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In today’s NFL, Bud Grant would have been fired after back to back losses in the divisional round of the playoffs followed up by a .500 season where his team, the Minnesota Vikings, didn’t make the playoffs at all.
But, because it was 1972 and there was no such thing as a “Message Board”, Bud Grant responded with back to back Super Bowl appearances over the next two years, losing both times.
Note: I did this interview the morning of the 2016 NFL Draft.
What’s it like to sit down in a meeting with New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton and sell yourself? How do you convince Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones that he should put several million dollars of his money directly into your pocket?
“Success” is such an arbitrary term. For some, success is defined by facing another day. Others call something a success by just finishing what they started. Hell, for me success is using a Crockpot and remembering to turn it on.
And for guys who can barely turn on a Crockpot like us, Mark stopped by to share a few easy to make/impossible to screw up food items from DiGiornio, Farm Rich, and a TV from LG that looks good enough to eat for your Super Bowl party this weekend.
For Mark “Stink” Schlereth, success is defined by his drive and passion for the game. “Stink”, as his close friends call him, was drafted 263rd overall by the Washington Redskins in the 1989 NFL Draft.
Fast forward almost 30 years to that draft day, and “Stink” has become a household name for football fans. From winning his three Super Bowl rings, to making two Pro Bowls and of course a long-standing TV personality, Schlereth has defined an NFL superstar.
A superstar from a position where not many expect superstars to be “bread.”
We got the chance to talk to Mark about his NFL lifestyle, personal quirks and even about some of his past championship moments.
Question and Answer with “Stink” Schlereth
Question: Where did Stink come from, and do you even like being called Stink? Give me the rundown. How did that come about?
Answer: You don’t get to pick your own nickname, right? Like the dude who introduced himself as “Killer”, that dude gave himself a nickname. That dude is a tool box, right? You don’t get to pick your own nickname… The nickname “Stink” comes from when I was a rookie with the Washington Redskins, my sister taught school at an Eskimo village in… Akiachak, Alaska right on the Kuskokwim River. In the very first run of salmon during the year, the natives would dip-net the salmon, cut the heads off, bury them in the ground and dig them up weeks later and eat them rotten and they called them “stink heads”… From that point forward I was dubbed “Stink head”, and eventually it just shortened down to “Stink”. That’s the truth, and the good story… which is also true is one day I had to really urinate during a game, and I just went and it just became a ritual that I would pee in my pants during games if I had to… Which was pretty much every game if I had to so that’s how… the moniker stuck. I used to urinate in my pants every game so… anybody who knows me… if we’re acquaintances you ask for Mark. Well for buddies you say “Stink” and that’s just the way it goes.
Q: “Stink” I want to ask you about your first Super Bowl Victory in ’91, you blew through the playoffs. You beat Atlanta in the divisional round 24-7, you beat Detroit in the NFC Championship game just manhandled them 41-10, and then you beat Buffalo in the Super Bowl. Is that the most underrated Super Bowl Championship team in history?
A: Well it depends… I think USA Today ranked them as the best Super Bowl team in history when you talk about the complete team. Offense, defense and special teams. Yeah I think they probably get the credit that they deserve… Think about this, in 19 games over the course of the season including the playoffs and the Super Bowl. Nineteen games total against great defenses in Detroit, great pass-rushers in Atlanta, and obviously the Buffalo Bills with their pass-rushers with Bruce Smith the Hall of Famer. In 19 games we gave up nine sacks… it wasn’t just the offensive line, obviously the quarterback is involved, the receivers are involved, Ernest Byner was a great blitz pickup guy, our tight ends were involved, but… when you think about nine sacks in 19 games it’s an incredible record.
Q: “Stink” when was the last time you wore all three of your Super Bowl rings at once, and what do you do with the AFC and NFC Championship rings that you got?
A: I don’t have any AFC or NFC Championship rings because every time I went to the Super Bowl I won. So, you only get AFC Championship or NFC Championship rings when you lose in the Super Bowl… Only the loser of the Super Bowl gets an AFC or NFC Championship ring so I was fortunate enough to be on great teams that went 3-0 in the Super Bowls that I got to play in. The only time I’ve ever put all three on… I had someone challenging me about Baker Mayfield, some Oklahoma fan [saying], “what have you ever won?… Baker is the greatest, what have you ever won?” And I just took a picture of my hand with all three Super Bowl rings on and basically said, “I don’t know let me think about that.” And posted that on social media, and it got a lot of attention. For the most part I don’t ever wear the rings.
To check out our full interview with “Stink”, check out this link:
The scene was set. Arrowhead Stadium. AFC Championship, Patriots and Chiefs; the new stud QB Patrick Mahomes vs the all-time greatest QB Tom Brady.
Shoot, even Joe Montana was there! THEE place to be and we were not disappointed.
I myself had been in three separate states throughout the week from KC to Denver, Denver to KC, KC to Omaha, and leaving Omaha on an early 6 a.m. drive back to KC for the biggest game in decades. Sometimes you just do what you have to do.
The coolest thing about Jay Glazer is that he is living the dream and he knows it. But it didn’t show up overnight, as he explained in this interview.
Does your phone ever stop ringing? Or is there always some dude from some website like me at the other end?
Jay Glazer: “The phone never stops. I’ve got to take every single call that comes in. I was on a date with a young lady last night and I told her, ‘These calls are going to come in and I’ve got to take every single one.’ Because you can’t just take one phone call and use someone for info; it’s about relationships. You build relationships and the scoops come your way. You have to figure out how to broker information the right way. So it’s non-stop.
Have you ever seen them in the same room at the same time? Bill Belichick is Gregg Popovich, Gregg Popovich is Bill Belichick. They are the exact same human being. Here is why.
Based on their respective styles in dealing with the media, we hear a lot of comparisons between New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick and San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. What we don’t hear anything about is how similar their careers have been in terms of development, duration, style, and success.
If you’re a football fan like me, at certain points in your life you’ve probably heard about or seen electric football — but never tried it. You love fantasy football but what are you supposed to do in the offseason i.e. now?
The only time an NFL offensive lineman gets noticed is during a mistake. I asked Packers offensive linemen David Bakhtiari and Corey Linsley to describe the feeling of being public enemy #1 after a holding penalty negates a big play for the Packers.
PE – The offense just made a 40 yard gain that gets called back because you got flagged for holding. Describe that feeling in the ensuing 10-15 seconds when the crowd groans, and the camera is directly at YOU.
David Bakhtiari: I’ll take this one, Corey (in jest). I’ve gotten a fair amount of holding penalties. At times I would definitely tend to disagree. But at the end of the day, I don’t want to make the ref any angrier than he needs to be. It sucks. You definitely don’t want to be a hindrance to your team, but at the end of the day the number one thing is, we want to keep our quarterback clean. So we’re going to do that by any means possible. Because protecting him is our number one priority.
“A gift that keeps on giving…Skittles.” – Trevor Siemian
Broncos’ quarterback Trevor Siemian set the bar high this holiday season. Knowing the longstanding tradition of QB’s gifting their O-line with extravagant gifts, Trevor partnered with his favorite colorful candies and presented his offensive linemen with custom Skittles-dispensing parkas. Check out this video of the parka in action:
I asked Matt Ryan aka Matty Ice what it feels like to get chased around by a beast like Julius Peppers, his defining NFL moment, and if doing press at the Super Bowl without playing in the game (like he did last year) felt like going to prom without a date.
Who’s the best defender you’ve ever faced?
You have to go by positions – defensive line, linebackers, secondary and defensive backs. There’s so many good ones. I think of a guy early in my career that we went against a couple times every year in Carolina, Julius Peppers, around 2008. He was about as good as there is. Basically unblockable. In the secondary, early on in my career, seeing Ed Reed and the way he could go sideline to sideline, or Troy Polamalu. I remember I threw an interception against the Steelers my second or third year, and he just made an unbelievable play. Those three guys are three of the guys who jump in my head right off the bat.