is the most important thing. forhead trauma. If your son or daughter have a concussion or have an issue, it means there is no scientific get none that says, oh they're going to have cognitive or emotional behaviors later like. However, these are trauma things. Your kids could experience it that could have issues later in life. Bullying, bad parenting, some type of tragic experience in their life, a mental or physical abuse, all of those things can, and I have a scientific literature papers of that and evidence that that can cause issues later in life. That's a fact. Playing contact sports, no scientific literature that. None that says if your kids play contact spots, especially in the environment that exists today, so they're gonna have issues later in life. But I give you a whole stack of literature...

...from sure consumption, obesity and inactivity. How that not just is thecase the brand of the body, but has a major effect on our brain. Hell, Oh, no doubt. I believe that will the book. Really it's just a kind of help people understand the facts about the science, all the things that are available and things that would empower you in no matter what sport you're looking at. So Your Book Brainwash Working People. Get it. You can go to Merril hodgecom. That's Emmy ur Il Hoge Altogether. She is no d only two not to else. Merril hodgecom or you can Amazon. It takes your right to the Amazon as well. But that website. That website is good too, because we have other podcasts and information of science papers for you to read, because I encourage people. I want you to be skeptical. Go ahead and dig into it. Writing, I've said, but do you read search and look at the scientificallyasure? Don't read the local paper, don't read sports illustrated. That's Garbach. They didn't give you the facts. They're not reading scientificallyasre go read the literature for Yourself, make power yourself. I think then you'll alway's best for your family exactly get it. Well, our last segment, you know, we do it really quick day. We got some guests that have given us some questions for me and we're reading for Yes, yeah, so audience participation and we love that. We do love it. But while, well, I'm sporting through those. Well, your NFL Commissioner, hold on them before we start. I gotta, I got to enter the segment here, right, we'll rough from the edges. Yeah, he's a little rough. All right. So, hey everyone, we're getting into the no huddle. Merrowja chair and this segment is brought to our friends from sports circus and am TV and hotel television. You know, it's one of the places that our show will be aired on television out and Las Vegas and California areas. So thank you to seal the bookie out there and in Vegas and putting us on amptv in the sports circus. So in the huddle, in the no huddle, we're going down the field. Our two minute drill day fire away, give merrow's first question. How many timeouts I got my kids? Zero. Yeah, to minute rol. Okay, now this is from some guy named Gabe fry. I'm not sure that it's but anyways, Um, who's your least favorite player to get hit by? Well, the guy who was just a freak Bon freaks, I mean the one of the most challenging, but he brought the best out of it, was Lawrence Taylor. Lawrence Taylor was, he was, he was a agency freak monk. So when you were going into game plan that week and they said, okay, we're going to Plat you on fifty six, what was your well, first of all, first thought, well, that would been the dumbest move they ever did, because they did the actually, nobody, nobody actually was ever said you're just going to have fifty six. I take that back. Actually, they did. They did. They did ask me a couple of times to handle fifty six, but it would be a three step drop right, the ball is going. And what would they tell the quarterback? You'd better get rid of it. Yeah, because we got no promises. And then what would they tell me? Right, cut Lawrence table right. So, I mean that was the only time everybody else. We had two guys on him at times and if nobody had work, go look for him so that we can put three. That first time I try to cut Laurence Taylor. He cuss me out like a saws, but he called me. He called me by my first name and I was like I many knows why I am yeah, I'm bad, and then my right guards like you want to kill you. I I know, Mannie, I know this. Questions for me you got some day. We thought about this before the show. Will Abe ever play again in the NFL? You know I will never say no this. There's have been many scenarios where I'm like, I just don't see a team. The thing I think that matters the most is if he eventually assumer for Song sponsibility and gets help and clean some things up. If he does that, but he's running out of time because he was not going upward right that that's that pendulum was swinging down this way and it's going to keep swimming like it's not going to start going back up. So it's going to have to be a unique situation, but that this one would be the one where I think there's a least likelihood of that, especially doesn't make any change. So he does make a change, there's no way. If you make some changes, I think he might be able to. I said he's reaching out to plascoverers and Michael Vick for mentors. Whether you know Michael Vick, you know I've known Michael for a long time and gotten to know him and that guy is anybody's made mistakes. One thing, he owned up to his what he did wrong. He's tried to make it right to is take an action of steps towards that and is a great story. So if he could learn from Michael I would be a real plus for him. So, Dave. Our next question from one of our great patrons here at trace reals. What what we got? Okay, we have let's see some. We're going through some steeler trivia. I'm not going to get into that, but okay, how about this one? Is Mike Tom when going to...

...make the whole thing? Well, the steelers and the three consecutive could just make it to the whole thing. Well, I'll tell you this. When you look at you know, you look at he's overall numbers, you know and what he's done and you you compare him, I think he's going to have haul on the hall of fame numbers. Here's the problem that a lot of steelers run into. Do this how voting is. It doesn't is it doesn't mean it's right. They look like they already got to. You know, they got all these play. That's what kind I held donny shell out. I'm tell you this is they had so many steals, like we can't put another one in. Didn't, instead of pulled this year right, instead of saying Hey, lists and is he worth it? Is He bout? Is He? That is see a guy, the kid deserves me in hall of fame. Put Him in right, you know, but you know, I know what they do. Like well, they we still have this other guy that there's I'm sure that other guy, you know, has hall of fame numbers as well. So Great. That would just always heard of. That will be the negative. That'll be his and he can't control that, you know. But he has few. Compare them. He's got hall of fame numbers right, even without another super bowl. Build it with one. Yeah, and he lost one. And that's the same as what Mike is done. I think his winning percentage, I think he's coach of the longer, is higher than bills. I think I don't know that for family. Know you wanted to think to even it's really so thirteen here. You know that that would be a hard thing for a rider to say. Why not very honestly? But I think he clearly has all the credibility to be a hall of Famer. So we got one quite another question from audience member. But just let me preface it by saying that, you know, you lived in Idaho whole away from childhood only up through college. You get drafted by the steelers. You've been here for a long time, since since one thousand nine hundred and eighty seven. Seven write what from Anne and our audience, but she's out there. What do you love most about Pittsburgh? Well, I would honestly, and I feel very forced with this, and I say this is genuinely as I could say it, I had never, you know, felt more at home or more loved. You know, are appreciated for whatever reason that is. I am humble by that. That and I have always felt like that in this city of always considered this home. I people say all every we got the best fans will listen. There's a lot of me doing the business. I've been doing for twenty one years. There every player that's outside a pistol got like really see. Those are the best fans. I mean they are the best and what makes them great fans in my from my perspective, is that they are passionate, they are smart. They appreciate if he gave everything you had. They they appreciate that they want to win. I mean you they're used to win it. They won't win Super Bowls, okay, but there's something about though. They appreciate if you gave everything you had and they they make you feel that. They resonates with me even to this day. You know, I come some my kid, me bow, my son, when he was a Littar, and we brought his friends here. They were type like they were in awe that. You know how when I come back home, how people are, and it's not I mean I can walk down the street and here's what I r Hey, what's doing? Marrow, I don't know, Guy From Adam Right, Donald, lady from him. I'm like, I like it that it's that comfortable. They rat hey, how you doing? Say Hi. Right, so they're I just I love the people here and yeah, fans are great and I love there's no greater entrance in all of this country to a city then the fourth times coming through the fourth they nothing better in that. Yeah. So last question for me is, you know the raiders are moving to Vegas. This show is going to be out in Vegas on TV. You know, I think it's it was just such a stretch for the NFL to think in Vegas as an NFL the city. But I have a good friend WHO's offens coordinator to Greg Olson for for the raiders, and he talked about and and just couldn't I mean they're sold out, people are super excited. Brand new stadium, he said. The the facilities are incredible. What do you think about the raiders moving to Vegas? Well, listen, I've played the raiders when they were in La okay. They bounced around. I mean I've always felt like is there a better, better name than Oakland Raiders? You know, like it would be like he could let's say, actually, I did this one time on radio when I read place was do to write. Oh yeah, so we were talking about what teams were moving around. We're doing a radio shows, doing radio show here and Pitts were when I first retired, and we were talking about teams move, because teams were moving around. I'm just imagine the steelers moving. Think about that for a second. Could the steelers? Could you imagine the steelers being anywhere else in this country Button Pittsburgh right? Unimaginable. And now it's just like there's a little bit of that with Oakland at the time, because I think that was kind of when Oakland was going back to La Right. But if there was actually a spot that fits them, is Vegas. It is. It is lost vegas either. That is not a hard swallow for me to see them in Vega. You see the colts sleeve and and people move around. They lose so many fans. I don't see that with the raiders. Like the fans don't really care where they go. They and they're pretty excited about going to Vegas.

I you know, I don't foresee it being a home filled a band each I could be wrong because when you look at what they've done with hockey there, I mean that places is zoo and it's only like when they're third year. But when you look at listening the steelers are going to, it's kind of like Arizona, okay, right, like it's December I'm gonna go watch him play and there's got a bunch of stew of fans that live in Arizona. There's a bunch of steel fans that live in Vegas. I mean, I don't know that they're going to have the true home field. And he said like a melting pot, you know, like it's kind of like Miami to Miami, Miami stuff. I played there one year and it is tough. There's not when you're playing the Patriots, it's Patriots family. Right, jets, it's jets fan. They know and whatever we're coming down. It's not in advantage for I'm always thought you warn whether team's got a disadvantage when it comes down to November, December, Jan anywhere, because we can't wait to get down there. Right. That is not in advantage for you. Isn't many to us. Not a good thing. But they've got anything else? I yeah, what's your biggest pet peeve? All right, biggest pet peaks since I drove in today. When you're on a two lane highway, the right lane is a driving lane, the left lanes the passing lane. Right, okay, now it's a passing lane. It's not a driving lane. Even to people watch going to speak. I don't care if you're going to speed limit. It's a passing lane. The law is you pass people and you get over if you don't sit and drive in it, regardless of you're going to speed limit, you just get over. That is I'm like like that. You're my number one all every day on rock twenty eight, I pass more people on the ice side. Now that I do want you have this like they go there deliberately about that's the worst. How about one last one, last one, give it. Those days. You could be anyone else in the world for one day. We would not be for one day. Shoot, you don't want I take tiger woods man his golf game. Yeah, that's excited, hunstervovs. That's why I take tiger woods. Hey, everyone, we want to thank Merrill for joining us in the huddle and and you know, and putting it down on sports circus. Thank you, Sal and, you know, thanks to trace Rio's just amazing food, amazing place. We want everybody to come visit. They they're just going to blow your socks up when you come eat here and have a good time. And Happy Birthday Hardy Trace Rio. So, Merril, thank you. Thank you, guys. Shame you coming and sharing your story and and I don't know how many people know about you and and and collecting gophers tales, but they do tout there now. So thanks everyone and thanks for joining us in the huddle. We want to thank you for listening to huddle up with gusts, a RADIOCOM original. You can find our show on RADIOCOM, the new RADIOCOM APP or anywhere you listen to your favorite podcast. Please leave us a review or comment if you enjoyed the show. We are on facebook, twitter, instagram and Youtube at huddle up with Gus. You can also visit us on our website, huddle up with gustscom.

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