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April 23, 2024 66 mins
Tony Boselli’s goal growing up was to play high school football for Sam Pagano. He attended Coach Pagano’s infamous Mile High Football camps and dreamt of running onto Knight’s field at Fairview High School. His home school was Boulder High, so he told his dad he had to figure out a way into Fairview, or he would go live with his aunt & uncle across town. Tony’s dad figured it out.  

Once he was under Coach Pagano’s tutelage, Tony was moved from quarterback to the offensive line. Quite the change, but whatever Coach said was gospel to the tall, lanky kid who would grow even more and thrive on the line. Offers started to come in from colleges and Tony narrowed it down to USC and Notre Dame. When the Irish told him they weren’t interested, Tony headed to California and was a multi-year All-American and All-Pac 10 player.  

In 1995, the Jacksonville Jaguars took Tony as the 2nd overall pick and his pro career thrived as a 3-time All-Pro, 5-time Pro Bowler and a member of the 1990’s NFL All Decades Team. Life was good, until Tom Coughlin told Tony he was being traded to the expansion Houston Texans.  

Tony was upset and bitter for a few years, but eventually realized he and his family belonged back in Jacksonville. He remains there today. Since retirement, several Hall of Fames have enshrined Tony, including Pro Football, College Football, and Colorado Sports. Today, he’s the Jags radio color commentator, runs his Boselli Foundation with his wife Angi and heads up a health care company.  
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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Two weeks after the season. I'msitting at home. I have two kids.

I'm making pancakes. Angie's in thekitchen and we're here. A knock
on the door and I opened doorsTom, because Tom literally Caddy cornered me
in the same neighborhood. Said coach, what's up Saturday morning? He says,
you got a chance to talk?And I said, yeah, sure,
what's up? So we sit downmy porch and he says, I
don't know how to tell you this, but we're going to put you on
the expansion draft and they're going topick you up. It was all pre

arranged. And I said, okay, welcome to cut Traded, Fired,
Retired a podcast featuring conversations with professionalathletes and coaches who are somehow tied to
Colorado and have faced challenges just likeyou and I. Not only do we
hear about those challenges, we alsohear interesting and fun stories about working through

them and moving on. I'm yourhost, Susie Wargen. Tony Biselli could
have spent more time in Colorado,However, by the time he finished a
stellar high school career at Fairview underlegendary head coach Sam Pagano, he was
ready to get out a boulder.Tony's six seven inch frame and ability on
the offensive line caught the eye ofmany colleges, and he narrowed it down
to two USC and Notre Dame.When the Irish told him no thanks,

Tony headed to California and was amulti year All American and All Pac ten.
In nineteen ninety five, the Jaguarswere an expansion team and they took
Tony with the second overall pick inJacksonville. He went on to be a
multi year pro bowler, All Pro, have his number retired, and eventually
was enshrined in Canton. But itwasn't all awards and accolades. The Jags

sent him to the expansion Texans intwo thousand and two, and it took
Tony a few years to erase thebitterness he felt towards the franchise. Today
he's the Jags radio color commentator.He's back in Jacksonville, is the president
and chief growth officer for a healthcarecompany and continues to give back with his
Biselli Foundation. He also most recentlywent into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame,

which is where we caught up ladiesand gentlemen Tony BISSELLI cut Traded Fired,
Retired Bud with Susie Wargin. TonyBiselli, thank you for hanging out
today and making some time fresh offof your induction into the Colorado Sports Hall
of Fame. Yeah, thanks forhaving me. It's uh, last night

was cool coming back to Colorado.Don't get here as much as I know
my family would like me to gethere and as much as I would like
myself, So it's just it's goodto be back. It was really fun,
and we're going to kind of gothrough your whole career really and you
have a huge base here in Colorado. You were born though in California.
My family is from California originally mydad and mom Mom La dad Northern Cow.

They actually met at Gonzaga of allplaces. Yeah, they went both
into the Gonzaga before. They weregood at basketball. My dad, before
he passed away, used to jokeall the time they were terrible when he
was there. My sister and Iwere born in northern California, but at
age two we moved to Colorado becauseof work, So I have zero recollection
of living in California. I consideredmyself growing up a Colorado native. I

was surprised to see you were bornin California. I was like, wait,
I always thought he was completely fromBoulder. Yeah, I mean this
was home. I didn't know anythingelse. Spent all of my elementary years
and high school years right here inBoulder. Yeah. And one thing you
mentioned in your speech was the factthat you know you didn't ask to be
born six seven? And when didyou become six seven? Was that in
high school or did you start?I was always the big kid. I

was always tall, kind of lanky, because you know, growing up did
every sport. Swam in the summer, baseball in the summer as well,
football, basketball. But I wasalways tall, and my dad was not
tall. He's only maybe six toone. He'd like to say he was
six to one. I always wonderif he actually was. My mom was
five to nine, and the sizecomes from her side of the family.

Interesting. Yeah, okay, Andso I was always the tall kid.
I mean I was taller than mydad, like at thirteen at the NFL
com by my official no shoes,I think was six seven and seven eighths
or five eights. Wow. ButI probably grew about an inch in college.
So I was just under pricely sixtyseven when I left high school.
Okay, and you told a greatstory to at your induction ceremony about Sam

Pagano was your coach at Fairview HighSchool and that you always had the dream
of your huge Broncos fan growing up, used to watch the Broncos and want
to be there. And so yougo out for the football team expecting to
play a quarterback. Yeah, Imean it didn't happen, like, yeah,
I did not not even close.You know, It's funny because growing
up, I mean I can rememberI was only five years old nineteen seventy
seven. I remember watching that SuperBowl. Yeah. Now I don't remember

in detail, but I remember CraigMorton. I remember cheering for the Broncos
and knowing pretty quickly that it wasn'tgoing to probably work out. Dallas was
definitely an America's team. They wereAmerica's team, and I hated him for
it. Elway's rookie year, Iremember going and sitting in the fifth level.
My uncle had season tickets and mydad got a couple of games a

year, and one of them wasthe preseason. I remember watching the first
time he ran out there. Imean, so everything growing up. I
was. It's funny because you know, living in the South now everything is
about huge college football. Oh yeah, yeah, and growing up in Boulder
because see it wasn't very good atthe time. It was broncop country.
So that's that was my point ofreference. I love football from since I

can remember. Probably like most kids, you don't grow up even though I
was big, imagining playing offensive line. Really the goal it wasn't the goal
at no. I was like,I want to be the running back or
the linebacker, you know, peewee football. I remember I was too
big, so got the sticker onyour helmet. The sticker, yeah,
the sticker. And before the stickerswere available. I remember in Bolder you

had to be ten years old togo out for the pee wee football.
I was the youngest, and Iremember begging my dad to go play football.
And I was only nine, butI was big, and so he
went and lied my age. Andthen I show up and I'm nine years
old, and I go to thethree levels the young kids, you know,
middle, and older. And Iwent to the younger kids and within

five been the said you can't behere, you have to go with the
older kids. So here's this nineyear old kid playing with playing with like
eleven and twelve year olds, Ohmy gosh, and he had already all
been playing for playing. I mean, I knew nothing but what I watched
on TV and playing in the backyard. And I loved it. I mean
I always loved the contact. Thatyear first time playing padded, I convinced

my dad let me go to SamPegano's Mile High football camp where you stayed
all week in the dorms. Andso here's a nine year old. Yeah,
I loved it. And that's whenI had older cousins who had played
at Fairview. I actually lived inNorth Boulder, so I was zoned for
Boulder High. But I went toevery Fairview game, watched my cousins play,

and I would say my first goalaround the game of football was not
to play in the NFL, Likethat was too big of a dream.
Like I was a kid. Iremember watching the Broncos like no one gets
to do that, Like you're likeplucked out of like some other universe to
go play there. But I'd watchmy older cousins play for Sam at Fairby,
watched the one state championship and stuff, and I remember my only goal

was I want to play for SamPogono and then going to his camps and
everything else. I was a waterboy as soon as I was old enough
to let me on the sidelines.And when it came to go to high
school and I told my dad,I said, either I'm going to go
move with my uncle because he livesin the South Boulder, or We're going
to petition and find a way becauseI'm not going to Boulder High. And

we petitioned, and I lived twentyminutes away on the other side of Boulder
and drove it to Fairvy every day. But that was my goal, and
playing for Sam was one of thethings that I wanted to do. But
it was not as an offensive linemanbecause back then you went junior high seventh,
eighth, ninth grade, and thenyou went to the high school in
tenth grade, so it was aninth grade or I was at the Casey
Junior High. I was the startingquarterback. It was interesting. I played

starting quarterback and I played defensive lineon defense, not a real that's an
odd combo. And I showed upthat summer to my life football camp,
Sam's Pagano's football camp, and Ilook back and laugh now knowing what I
know. And I went and playedquarterback the entire camp and Sam never said

one thing. Coach Progano said,not one thing. And I'm like,
I'm going out for quarterback. Andliterally we were in stretch and Sam came
over, and you know, Iwas scared to death of them. Yes,
sir, no, sir. Andwhat he said was like God speaking
down from Mount Sign and I sayingyou shall not. Yeah. And for

the you know, a fifteen yearold kid, sophomore in high school,
and he said, You're not gonnaplay quarterback, You're gonna play tied end.
I said, it was funny becauseyou like, in today's culture,
you know what happens kids transfer,Well, I'm gonna go somewhere where they
let me do it. I'm gonnago tell mom and dad. Well,
two things. One, I knewthat if I went and complained to my

dad, he was not gonna.I mean that, that's just not how
it worked in our house, whichis funny. It's not how it worked
in my house and my kids either, because that But two was it was
Sam Pigano and I wanted to playfor Fabi more than I wanted to play
quarterback. I wanted to be apart of the team. I wanted to
wear that night's jersey and go out. So I moved the tight end.

And Sam told me years later whenI graduated, he says, you have
the only reason I didn't move meright the offensive line because I thought you
quit. He could have moved meanywhere, and I wasn't gonna quit.
But it was Yeah. So Iwent out sophomore, didn't make it,
moved a tight end. And oneof the things that happened that year was
every one of my friends made varsityexcept for me. I was on the

sophomore team. Really, yep,but I wanted to be involved, So
I was on the sophomore team.Fine, I'll do whatever, played tight
end and linebacker. I was thewater boy still for the varsity really,
so it was a sophomore. Iwould get on the bus carrying the water.
All my friends would be in theirjerseys. Oh, they weren't playing
much, so they didn't do muchmore than I did. Tell your buddies

on varsity. On varsity and II'm carrying the water out there. Wow.
I don't know where the attitude Alot of credit goes with my mom
and Dad and my family and thestructure we had. But I was like,
okay, that's just what you did, just what I did. I
wanted to be a part of it. I finally got brought up halfway through
the year, never played, andthat off season I said, I got

to do some different things than everyoneelse if I want to achieve my goal,
which is to start on varsity.And so I just dedicated myself and
started lifting weights for the first time. And really everyone else would go off
to lunch and do what they did, and I'd go work out and join
the track team. Quit baseball becauseI couldn't hit a curveball. And I

said, well, this isn't goingto go very well. And so I
went out for track and that helpeda lot, got stronger, and ended
up starting my junior year and therest of his history. And did you
start on the offensive line? Istarted offensive line. I started. I
was right tackle, got much biggerbecause I was a tall, skinny kid.
My freshman year, I was probablysix' five five. You know,

I wouldn't say super late bloomber,but I hadn't lifted, and I
wasn't fast or heavy feed, youknow, and all those kinds of things.
So I played basketball and that helped, and played basketball and started working
out and got stronger and got upto like two twenty five or something my
junior year. So do you dothree sports throughout? Yeah? Pretty much.
Well that's a funny story. SoI did my sophomore junior year,

I did football, basketball, andthen that sophomore spring, all my friends
went out for track and I wasdoing nothing. So like a week end
of the season, I went andasked the track coach, can I come
out for track. I didn't knowwhat I was gonna do. I'd never
thrown a shot put or and Iknew I wasn't gonna run. I wasn't
fast enough. And he said sure. So I started doing track my sophomore

which I loved, and coach Mecklenburg, it was a great coach, really
helped me in a lot of ways. And so did that, and then
my junior year did the same football, basketball and track, and going into
my senior year because I had agood junior year, like all of a
sudden, I have to end ofmy junior year and I didn't know anything

about like my cousins played small collegefootball like at Fort Lewis, and the
thought of like getting cruited to abig school never even crossed my mind.
One of my best friends in highschool, Todd Lockwood, Scott Lockwood,
his older brother, got recruited toUSC and I just looked at him as
like, he's just a different human, right and get another one of those
plucked out of Yeah, it's notvery fun, but I had a good

junior year. I was always aggressiveand tried to play the physicals I could,
and Sam demanded that, and soall of a sudden, I started
getting letters from colleges after my junioryear, and I'm like, this is
interesting. Joe Berry was Uh.I'd known him since my life football camp
and his dad was now the coachat SeeU and he'd watch us play and

he'd said a couple of things tome about ability and that because my size
and everything, that athletic ability.And I thought that was interesting, and
so I just started working even harder. This is where I was really fortunate.
My dad came to me and said, Hey, do you really want
to do this? I said yeah. My dad ended up being very successful

in the McDonald's franchises, but atthis time, I mean, we were
well off, and but famifications weregetting in the car and driving somewhere.
It wasn't like we were all right, you're not taking the private jets somewhere.
Yeah, I mean it was.I mean, I had an amazing
childhood. But I remember he desired, I'll get you a personal trainer,
and so I got up at fiveam every morning before school went and worked
out with this guy. And sothat was going well. And but my

senior year I didn't play basketball.And the reason is, all of a
sudden, my junior year we hada pretty down We had a couple of
good guys in my class, butsome of the other classes we weren't very
good at the end of the dayfor whatever reason. And but we had
a really couple great athletes who werebasketball players, and they would have been
so helpful playing at skill positions forus. And they were great athletes.

We're friends, and I said,hey, you guys need to come up
with football next year, and theyall promised, And then spring came around.
They kind of didn't do a lot, but they said, we're going
out and I told them that summerI said, if you don't show up,
I'm not playing basketball. And bynow I'm six seven almost. I

mean, I'm athletic. I'm twohundred and fifty pounds and can run.
And no, I'm not the mostskilled guy. I can't trouble to save
my life. To this day,I don't think I can dribble. You
need to do in the middle.Oh, I can grab rebounds. I
could play defense. I mean Ican. And they all thought I was
crazy. They said, Okay,we're going to come out. Not one
of them came out. I didn'tsay a word to any of them.

Still friends, and to go throughthe football season, we'd have a great
year because we weren't very talented footballends. And the head basketball coaches says,
why don't you take a week offand then come out. They said,
I'm not playing. He says,what do you mean you're not playing?
I said, I'm not playing.Calls my parents, tell my dad.
He's like, whatever you want,I support you. My mom was

the opposite. She wore me out, So you need to play. You
need to play. I said,I am not playing out of principal.
I regret that some days, butat the same time, that's kind of
who I am, so I can'tchange that, I guess, but I
didn't go out. Now, theywere pretty good. I think they went
to the either final lay to finalfoward. Maybe we could have oh been

better, maybe not, who knows, but you stood by your word.
I stood by my word. SoI played interm of year old basketball and
averaged like forty points a game,smoked everybody paying guys, and then went
out for track and we won thestate championship in track that year. Oh
wow, Yeah, sound was fun. And you're continuing to get letters.
So I'm getting letters and uh throughthe summer, and then all of a

sudden it really heats up because nowI'm going into my sterior. You know,
just under six seven two and fiftyfive pounds games. I'm sure played
every snow offense, defense, specialteams. How did to narrow things down?
You go to USC, I'm assumingsee you is all over You see
a hometown guy? Yeah, Isee you. It was all over me.
Gary Barnett wo recruited me. Iwas very close to Joe. We

ended up being roommates at USC andwe're still friends this day. And I'm
very close to Mike, who endedup coaching me at SC. Obviously.
Bill McCartney legendary coach. I didn'twant to stay in Boulder. I was
ready to leave. Grew up here. I love Colorado, my family was
here. I just felt like mestaying home where I grew up, ten

minutes from campus, snuck into theplaces of the Pearl Street. You know,
I felt like it was I neededsomething different. The two schools I
really wanted to go to were NotreDame or USC. I took a trip
to Michigan State one scheduled at Stanfordand Arizona State. Did Notre Dame offer

you. Well, that's the interestingSo I'm sitting there because back what the
rules are today. He had fiveofficial visits. You can say, I
think it's similar. See, Iwas taking a trip there, I was
going to see you. I wasgoing to Stamford in Michigan State, and
I wanted Notre Dame. They werewriting letters, calling, but kind of
not real committal. I remember,I mean Coachmgono's office where my senior year

I spent a lot of time.I took two gym classes that he coached.
He taught. I was his TAfor one who was the best.
Basically ran Aaron's for him when youneeded stuff. It was great. So
I spent a ton of time withCoachmgano in his office and one day we're
talking and we were talking about whatI wanted to do, and it was
time to make a decision visits andeverything, and I told him Notre Dame

and he said, hold on,and I'm sitting there in the room.
He picks up the phone and callsVinnie Sarado, who was the recruiting coordinator
under Lou Holtz, and said,Bennie, what are you guys going to
do? Tony wants to come there. It's really down to you guys in
uscit and Notre Dame said, we'renot interested. We don't want them.
We have two offensive linemen, wealready got commits. We don't want Tony.

And I said, okay. Itmakes my decision pretty easy. And
it started my hatred for Notre Dameearlier than me getting doue at USC And
so I chose Arizona State as myfifth school. But I was going to
see did it crush you a littlebit? Or were you okay with it
because you did have two favorites.Yeah, I think there's a part of
me as a seventeen year old kid. I was disappointed but it also put

a little bit of a chip onmy shoulder. I'm like, Okay,
I'm going to go prove everyone wrong. I had people when I chose USC
at CU I won't say their names, not Mike Berry. Mike was the
When I called him and told himI wasn't going to go, he said,
I understand. I wish you nothingbut the best, and maybe one
day we'll our paths across and theydid. Yeah. I love that man

to this day. But I hadpeople with see you who say you'll never
make it there. My people thatI would say we're friends said similar things
I heard about, and so Isaid, okay, well let's find out.
But when I stepped on campus atUSC, I knew I was going
there. I had taken a tripto Michigan State first loved it. I'm

sure most teenagers the first trip theytake, and they thought. I was
like, this is the greatest thingever. I'm hanging out with college guys.
Football players are going out. Thisis nirvana. Yeah, this is
what you do. And then Iwent to see you for an official visit.
Had a great time. My teammateat FAIRV Chuck Snowden, who played
running back there, was there andhe hosted me. We had a great

time. It was a great place. Mike Berry's great college coach obviously Bill
McCartney. I ended up missing outon winning national title because my freshman year
in college they won a national title. So, I mean, it had
nothing to do with anyone at SeeU. I needed to move and nothing gets
bolder. I love bolder. Butwhen I stepped on the campus at USC

and walked into Heritage Hall and satdown with Larry Smith was the head coach
at the time, blanded in theafternoon, did like two hours whatever it
was. I called my dad Isaid I'm going to UC and he goes,
you sure, why don't you letthe weekend playoffs it? Dad,
I'm going to USC And I toldhim that night I said I'm coming.
We'd have the best years. Itwas a little bit of a down period

until John Robinson came at the endof my time in there. But it
was the best decision I ever made. It was great. I love SC
that my wife there, it wasperfect. Yeah, that's where you were
supposed to go, That's where Iwas supposed to go. So yeah,
but it was you know, likeall of our I think As you get
older and you hopefully get wiser,you realize there's nothing that's a straight path.
Oh yeah, it just there's upsand downs, and there's there's things

that happened that you don't understand andyou don't like, but if you persevere.
You know, last night was amazingwatching at the car All Sports Hall
of Fame because it's the celebration.Obviously I'm personal to football, but of
all sports, I think sports arethe greatest thing in the world as far
as teaching key principles and characteristics thatevery human needs and the celebration of sports.

I know it's been after my faithand family. There's nothing more impactful
in my life. Absolutely well.And at USC you're for three years in
a row, first Team All Pacten, All American. You go into
the College Football Hall of Fame intwenty fourteen. Then in nineteen ninety five,
as we skip onto the pros,the Jaguars become into existence and you're

the second overall pick, first everpick for the Jags. And then what's
cool is full circle when you gointo the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
You're the first Jaguar to go inthe Pro Football Hall of Fame. Too.
What was that experience like for you? Yeah, it was cool.
Funny thing is I was only atwo time All American. I'm glad they
got it. They got it rightlast night somehow someway on my Wikipedia where
everyone goes yeah, and I don'tknow how Wikipedia works. I don't have

to change it. It says Iwas a three time All American. It
does my rechrod. Freshman year,I all Pack ten. Okay. Sophomore
year made All Pack ten and AllAmerican. Junior year, I got hurt
and I missed half the season.Okay, so I was not All American
and that's the only reason I cameback. I had won a couple of
people coming to me after my sophomoreyear, which was my third because I
read shirted. Consider going pro fortwo seconds. I wasn't ready, nor

did I want to. I washaving too much fun at USC and then
I was gonna leave after my junioryear. But I got hurt the third
game of the season, missed sixgames, and came back for the last
two or three. Okay, soI'm a check notes two times two times.
I always forget to tell people whenthey introduce me, yeah, because
they go to your stats, theygo to a Wikipedia which is exactly did

and last night they got it right. Yeah, which was great. But
yeah, after my junior year,I was gonna leave. I wasn't ready,
but I would have been a probablysomewhere between late teens to early twenties.
Second overall, no first round pick. And I'll never forget John Robinson,
who college football Hall of Fame coach, just amazing individual. He calls

me in his offen and he says, hey, you need to come back
now. The first thing you thinkis like, okay, he's the head
coach. He wants one of hisbest players to come back. I quickly
understood that it wasn't about him,and it wasn't at usc the way he
said listen, he says, you'regood, and you probably you'll be a
first rounder. He says, butyou're not ready. You're not. I'm
strong enough. You need to doX, Y and Z, and I
have a plan for you, andif you'll trust me, you'll be a

top ten pick next year. Isaid, okay, maybe I should have
thought about it. Left at meand said I'm coming back and called my
dad and he's like sure, Hesaid, give me a first rounder I
said I'm coming back, and JohnRobinson and Mike Barry put me through the
ringer and I worked harder than Iever had, got stronger, and it

worked out. I was second overallpick. Probably no regrets about doing that
run. No. I talked toa number of guys who in fact,
I just talked to Matt Mak andhe's like, I wish I would have.
If there's one thing I wish youwould have done is gone back my
senior year at LSU, after theywon that national championship. He went in
and he was a seventh round pick. But he's like, I just you
can't go back to that. Youcan't go back to college. And you
can't. And I know the injurybug can get in there and things can

happen, but still it's a timein your life you'll never get back.
If I would have not gotten hurt, I probably would have left. And
every guy talked to man if favorasked my opinion, I said, you'll
know, like, if you're readyto go, go, let's call it
what it is. College football isa business. Oh yeah, that's what

he is. More so now it'smore than when I was there. I'll
tell you what if if college footballwas the way it is today, I
would have left. I would lookat the coach rum say I'm out.
I feel sorry for the guys incollege football now because they don't have I
don't care if what you're getting paid. You don't have what I had,
and you don't have what all ofus had and we'll have for the rest
of our lives, which is acamaraderie of guys in the trenches, like

you're there, you gotta fight.There's no option to go transfer because you
had to sit out of here becauseyou didn't get your way or the coach
was mean to you, or orwhatever, which I think. And not
to get on tangent, what ishappening in college football is the worst thing
in the world for our culture andsociety because it is ingraining the wrong principles
and young men and women. Absolutelyit's that it's not working here. So
I'm gonna go here. Quit,I'm gonna quit. What's gonna happen?

And I used to tell my boysthis all the time. My boys both
play college football, and now we'reboth in the working world. You know,
whether it was high school of college, it's you know, come back
and coaches mean to me. Well, I was the coach in high school,
so I was very mean to him. They complain, yeah to their
mom. But like in college,this coach is me and I'm not getting
a fair shake. He doesn't likeme. And I'd be like, who

cares? I go, what areyou gonna do when you have a wife
and kids and you're at work andyour boss is mean to you, You're
gonna quit? You don't get thatoption, buddy. But that's the message
we're sending the young men and womentoday. Oh you don't like it.
They were mean, they said somethingthat offended you, or you didn't get
your way, or just goes somewhereelse. Eventually this somewhere else will dry

up and nothing. And even ifthey don't meant what pattern or what what
have you ingrained in yourself when itgets hard, Like one of the greatest
things that has helped me Post andI'll get to the whole draft process,
but Post's career, which has beenwas very difficult at the beginning, really
hard, was what the game offootball taught me all the way back in

high school and probably before then.What the game taught me is that you
don't quit it's going to be hardtraining camp, and two days are hard.
I quit every day in college andpros. I wanted to quit during
train game, and I love football. I'd get back and I'm like,
this is the dumbest thing I've everthink. But you know what, I

wake up the next day and Igo do it again. And I think
that's good for people. It teachesyou how to persevere. And I thought
what he Paige said brought up perseverance, and I thought what he said was
so true. It teaches hard workand determination, and like anything worthwhile is
hard, and I think some ofthat's lost the way they go very much.

So how college sports are society ingeneral right now? With that,
well, I think especially that's agreat point. That's a great point.
I think college football is just areflection of greater society exactly. It's crazy,
all right. So the draft,So drafts. Sorry, I got
off on a tangent. I coulddo a whole thing on my thoughts of
our culture. And I'm not surealways popular thoughts, but their mine.

That's fine, they're mine. Sothe draft process, it was crazy because
all of a sudden, I'm like, I had a good senior year,
and like I felt dominant and itwas fun, but at the same time,
there's always a piec of is likecan I do at the next level?
And I had this deep seated fearof being a bust because when I

was high school. I'll never forgetI had it on my wall Tony Mandris
on the cover of SI, justlike the gift to college football's offensive lineman,
second overall pick, and then hewas a bust and didn't have the
career that a second overall pick shouldhave. Right, he ended up playing,

and I give him a ton ofcredit for fighting through. I'm sure
some of those super tough so throughthe process. And all of a sudden,
I'm like, teams are flying outand Coach Robinson's talked to me and
it's my agent and it's clear thatI'm going to be in the top five,
and I'm like, holy cow,that's a lot of pressure, a
lot of pressure. And now itwas fun too because I started thinking,

like, how much of the topfive guys like what they get last year,
because it's be more this year.Because here I am, you know,
living off of you know, twentybucks a week eating fast food because
the packed ten back then there wasno off season training table. Oh wow,
so you're fending for yourself or youhad to go to the door or

meal plan. So all of asudden, I'm like, well, I'm
gonna be rich. And uh soI worked out and started doing all this
stuff, and and Tom Kauflin andhis staff, the number of teams came
out, worked me out, andthen Tom he says, we want to
take you to dinner tonight. Andhe says, and bring your fiance.
And if you know Tom Coughlin,it wasn't a suggestion, it was a

a demand. And your fiance iscoming with you. So it's me Tom.
Mike Maser's passed away was an offensiveline coach and a guy named Rick
Reaperch who was the head of collegecounting. So we go to dinner and
sit there and they grilled me fortwo hours, grilled now wife like always,
she won the day. I thinkthey might have picked me just because

of her. And they said,okay, we're gonna fly out, and
so they flew me out in March. After combine everything, flew me out
in March, late March, andthey put me through all the physical again.
I'm like golly, and Tom callsme his office and says, we
are going to pick you number two. You're a pick and if anything changes,
I will call you personally. Isaid, okay, And so you

have that knowledge for a month,probably about three weeks. Yeah, three
and a half weeks. So Icall my agent tell them. He says,
great, let's just keep it quiet. And so I didn't. I
mean, my my fiance, nowife knew. And so I'm like,
I'm going to Jacksonville. Sounds likebut I was still in the back of
my mind's like, yeah, thiscan change. And so at the same
time, the NFL's calling me andsays we want to fly in New York

to be in Radio City Musical,and I said, I'm not coming because
it's an NFL junkie. I watchevery draft, right and every year there's
one guy, Oh that's slides andthe camera's on him, and I'm like,
don't wonder not going to be me. And I told myself, for
if I ever get I'm not there'sno chance I'd do that. And I
said I'm not coming, and theysaid you need to come. I said,

I'm not coming. So Ill said, my agent calls and Jack Mills,
Oh, you're another Jackman. Jack. I love Jack. Jack calls
me. He says, Tony,why don't you want to go? I
said, Jack, I don't wantto be that guy. He says,
you're not going to be I said, Jack, And by this time I
got my wife in my ear,saying we're going to New York. You

want to my parents because they wanteveryone to come in. They're all calling
me and I've been adamant. I'mnot going. I'll never forget, I
said, Jack. If you canguarantee me I'm not sliding past five or
six, because I'd be fine ifit wasn't two five. That's yeah,
it's no big deal, I said, I want to guarantee. Call me

back, make some phone calls,and you can guarantee it. I will
go. My guess is he probablycalled nobody because he knew. But like
two hours later he calling me back. He says, Tony, you're not
going past five. You're not.I said, all right, I'll go.
So we go to New York.I think everyone had more fun than
me. Really, yeah, becauseI was nervous. I started getting nervous

at the end. We're at theMarriott Marquis. The guys swet. It
was great. I'm sitting in there, I get a phone call. I
didn't have a cell phone. Ohno, I didn't have a cell phone
until my rookie year. Because cellphones if you were like really rich,
right you have like a page ormaybe I mean that I had nothing,
Oh my gosh, which I kindof miss by the way. Oh I
know sometimes like man, I couldjust go back to the landline and call

it good with an answering machine.It was. And in high school,
I'm like, thank goodness, myparents said I could go do anything I
want. Now, you know lifethree six, you know where everyone is
all the time? Yep. Andso I get my hotel phone rings,
I pick it up and it's theJaguars. It's Rick Repeers and he says,
Tony, the Bengals just traded upto number one. We have heard

that there's a rumor they're going topick you. Have you heard anything?
And the Bengals have been working meout. They come, flow me out,
took me to meal and all thatkind of stuff. And I had
said no. He says, well, let us know if you hear anything.
Wow, I called Jack, Isaid Jack, because Jacket asked me

he says, where do you notwant to go? So I don't want
to go to Cincinnati because that wasback when Cincinnati was known super cheap.
They were awful. They had allthese great runs with Boomera Siasin, Kenny
Anderson, Anthony Munos, Chris Collinsworth, and then there was this old just
huge, huge, and they weren'tpaying people and their facilities were terrible,

and that you'd heard all these terriblestories about me. And so I called
Jack and I said this is whyI've heard and he goes, have you
heard anything? He said no,And all of a sudden, I'm like,
we'll be in the first overall pick. I probably go to Cincinnati if
I'm number one overall because they werefive and they went from five to one.
I'm like, it's not the worst, but long story. Sure.

He called and he said I haven'theard anything, and it looks like they're
gonna take to John Carter. Isaid, okay, great, wake up.
Next day we go me. Stephenmayerwas there late, Stephen Mayor cause,
Johnny Carter, Kevin Carter, CarrieCollins. So we're all going over
the way us A call go inthe back in the little waiting area of
your phone and all your families aroundyou. I got some stupid looking suit

on, and uh, mischard comesout. Bengals picked John Carter. So
I'm like, I'm going to Jacksonville. Back then the first round was fifteen
minutes, and I'm thinking, well, Tom told me they're picking me.
The Jacks called me last night sayingthey want me to let them know if
the Bengals gonna take me. Ittakes like one minute, like cause John

Carter literally took ninety seconds. I'mlike, okay, it's done deal.
Two minutes ages nothing, five minutes, agoes nothing. Ten minutes ago I
got no call, and all ofa sudden, I'm thinking, I knew
I shouldn't have come here. I'mgonna be that guy. Eleven and a

half minutes and the phone rings.It is Tom get drafted every once in
a while. I said, whattook you so damn long? He said,
we were just kind of making surefieldand my gosh, So they picked
me, and uh, next thingI know, I'm going to a place
that knew nothing about the other sideof the country, to a new franchise

with a bunch of ragtag couple goodfree agents, but just a bunch of
expansion players have for one or twofree agency signed with a guy who's crazy,
Tom Coughlin, who was like,and I love Tom, we're close
to this day, but he wasnuts. He was a hard nosed,
old school, very old school,as old school as you can get,

discipline and similar to Sam, ormore old school than Sam Pagano, because
Sam's pretty old school like Sam,but even more even crazier from the standpoints
of like, there's certain things thatdrove Tom crazy. Like we had rules
in the road you could wear whitesocks. What he didn't like them,

Okay, Like if you weren't fiveminutes early to a meeting, you were
late. We had this thing calledthe concentration line that you once you crossed
that on the field you had tobe running everywhere. I mean, it
was just like there was just likea litany of rules. You know,
no sunglasses, no hats in thebuilding. I actually agree with that,
you better be looking forward. Imean it was like he was crazy drill

sergeant, drill sergeant and tough practicesand felt like the only way like we
were going to be mentally and physicallytough for anyone else, And he was
a forces to earn it and didthat help you guys? Yeah, I
think ultimately, I think it alsoprobably wore down. Yeah, there's two
sides of the coin. I thinkat times he probably went too far.

I think he learned over the yearsbecause when he went to the Giants and
went to Super Bowls, he changedsome of the way he did things.
He's a very smart man. Heshould be in the Hall of Fame.
Yeah, that's surprising that he's not. There's a lot of great It's hard,
and it should be hard. TheHall of Fame should be hard because
it's a Hall of Fame. Absolutely, I'm biased, so I obviously think
he should be there. But hewas. But it was It was stressful

and I remember showing up first pressconference. They fly me down. I
go in the press conference. Tomintroduces me. He says, this is
the cornerstone of this franchise and I'mlooking around going They realized I play left
tackle, not quarterback right and thatstarted a thing which it continuesus day where

there's I mean, my legacy andwho I am as a player is going
to be tied to that place foreverand in that community because of how they
picked me and kind of how itworked out. But I do remember sitting
there, going to bed that night, and for several months after that,
thinking do not screw this up?To Yeah, they positioned you to be
the guy. Like to be theguy. There was an immediate responsibility on

and off the field. I feltI didn't handle the off the field great
at first, because my wife helpedme a ton there. My patience was
way too short with people, stillis some days, but but this there
was this burden of saying you gottabe good. And then in training camp
I get hurt that first year,first year, same injury. I had

my junioror just located my kneecap.This time it was worse. I did
surgery and I remember ESPN the lateChris Mortenson said this could be career ending,
blah blah blah and all this stuff, and I'm thinking, golly,
the one thing I didn't want tohappen. And it was a freak thing.
It was raining, we were goingfull speed, didn't matter foot slip,

non contact, no, it wascontent contact. But I was trying
to stop a pass rusher planted,my foot went out and my knee went
weird. Just one of those thingsthat sports happens. And so that started
a five week process that I wasgoing to rehab as hard as I could
and I was getting back on thefield. Miss preseason, missed the opener,
which was devastating for me. AndI think it was week three,

maybe week four. I'm nowhere nearone hundred percent, but I'm at this
point. I'm playing and we're playingthe Green Bay Packers on Sunday Night football
and was at home. Okay,thank goodness. This guy was pretty good
named Reggie White, and I wasso thankful that Reggie White played all three
positions on the defensive line except forright end and susie. I watched it

so much tape to make sure henever even found his way over there,
because he's one of the greatest,if not the greatest, ever play it.
And I was this rookie who's comeoff knee injury. But what I
got was Sean Jones, who cameinto that game with one hundred and ten
sacks. I remember going in andtypical Tom Thom says, you're not starting,

you have to earn. I mean, my first meeting camp, I
was thirteen second over al pick,second on an expansion team. There were
guys who like come on like kill, and Tom's I was third team until
training camp and he announced that I'mnow the starter after all of OTA's multiple

mini camps. But it was Tom. He's like, you're gonna earn this.
I'm not going to give you aninch. And so you would think
I'm gonna start. Nope, you'renot starting. I'll let you knowing you're
So it's two series in. Aftertwo series he puts me in. But
leading up to this, I'm thinkingwe're going to find out really quickly whether
you can play this game or not. Tony no preseason coming off with knee

surgery and you got Sean Jones overthere and Sunday Night football in the cornerstone,
and so I go in over thePA now entering the game at left
tackle Tony Biselli and crowd cheers.I'm like, oh gosh, I was
hoping like no one would notice that, right, just like go into a

series and just be a sub andnothing else. Thankfully it worked out and
after about a series and like Ican do this, played the rest of
the year, had a good rookiearand then the rest is kind of history.
Yeah, how'd you do that game? Against Sean Jones. He had
uh one tackle, no nice,no no quarterback hick, no sacks.

I think they gave him credit forone pressure, which I would dispute looking
up that official scorekeeper. And thefunny thing about that is I was so
like, we got our butts kicked. We were expansion Green Bay with Brett
Farb a year away from going,you know, winning. Yeah, that's
before Super Bowl thirty one. Yeah, so that was ninety five. They

went to the Super Off the ninetysix season and they were way better than
us. We didn't get a firstdown in the first half and we got
beat by two or three touchdowns,whatever it was, I'll never forget.
I was so happy. I've neverbeen happy after a loss like that.
I'm like, I can play atthis level. Show up the next day.
One of the rules is meeting started, so everyone was there early,
but special teams were right before anSo we're all waiting outside and Tom walks

up and grabs me and he says, uh, how'd you think he did
last night? I'm smart enough notto say that. Pretty damn well,
pretty happy about it. I'm prettyhappy. What do you think I'm smart
enough to know? We lost?The game. You don't do that to
the coach and it's Tom Koff.I said, I think it was okay,
I just down it. He lookedat me, without blinking, without

hesitation, says that meant nothing.That guy doesn't play every snap and walks
off. Oh my gosh, somuch for the big positive like if you're
looking for not getting a lot ofpositive reinforcements. Tom Tom Tom didn't believe
that. He believed in demanding excellence, demanding hard work, demanding perfection,

and that those who could do thatwould achieve. Yeah, yeah, it
was uh and then the rest ofyou know, the rest is it is
a good history though, Yeah,a good history. Were there till two
thousand and one. Yeah, theend was bad, But what happens at
the end of me because then yourfinal year you do ho Houston was kind
of not great either. No,that was bad, but for a whole
different set of reasons. So oneof the things I didn't ever want to

miss games. I don't want tolet myself down. And you know,
in certain injuries, you got totour an a cl in the third quarter
of the last game of the yearbefore the playoffs, and so you're gonna
miss games. That's part of it. But because of that, I remember
coming back the next year and Ihad a shoulder. My left shoulder was
sublexing a lot. I was comingback off and ACL started playing really good

again, made the Pro Bowl.Came back after I think seven and a
half months. That's quick. Ihad surgery third week in January and I
started all sixteen games. It madethe Pro Bowl and was starting to play
real good football. But I hadmy shoulder was given me issues. But
I would never tell anybody because Iwas not coming out of the game and
it would sublex every game. Sogo in and out of join every game.

And so I got through the year. I had to get a little
clean out of my ankle, nobig deal, and I said, I'm
not telling you what the shoulder.I'll just rehabit, try to Nobody knew,
No, they knew like bother mea little bit. NI could see
because my arm would be dead andlike, what how did you put it
back in place? It would sublex, So we'll go in and out on
its Oh okay, all right,and it would be dead for a play
or two and you just kind offigure out how to do it. So

they knew that I was having someissues, but not to the extent I
would say sore or whatever, rehabbedit. Maybe I could have done a
better job were rehaving it. ButI get into camp that year. The
following year feel great, but myshoulder is just killing me. And I'm
like, oh gosh, I'm favorite. So now my other one's starting to
bother me a little bit. Andwe're doing two days and finally they said

let's go get an MRI and I'dtorn labor. I said, let me,
let me just fight through it tothe season. By week three,
I couldn't lift my arm to drinka cup of coffee. Oh it was
hard to like drive in, missedone game, came back, played Seattle.
At the end of it, theywere like, listen, you're just
killing yourself. And so I wentand got surgery. Ended up cleaning out

the other one, my right one, but really the major on the left
and the surgery went bad. Ididn't know at the time. The season
plays out. Now Houston's an expansionteam. I have the highest cap number
on the team and we are incap hell. Two weeks after the season,
I'm sitting at home. I havetwo kids, I'm making pancakes.

Angie's in the kitchen and we're hereto knock on the door, and I
open the doors Tom, because Tomliterally caddy cornered me in the same neighborhood.
Said coach, what's up Saturday morning? He says, you got a
chance to talk? And I said, yeah, sure, what's up?
So we sit down on my porchand he says, I don't know how
to tell you this, but we'regonna put you on the expansion drift and
they're gonna pick you. It wasall pre arranged. And I said,

okay, So I go back,tell my wife go to Houston. Shoulder
does not get better. I havetwo more surgeries. I think it was
a bad surgery. It's my opinionwithout getting into details, pretty confident that
try to fix it won't come back, which leads to me trying to play
after five games, can't get onthe field, trying to practice and I

cannot literally get my my left armoff my side. Try to build a
brace. End of the day,the late bobcnare what a great owner,
great person? Sit down? AskDom Capers, Tronie Casherly, the GM
and Walter Lowe, who's the surgeonand the head trainer and says what's best
for Tony. It wasn't you knowwhat's best for the organization, what's best

for him? And they all said, let's shut him down, let's clean
it out again, let's do morerehab. Oh my gosh. And so
I go through it through the wholeoff season. By now I'm so arthritic.
I get through OTA's but I'm like, I can't make it. So
I retire right before the two thousandand three season. That was difficult,
because it's actually easier now. TheNFL is a business, and I tell

guys all the time, don't buyinto family loyalty. Don't feel bad about
the organization or the coaches. Theycare. I'm not saying they don't care
about you. But at the endof the day, everyone has to make
a business decision. This is professionalsports. You are as useful as you
are until you're not. And aslong as you know that, then you

will have a much better You'll doa much better job of handling it,
making the right decisions, and whenit goes bad, you're not going to
have bad feelings because you just know. And I didn't. I was the
first pick. Everyone in Jacksonville lovedme. I was all pro the offents
Alignment of the Year twice in theNFL. I mean, I was the
best at what I did on this, you know, expansion team, and

I bought in. I'd negotiated mycontract every year, tried to help the
team all those things. But itcame to the point where my shoulder and
I think they knew more than Idid at the time, and they made
a business decision that the only wayout of cap was getting rid of this
guy. We're not sure shoulders everyoneto get back. You're a liability at
that point, that's right, Andthey pawned me off to Houston. Now,

if I was Houston, I'd bereally mad it didn't work, and
I was really bitter, bitter towardsJacksonville. I sold my house and said
would never come back. Oh wow. I wanted nothing to do with the
organization. Was very upset with Tomthe GM Wayne Weaver, who I'm close
to now. But the whole thing, that's one of those things, Susie.

I look back on people, youknow, you things happen, and
most of the time and when youlook back, you understand it. To
this day, I still have conversationswith God and said, why did you
allow that to happen? Why didI not to get to do what I
wanted to do and love to doit longer? I think I thought I
was a pretty good guy. Youknow you have that cover. Yeah,
you have those conversations. But Ido know it works out. It just

happened. I don't like it,still don't like it, but it was
over. But I was mad,and it was funny. After we lived
in Houston, went to We'd livedin a couple different places, and one
day we'd gone back to Jacksonville tosee some friends come back. We were
living in Franklin, Tennessee at thetime, and I looked at my wife
and I said, what are wedoing? And she'd already known. She

was already where I was two yearsearlier. She just knew that I needed
to go through the process. Isaid, we're going back to Jacksonville,
and so we moved back. Rightbefore the move were after move I can't
remember, I get a call fromWayne Weaver says, hey, we want
to put you in the Pride ofJaguars. So that there was this like
I realized at that point, I'mlike, listen, it's a business,
and in business you have to makehard decisions and they're not popular. Whether

we like it or not. We'rean asset and that's just the way it
is. And I tell guys like, listen, get as much money as
you can. Absolutely make them payyou. Now. To do that,
you have to be good. Butmake them pay you, and don't feel
bad about it for a second.And don't let them make you feel bad
because you are an asset till you'rea liability. That's exactly. Once your
a liability, you're gone. Yep. And that helped, and so kind

of healed some relationships. Really morehealing, Yeah, more healing. For
me. I love the organization.I always did, even when I was
mad at them. So after probablya two year hiatus of not why even
mention the name of the Jacks Jaguarsand being pissed and mad at the world,
which is healthy for nobody, theright thing happened. It went back
part of the organization ever since.But it was interesting. It was hard.

The transition from being a player tonot a player was very difficult for
me. It's hard for a lotof guys, it really really is.
Did you go back and sign likethe one day contract to retire as a
Jag. Okay, yeah, theycalled me and said, hey, we
want to do this, and Angiewas great, really helped me think through
and process. And the only personme holding a grudge and being bitter and

mad about just the reality. Whetherit's right or wrong, it's a business.
Things happen, People get hurt,They have to make decisions. They
went all in trying to put thebest team to win a super Bowl.
They'd managed a cap terribly. Theydid an awful job with the cap and
certain guys had to leave because ofit. Yeah, you were a victim
of bad management. But that's butthat's life it is. I mean,

it's like we talked about, sowhat do you do when when things like
that happen. You're like, Okay, that's got to move forward. To
move forward, you got to moveforward. And you talked to Tom to
this day. So was one ofthe hardest things I ever did. I
knew it was harder on him atthe time. I didn't at the time.
I was so mad at him.I didn't care what he felt.
At some point, you got tojust you got to look at the big
picture. I got to understand It'slike, listen, life ain't fair.

It's hard. Things happen, somethings. Times, things happen to you because
you deserve it, because you dosomething good or back. Sometimes things just
and bad things happen to you justbecause they do. And we don't understand.
But you have a choice with thegame of football and sports have taught
me. He's like, the onlychoice for me at least is to move
forward, which you have so sincesince your career ended. I mean,

you started the Baselli Foundation early,like when you were playing, right when
we started. I have this financialvirus. As you start a foundation,
I'm like, so you did thatyour rookie year. Yeah, holy cow.
And I said, I don't wantto start a foundation and I just
got money. Why don't want togive it away? Like a second in

my early twenties, I'd like togo and keep it. I mean it,
Everyone's like, that's pretty cood.I was like, I'm twenty three.
I went from being broke to richat twenty three. I was not
mature. I was an idiot,Like, come on, I was good
at one thing, playing football andblock people. He said, no,
you need to do it's good prblah, blah blah blah, and like
whatever, do it. And Ihad nothing to do with it. For

the first two years. My wifedid everything. She's a much better person.
She is sounds like she is waybetter. She gave, who gives
back. And then after two years, I actually fell in love with it.
And we've been doing stuff around educationand character development, focused on kids
and teachers. Twenty eight years nowdoing it. Wow, hubs and flows.
When I was in Houston, wedidn't do much. We gave all
the money we'd raised, we gaveto scholarships, came back, got it

going again. We're back full steamagain. That's awesome. And then what
else you got kids going? Yeah? Five kids? Five kids? Yeah,
twenty six to fourteen. Two boysboth then played college football, and
three girls. Three girls. Whowas it Rudy talking about his daughters last
night? Yeah, I sat there, I'm like, I get it.
I love my sons, but mydaughters taught me. I love everything.

I love all my kids, andas a young man, all I want
is boys because I wanted to coachthem. Sure, you know, that's
the only thing I relate to.And we had two first. It was
great. I coached them everything andstill close to them this day. But
those girls, they are different.Yeah, in a good way, in
my favorite way. And there's nothinglike the love a daughter has for daddy.

Oh it's the greatest. And Ihave three amazing young women. It's
beyond me, like the fact thatthey came from even part of me,
Like there's such good people. Notthat my sons are gray. I love
them, yeah, no, butit's just different. I have one of
each, and just the difference betweenboy girl. And it's true the relationship

my daughter has with my husband dayone, I mean wrapped around and I'm
like, man, you'll do anythingfor that, anything anything, And Andie
tells him like, listen, ifyou want something, don't have me ask
for it. You guys ask forit. You'll get it, especially my
youngest, my fourteen year old.I'm sure. Yeah, the baby.
I'm embarrassed. Actually, it's funnYou've done some broadcasting too, Do you

like doing that? So I stilldo the Jag stuff. So I work
with the Jags. I do alltheir games and then I do uh some
sponsorship stuff for them. I havea full time job too. I'm running
a healthcare company. I'm San Franciscoventure back company called All Dot Health.
I did national radio with Westwood,full schedule for years. I only did
I think seven games last year.I don't know if I'll do it anymore.

I love all that group, it'sjust with the Jaguars and running it
was just the Jags. I'd doit to calling two games a weeks easy.
It's fun. I love the game, but you can sit up there.
I can talk about it all day. But running this company across the
country on the road a lot,it's too much. I did TV.
I obviously was not very good atit because Fox after two years said,

thank you very much. More good. Radio is more fun anyway, Oh,
way more fun. It does notpay the same, but which is
way more. It's way more fun. I think if I did radio first
and then go on TV, maybeI would have made it. Whatever,
Yeah, it didn't work. Inever I wanted to make media my job.
I've always liked the business side ofit, but I enjoyed it because

it kept me close to the game. And the Jags have been so good
to me, and Shod Con theer, the owner, and Mark lamp and
the president of just treated me eventhough they weren't there when I played they
treat me like they were the Organization'staken your best in a big way.
Yeah, they're so good. Theyprobably never left you. You left them
well, shod was not. Yeah, when the whole thing, Yeah,

they did leave me. So WayneWeaver was the owner when the whole thing
happened. I had when I leftand Wayne sold it to Shad eleven I
think twenty twelve timeframe, but stillhave a relationship with Wayne. Did a
great job bringing that team there,and forever grateful to him and his family
for what they did. The Jagsis a lot of fun because I love
the game. Yeah, And Ithink it's because the way my career ended.

Maybe I would feel differently if Igot to end it on my own
terms after play in thirteen or fifteenyears or whatever. But I can't remember
the last time I walked on thefield pregame, the smell of the turf
stadium, the feeling that I don'twalk out there and miss getting one more
time to do it. I tellpeople all the time because I have arthritic

shoulders and I got all kinds ofissues at sixteen surgeries and they said,
do you have any regrets? Isaid, not one. That's pretty awesome.
They said, don't you worry aboutlike CT and I go, nope,
I don't want to happen. ButI knew there's a risk. When
I played the game of football.I would take that risk every day and
twice on Sunday. And if therewas a pill right now to take that

would let me go do it again, I would do it tomorrow. So
I love I just love the game. Yeah. I think it's the greatest
game for the development of young people. And I'm gonna say especially young men.
There's a toughness that it demands thatI think is needed in this world.
And people's like, oh, physical, you know, Mantos. No,

No, I'm talking about mental toughness. Absolutely. There's a mental toughness
that you have to have to goplay that game. That combined with the
fact that it's the ultimate team sportbecause you are so dependent on ten other
guys to make us something work.There's games where I played perfect, not
perfect. I never had a perfectgame, but I played really dang well

left tackle when we lost. Thereare times when I made the wrong call
and screwed up the other four guyson the line scrimmage or the quarterback,
like I'm dependent on that running back, reading the whole right and so on,
and you can just go I couldgo on for it, and there's
no other game like that, Andthat demands a physical, mental toughness,

hard work. Like I remember playingbasketball, which I love. Practice was
kind of fun. Football practice isnot fun, especially the way we used
to practice. Now they don't reallypractice anymore. Yeah, orange slices and
water breaks. But back when weit was not fun. Tom would have
lost his mind with today's rules.I think he does. I see him.

We talk about everyone. I sawhim last this week. Those old
school coaches like what's the best?He is frankly the best. Yeah,
that's awesome, and uh, there'snothing like it. And I just love
it, not just for the abilityto go play it, but what it's
taught me and how it's helped mein every aspect. Absolutely. Okay,

last question, because you give mea ton of time, which I really
appreciate. This has been fun.As you look back and you've talked about
so many those ups and downs,and especially with the injury aspect and things
like that. When you talk topeople and you talk to you, you've
got five kids and a lot ofpeople probably ask you for advice. When
you face those moments in life,what do you do? How do you
move forward? What do you tellthem to kind of help them move forward.

I think it's important to always have, you know, some empty and
kind of let them. You know, feeling sorry for yourself for ten seconds
is okay, but after that it'stime to move on. And I don't
know if this is right or wrong. I've said it to myself multiple times.
I've said it to my kids,and I say, what choice do
you have? Are you gonna quit? Tell me the outcome of you quitting

or giving up, taking your balland going home. So my attitude is
I'm not going to stop. I'mnot quitting because I know if I quit
now, there's certain times to stopdoing stuff, but that's different than quitting
and giving up. If I giveup, I'm not going to ever move
forward. So I'm to be stuckin this place forever. Well, I

don't like where I am, sothe only opportunity is to move forward.
And there's a verse in James inthe Bible, and I'll just paraphrase it
talks about perseverance and let perseverance haveits perfect work, like let it do
its work because through persevering, youmature and you become perfect in all things.
So there's a power in persevering throughhard times. And I think it's

a message that this world needs becausewe are all looking for soft times.
We want easy, we want instantgratification. Trust me, I want to
go lay on the beach. I'mgoing on vacation this summer. I can't
wait because I'm gonna do nothing buthang out with my wife and land the
beach and do nothing. That soundsgood, but that is not reality.

No, it's not okay every onceyou want to do that. Yeah,
but even to get that, soin my mind like okay, for me
to get that, I gotta goearn it, Like that's a result of
hard work, that's a result ofovercoming and persevering and fighting through things.
And so I just what choice doyou have If you don't persevere, if

you don't move forward, you're gonnastay just how you are. And the
scary thing for me is what amI missing out on? If I would
have just gone a little bit further, if I would have just took one
more step, one more day,just don't give up and listen, I'm
like everyone else. And there's momentsI sit there and go, I don't

want to do this any more.I mean as an entrepreneur, early stage
business, trust me. Oh yeah, and I've started a couple of companies.
There's multiple times where I'm like,this is stupid and all complain and
everything else. My wife will justlook at me and he's like, and
she knows me by now, She'slike, Okay, you'll be fine because
she knows I'm gonna wake up andgo I'm not quitting. I'm not stopping.

I'm just not It's good to havethat support system. Oh. She
knows me so well. She knowsIt's funny, you know, you always
here. And I've been saying thissince I've been married. It's twenty twenty
four. It'll be twenty nine yearsin jow, good for you, twenty
nine years. So for twenty nineyears I've been saying she's my best friend.
That was a lie. I loveher, I always love her,

But one of the greatest things inmy life is the fact that she is
literally my favorite person in the world. Like, there's nobody I'd rather hang
with than her. It's my bestfriend. Knows me better than anyone knows
all the quirks, knows the good, bad, the ugly. Still puts
up with me, and she knowsme in a way now that she knows

exactly the buttons to push or nottoo or not to She knows when okay,
I'm gonna let you just be alittle baby, simmer in that for
a little while, because I knowyou, and you're gonna wake up and
look in the mirror and say enoughof this crap. So I've been very

very You talked about being blessed methere, you know, genetically and everything
else, but you also worked yourass off. It's both, and I
think maybe it's offensive linement in mewhen people make it all about themselves.
I just laugh. I'm like,you didn't get here by yourself. See,
you didn't get here by yourself.There was somebody, There was a
coach, And if you want toback it all the way up, you

do not make yourself that athletic.Now there's the flip side is I know
a lot of guys been around themmore athletic than me. It's taking that
gift that God has given you andthen doing the work necessary to maximize it.
And that's probably the thing that scaresme more than anything is not doing

that. That's the harder part.Yeah, that's the really hard part.
It is hard. Yeah, whenis enough enough? When did the diminishing
return set in? And right?But yeah, I've been very fortunate,
blessed by God. I have greatpeople in my life, great friends.
I got a list of things thathave got gone against me. We all
do, but God's been good tome. I have a good life,

good family, good friends, andhas been very fortunate to do what I
love to do. Even if itwas cut short. It's shorter than I
wanted to be. But for akid from a North Boulder that went to
Fairview High School and College Football Hallof Fame, the Pro Football Fame,
USC Trojans Hall of Fame, Stayof Florida Hall of Fame, Carse Sports

Hall of Fame, I'm like sometimesI'm like, this is ridiculous. Why
I got embarrassed almost like uh,when Tom called me about to call Ride
of Sports Hall of Fame, Iwas super honored and he was telling me
about and everything else, And thenI almost did want to tell my family.
Really, I mean, my toldmy wife and kids, but I

don't want to tell my extended familybecause I didn't want them to feel like
they had to come to another eventto like celebrate me. But of course
they and I told them and theywere all excited. They loved it.
But yeah, to your point,it's almost like, how does this happen
to me when my only goal initiallywas just to go play for fair play
for Sam Pigano. I wanted torun out on that field in that jersey

more than anything, and there wasal I did that and so much more.
Thankfully Sam said you're not playing quarterbackbecause it would have been a short
ride if I was a quarterback.My gosh, oh, Tony, this
was so fun. Thank you somuch for the time. I appreciate it.
I know you got you know,family here and whatnot, but I
really appreciate you taking the time andno, thank you. This is great.

I read you and uh, Davewere great last night. We have
a good time. It was alot of fun and uh and anytime.
This was a lot of fun.Yeah, thank you, thanks so much,
Tony. New episodes of Cut,Traded, Fired, Retired are released
on Tuesdays. If you liked thisepisode or any others, please feel free
to share it with someone You cankeep up on new podcast releases by following

on Twitter and Instagram at ctf ourPodcast and also on the website ctfropodcast dot
com. I'm your host, SusieWargen. To find out more about me,
visit susiewargin dot com. Thanks somuch for listening, and until next
time, please be careful, besafe and be kind. Take care
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