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August 22, 2023 57 mins
John Howell lived out a dream. He played 8-man football in a very small Nebraska town. Some folks scoffed when John set his sights on playing Division I football, specifically at Colorado State University. When he got a call to be the last person in camp because another guy backed out, John drove straight to Fort Collins and joined the team as a walk on. While he did play and letter his freshman year, John had trouble connecting with teammates and felt like he was an anonymous scout team punching bag. So he quit. He also quit going to school and flunked nearly every class. During winter break back in Nebraska, John realized he was proving the naysayers right. So he went back to Fort Collins and got “word whipped” by a coach for his grades. But that verbal shakedown didn’t make John mad, he was happy because he realized the coaches actually knew his name.

John had an outstanding career as a safety for CSU and went on to be drafted by the Tampa Bay Bucs where he played for four years and won a Super Bowl. The Super Bowl victory came after his second season, a season he almost didn’t have because John experienced a “freak out” of anxiety at the start of training camp and left. After a 10-day hiatus, where he received some invaluable mental encouragement from other pros, John returned and the Bucs welcomed him back. He’d play two more seasons with the Seattle Seahawks and called it quits after a nagging hamstring injury wouldn’t heal.

These days John runs a hunting ranch at Dismal River in the same town where he grew up. He’s also married to his college sweetheart Laura, and they keep up with three very athletic children who play sports at the pro, college and high school levels.

Hosted by Susie Wargin
Mark as Played

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