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Our new book Steelers Takeaways – taking the best stories and quotes from over 400 Steelers interviews and breaking them down by topic and generation – is now available. Order via Amazon and Barnes and Noble!
See what these former Steelers and others have to say about the book!
First, can you let readers know what you’ve been doing with yourself since your time in the NFL?
After Pittsburgh, I still wanted to play and had opportunities at Miami, Atlanta, and wound up in San Diego (1989), but I didn’t make it and was released. I knew my career was over then. I jacked up my elbow in Pittsburgh. I couldn’t really bend it – I was in extreme pain. So I retired and went back to college for two semesters and got my degree.
This is becoming a game of chicken, this battle between four NFL players (Julius Peppers, Mike Neal, Clay Matthews and of course,. the Steelers’ James Harrison) – and Roger Goodell’s NFL.
Simply stated, Roger Goodell is requiring – under threat of suspension – that these four NFL players submit to questioning over a story accusing them of taking illegal performance enhancing drugs (PEDS).
The catch? This story was recanted by it’s writer quickly after it was published. This would have seemingly ended the conversation. But Roger Goodell is still requiring those four players submit to questioning. And Harrison, on advice from the NFLPA and due to his own desires, is refusing to do so.
So, why not just submit to questioning? What’s the harm in doing so?
Summer Olympic Games are always full of feel-good stories and triumphs
By Jim O’Brien
Grantland Rice, the greatest sportswriter of his era, once wrote that when you stop finding heroes in sports you should get out of the sportswriting business. I agree.
Count me as one of the sportswriters who still gets a kick out of watching the Summer Olympic Games. I have been a fan since the 1956 Games in Melbourne, Australia, and know the history of the Games before that in Helsinki, London and Berlin. They may take afinancial toll on the host nation and some critics believe they have outlived their usefulness because of the cost involved, but I hope they remain on the sports schedule.
First, can you let us know a bit about what you did with yourself after the NFL?
After being cut by the Steelers I returned to Oklahoma University to finish my degree. Then the following year I went with the Dallas Texans and played there two years, becoming a two-time All Pro Bowler with them. When the Texans moved to Kansas City to become the Kansas City Chiefs, I retired from football but remained involved helping with the transition of the team. At the same time I joined the national staff of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, whose offices were also in Kansas City. I have been vice-
president of an insurance agency, developed youth homes to house and work with troubled youth, worked with a nationwide prison ministry, built and operated an adult retreat center, and eventually went back to Fellowship of Christian Athletes, finally retiring in 2002.
I fully retired six years ago, though I serve as the Chaplain for the Dallas NFL Players Association Alumni Chapter.
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First, you’ve been coaching track and field for over twenty years now. How did you get started in this and why track and field?
I originally started the Track Minnesota Elite program to help my kids and others to develop their track skills and increase their opportunities to receive college scholarships, which I proudly state “mission being accomplished”. All three of my kids received division 1 scholarships and 90% of our participants have received academic and athletic scholarships the past 15 years.
Considering I was part of the 1983 Pennsylvania high school state champion and in consideration that my wife and I whom both competed in track at the University of Minnesota, developing a track and field program was a natural, plus I coached youth football (The Minnesota Steelers) and high school for seven years.
O’Brien column for The Valley Mirror July 28, 2016
I had a dream this past Monday night about the Steelers starting their summer training camp at St. Vincent College this weekend.
I was in the room I used to occupy back in 1979 and the early ‘80s at Bonaventure Hall and I heard some noise outside my window. There was a cemetery on the hill behind Bonaventure Hall so you didn’t want to hear any stirring back there.
First, can you let readers know about your post-NFL career – what you’ve been doing and how you got started in this new line of work?
I currently work for start-up technology company (Domo, Inc.) based in Utah. I also started my own business (where I work full time as well) after my career ended. My company Empee Solutions manufactures innovative, high-quality products that help simplify life. One of our products the “Lifter Hamper” was featured on SharkTank last year, and really helped us hit the market.
First, can you let readers know what you’ve been doing since you’ve retired from the NFL and how you got started in these new ventures?
Usually, I’m with my kids. I have three kids, eight, six, and three. My six-year old has Down’s Syndrome, so I spend most of my time in therapy, driving him around, volunteering at school… A lot of my other time is spent with my eight-year old, coaching his football team.
How did your time in the NFL influence your coaching?
I try not to tell him what to do. I’m not on the field – he has to learn to be instinctive. I help him when he comes off the field if he makes any mistakes – give him tips…but I let him go on his own natural ability as a runner.