Eric Dickerson: Peaks & Valleys of Stardom and The Power of Kindness
His day Meltzer with the playbook, and I have legendary running back. Eric dickerson. Joining me to talk about one of my favorite, topics kindness. He talks about how being kind to his future self assisted him in never quitting. Even though he wanted to how it helped him decide on splitting time as well. As most importantly, be kind to your future self has made his brand off the field bigger than ever. Join me with all of that and more on the playbook. This is entrepreneurs the playbook each week. I bring you some of the tweet is athletes celebrities and entrepreneurs to talk about their personal and professional playbook to success in what made them champions on the field. And in the boardroom. I'm your host and CEO of sports one marketing, David Meltzer. They both recedo sports marketing here with entrepreneurs the playbook, and I have the ram Bassett. What am I good friends there? Dickerson day. Thank you so much to meet me at the Super Bowl early. But gets to the kind of guy that you are from the very first time that I met you when I was at least I am Berg, there's certain individuals that we really surprise you. Because they have no reason to be so kind and generous to everyone in your graciousness has I think propelled your career afterwards. More than anything else. And you mentor people on that how to act off the field. We're did those characteristics. Come from you'll because everyone doesn't have be starting. You know, it gave them my dad again, my mom and my dad, you know, my dad, always sits you treat people the way you want to be treated is as easy to be kind to a person to be cool. And I believe that and people don't forget, you know, most people like elephants, you know, they have a long member. If you do something say something till child team to them, you know, the young age, and I remember I don't like. Him. And I've heard it several times about athletes and actors you mentioned that I don't like him when I was thirteen years old. He says when I was with my son asked him his autograph and even just overruled to him. You know, really, I I just believe it is just it's we should we should treat each other kindly does not believe in. I talked to players about it. Don't let this game full you in because one day this game will be over. And I'm talking about the game of football and even the game of life. You know, that these guys they get caught up on being to ever Eric Dickerson Weber you either the name that you have. And you think you're going to be that guy forever? Where you are what you're not going to be twenty one. You know, they'll be twenty two twenty three fairway it'll be a day where you shared that a uniform, and you're and then and your hair energy recur, and and things are different. So, you know, that's that's that's my motto. You know, it's interesting because I around a lot of really. Amazing people I call it. They carry the spirit of excellence, but the ones who are kind of the ones that stand out to me. In fact, we're here Dr J Alanna for the Super Bowl. I I was a ball boy for the San Diego clippers when I was twelve and my first game I wanted to quit because Crema BIL Jabbar was so mean to me, call me boy awesome. Crack literally cried imam said you're not a quitter. I went back Dr J the next game was playing the clippers that hand on my back, which was bigger than my back called me, son. See some extra socks over there. You want those let me sign those. So who would have known that? I ended up running the most notable sports agency, and one of the most common questions when I get interviewed is, you know, who are the nicest your favorite hobbies, and right, and Dr J is always lit from what he did not not for anything in my career. I never represented them. But when I was twelve years old, he touched me to that note. You do do a lot of business coaching blasted right now code CJ fact CG came out of my house before when he was released from the Rams. I mean, the raiders, and I was shifting his energy and his perspective. It was funny because he brought you up and you'll there in southern California Zane. Yeah. He goes, I like to take attitude like Eric, and you don't have this positive perspective. We both we're talking like Joel's being how you throughout your career. You've had ups and downs. You know, SMU all types of things, but you've always taken that positive perspective. How important is that on the field and off the field to look at everything kind of with the bright side of it the glass half. No, this, you know, everything is not Rosie in all the time. And people must understand that, you know, people look at at at myself, or they'll look at an athlete. They like if it's the Brian James if it's Todd Gurley whoever many guided may may got it made, but they don't understand these peaks and valleys, I mean, it's a lot of this. And then you got these days, and you have these those and I've had them. I mean, I've Adam, you know, I go back to you know, even. Going back to high school when you know, I I didn't I didn't get along my Hoskin coach I was a number one recruiting in the whole nation and me and my coaching. And and really I mean at that point he was a true racist in and the word because he'd never goes black years before and the way he tried to talk to us every black hitting one point quit. I quit to quit playing football. And a guy kind, of course, me to go back, and I'll never forget what he said to me tick known in my hometown because my mom she didn't care for Bob. But she said I want you to be able to the quick Bill quitter. And he's asked me in my hometown is on the two thousand people, and he's Eric what do you see here? I said nothing he said exactly there's nothing here, son. He said you wanna best athletes we've ever seen in these parts. And I was I think at that point. I was in my sophomore year, then sixteen years old, and I'm like best best athletes while a lot for the young kids exorb- absorb. But basically, I went back and I played and. I was recruited by everyone. But still being him did not see eye to eye getting my lad, one of the last conversations I had with him because he wanted me to go to university of Texas course, and good banned in Texas. I didn't want to invest, but I wouldn't sushi if I wanted to go there, and I told him he said, I just tell the school. You're not interested in going to college. I said I told him like this not United young kid. I don't eat you. I said schools want me they're gonna housing, and they and they did they did get a kick U T out of your house. Sure, they threaten your Bobby job in Texas. You got it. So you know, you got the ups and downs. I got to SMU with things graded us than you at first. No because I didn't want to go there. Not first choices Oklahoma. That's what I want to go to college. But my my mom, and my great great aunt who raised me, and that was another peaking down because my dad had passed away the year before and I was hard. I mean that was that was devastating to me. You know, my dad passed, and I still remember the date November third nineteen seventy seven and, you know, been positive, you know, going to college and all that and dealing with with my with my my mother at the time. And you know, I want to go to old you they can't recruitment very hard. I committed to them, and when they left she said, you're not going to school that I never get. I'm like you said you're not going to. She said, I don't trust that man. And I was Barry Switzer. She didn't trust. She sees a lie and. Come home on with, you know, if you're not going and that caused a rip in the house, but yeah, I couldn't say, you know, as you know, as a young kid, blessed black, you learn you don't talk about your parents. Right. And so I'm like, all right. And that was questioning me. So eventually I ended up making the decision to go to SMU I'm going to I don't like the story long. But and I always say this is the best decision. She made for me. It really is. I gotta say it's the best decision may me when run my can't recruit me he was not like we're not at the top of the list. But you know, when he talked to my mother, and I won't forget he was she was because she looked at all of them kind of, you know, like, I'm not sure what you know. You know, what you the right person or whatever. But as she kept saying, you'll get one chance one shot at it. Once you get one shot to do this. Right. So you want to do it. Right. And he was there talking to in. He said miss Dixon, kinda hungry to eat here. So sure she said, let's got some shaking said come. I have to cook. It really. Yup. And when he went in, and he helped my mother I said, oh that's lost. I. I knew I was go. I was born spreads me boys and the ponies usually in Craig James. And and even that wasn't that was like took off like that started very slow. I mean, I wouldn't have found that we create wasn't a fan of it. Either. Splitting time you talked about leaving. I'll talk about leaving. I wanted to go to back to you. Again. I went through that whole thing. Again, my mother again, and you know, she nixed that again, so. Eventually I would say my junior year is when going to come as kind of creep down. I give them credit. I was prepared to God for sure I mean because without him. This is not possible. But my best friend was still best miss Charles Drayton. I won't forget he I was talking to him. When I was like, man. I'm just I don't splitting time. I'll like it. You know? And I don't like it either. You know, they don't like it. I mean, I'm better than this. And I gotta tent cares. I could show and I won't forget his replace Eric. He said if you as good as you say, you are he said you need to cares. You do with the q carries? You get you. You'll you'll do something I show you, and I did I mean sometimes I cared about fourteen times two hundred yards. I cared eighteen times. But one ninety so then that's how the pony express county kinda caught on you know, it was amazing. There's a eagle analogy with nest about a mother eagle the baby eagle mom just feed it sits in that nest. Does nothing but get coddled fed and then one day. Hey, they throw them out of the nest. And that's what makes England eagle the throws him out. And I look and see Jay and Todd right? They split time. And they'll easily I think both get over on yards in the Super Bowl. And of course, they don't want us would time either. But I think there's some benefit that happens. We struggles one interesting thing that you said I didn't realize I think a lot of generation today and don't realize the races environment that existed in the seventies. My my business partner. People don't remember Warren Moon, spins football, better than anyone still in history had to go to Canada for six years and people were telling them more than just play receiver. Right. It wasn't because some some of their scouting fourteen. I worked for Li literally said because he wasn't tall enough or wasn't. They would make up any reason would smart enough. That was a big actually said not intelligent intelligent and tells me because the color of your skin really, I mean. Yeah. I mean, tell you. I mean, even right in two thousand nineteen is still a lot of prejudice. I mean, or it's not it's not right? I mean, I just caught him like a see it. I say this quite often. And you know, and I'm not the guy that said, you know, I got a blog out of white. It's my white friend. And I got I got a friend. Why I mean to my my best friend? I'm talking about my my boys. A why got outta ligaments being white? I don't look at that. I think it'd be random Chris. But does does it. I mean, when you say ride my best guy in the whole world is my friend, Charles bathing, those three are just those guys. You know, it's saying that it's like that. But yes, it's it's a lot of racism and injustice in sports and outside of sports one most definitely because I would say this about women. I said magic putting on those six years in the National Football League. What would the numbers be there'd be off the charts? You I mean. But it it is what it is. And you don't. You don't do on that. I mean, I'm not the guy that looking past. Oh, man, if I could do such is life. That's that's life. Be you've taken on a leadership role as well. I know one of the big things that you're working for you've always help the players current players path players transitioning players, but a big deal for you. Today's health insurance for all players all players, you know, and looking at the organizations, and we look at the money, and I'm blessed to know like Bobby bell played for seventy eight hundred dollars drove a taxi in the off season and probably could play almost every position in the term. Right Ingraham insurance. Yeah. I mean, I understand thing is is I think everyone thinks that when you plan NFL, you say NFL, you say that rich they automatically made all these Meza dollars. Not true. I mean my first contract. I was the second player in the draft. It was John Elway. Make the story. Short. Elway was making a million dollars. I was making a hundred fifty thousand you. You is that a good comparison. That's that's a big drop off again drop off. But it is it was what it was. But, you know, for as you know, the healthcare thing man, it's a struggle because understand a lot of athletes don't have him care. I mean, the ones that play now if they retire I think they have for five years, and they then this afternoon to pick it up, but you don't have the problem with five years. You haven't fifteen years ten twelve twenty years down the line problems too. I mean, we have a lot of money people think you'll coming as an entrepreneur who's made a lot of money lost money money. I understand money, and it blows my mind. I'm like just because guy makes two million dollars and a half years. You're there's a long way. You got you got how you got the divorce when you start making money. Bad bad investments? I mean because you know, athletes, we're not we're not investment rules. We we don't we don't you depend on your agent or sometimes. A new know which is dumb or financial guy to guys in the right direction. And most of them don't I mean, most of them don't I bet you eighty five percent of guys they do lead these guys wrong direction. Which is why you know, there's a whole bunch of movements mount. And then coach a lot of players in transition always told the seventy five percent players that always go bankrupt since member the Sports Illustrated article would Li right? All those. It's still the exact same percentage today. There's more knowledge these more financial planners certification, all the things the reason is you apathy. And I think the same thing hurts players, you know, talked to a lot of players is that they need a leader to to go ahead and fight or at least raise awareness to. Hey, you know, what we deserve this. You know? Yes. But I think the thing the I think one of the main problems is that when you come along, and you come up as an athlete. Athlete's loyal really light like like like old row for the dog that we're loyal Dowa guys your friends. And sometimes the wrong for a lot of times wrong in the wrong. Guys running around you around you for the wrong reasons, and you'd bring them along. And it's like, I got a guy, you know, that knows how to do this. I got you know, I this financing guy over here. And or I got investment, I got this at this property, you know, we can make in most of the guys they don't know that circle, you know, they don't they they don't know that that playing field. They understand about stocks and bonds, they don't understand about trying to, you know, say flip property, you know, or or making investment angel make his young don't invest your money gets for free stuff. Get stuff for free use your name. And so that's where allow the problems come in. And tell you something it happens all the time all the time. I mean expected to the black athlete let me just say that you know, it happens to us ally. Because you know, we we didn't come from that we didn't we didn't camp from having a lawyer a friend of or a father. That's a lawyer and account. We don't we don't come from the mostly Muslim come from broken homes. And I look at my career one Warren played football Toby's, forty four and obviously writer die with warring. I study. Forty four. Yeah. But you know, I told him he goes, how do you know about all this stuff? It's not right. And what I loved about him when I met him at least he said, my mom told me if I don't understand something asked, right? And he always did. But I played football college, not a big house. But till I was twenty two, but I studied my butt off. Because I knew I was going to make the NFL wants Christian Koya ran me over I knew I better study hard, but from twenty to forty four every day, probably more than most people work out in study film. All that. I was learning business. I was surrounding myself with all those and I still went bankrupt. Right. That's how different. People's modest this morning. I mean, it happens all the time. Imagine imagine a young athlete black or white guy that doesn't know business. You know that that the thing on on paper. It looks great. Then definitely great. You know, even sometimes if to get a lawyer. Tommy billionaires that he also. Goes to show. You can get anyone. Yeah. One last thing I noticed about athletes and myself when you come from nothing, which we both did and you make it we're loyal. I feel Tony Gwynn told me this too. It's like every guy that kind of helped us while we're young when you know, you want to help out right? You feel responsibility to not only your mom, and your siblings, and all these people, and like I mean, I became a millionaire nine months law school that's faster than most athletes from when they go pro most athletes in the world the top ones now. But still today mostly, you know, Russell Wilson didn't make a million dollars right out of college. It's a lot of money. If you I never have to work. So I was giving up on my house and a car we and this is the best thing I ever did. The worst thing I ever did was lose the house, and then I made enough back the buyer another. But do you feel that responsibility? So today like there are people that come up to you that you just knew from college or high school or that loyalty news, you'll feel. Responsibility for everybody. Is that an issue for you? Hell, no, right. All right. These suckers that come up to me. That hail moving me. Like, I say, my circle is tight friends like, my friend. My best friend's a female name. Holly fray, she she said, he the ones I'm going in these ones I'm going in with. I'm not trying to have no new friends like the I'm doing investments with no, you know, the ones back in the day some of the guys year. But not really I mean, you when you're young when they were hitting younger, you always pretty, you know, I didn't make a lot. So. Yes. And no, you know, yes. End loan money. I'd have given laws Monday, France. Most definitely a lot of money. Yeah. But now, I mean, the the people that know, me know, dano hang I don't mind getting I don't mind. My best line for people is especially athletes from someone. You get you always feel when they're giving. You that weird? Call is like always calling for money or they're gonna come over for money. I would say the first thing when you say is say, hey, man. We'll quit the voice I need some money. Can can I get a little from you? I. Exactly. Thing about is the asked me until I'm up, no money alone. No not. I mean, not a dime yet. So you know, right off the bat. So if if it's real and come through just like that for really we'll deals and no money I made money off of them. I do same thing getting business advisory program. Most of but yeah, I mean, I really feel for for young players. You know now because the vultures are these agents goon ages, they still and to me, the NFL sense almost condone, you know, and they don't they don't help them a lot. But it is what it is. And such as such the NFL last question is branding. I think exceptional job branding part of it is your honest and eliminate you Lou Nate you college career good in the bag. You just tell the truth. What have you done? What what would you give as you tired player? Like, you said things die off. They. But you've done a really great job. I mean help the Rams or successful in the L A's. But even before that your brand is very strong. What advice would you give maintain your brand throughout the years? Even after playing, I think the most important thing I go back to being a good that good person. I'm talking about always the saying don't be like this because life is like this. But you can be like this pretty much. You have to be the this be that same person with everyone all the time people meet me if you will. I mean, I'll take a picture. I don't care niches in the morning. You know, just be that guy that guy and people gravitate toward I didn't think about it until much later months later, and I can tell you quick story matter of fact, when all the stuff happened was two years ago three years ago with Fisher, and the Rams, you know, weren't what here for all those years, and I was always got pitching people's autographs and a buddy of mine says he's Eric he said, you know, he say the fans are so much behind. You said all those autograph you sign all those pictures, you took those fifteen twenty years, and the Rams went here it all paid off now. So you're gonna dividends from because the fans are behind you. I didn't think about I really didn't think that so, you know, for your brand my dad had a saying, you know, he said son is nothing like having a good name a good name all the money in the world. And for me. I try to have a good name. I try to stay out of trouble. It's not perfect. But you don't see me. Well, you definitely live by what I learned from Li which is behind your future self. Yeah. I think that's lesson. And you do your brand in LA. I'm blessed to be around it. And I'm so proud when every time a man's game. And even with the young players now, he'll this whole CJ thing for me is awesome. Because I get third person opinion right of like how many guys rely on you on that team? And they're looking up to you coming into the Super Bowl while you're on the sideline with them. And from girly the CJ these guys it really made me proud this guy. You know, you're getting your props for being a good guy. You know? I'm a message last week. Yeah. Two weeks ago in the first time, and I always liked what he played in. I didn't I didn't say much Oakland. But he was a guy. I liked what he runs he runs. He's downhill run runs between the tackle. And we got him. I like a good acquisition know, it'd be that quick. He's quick. I mean, so I. Belly? He done a great job. When you're talking about changing football teams makeup on offense in a hurry. I gotta say both him in time. It's done. It's done tremendously. And I'm sure about this. I mean, he's he's gotta be elated to be one point not playing football to now being in the Super Bowl something, I never. Third one. Yeah. I know I know playing the Super Bowl at all. And I mean, I play eleven years to forty four. Yeah. No. It's going to be incredible. And I just appreciate you meeting me. And you are kind person in a good person. I wanted everybody knew an ingrate businessman. Remember don't ever Natalie? Don't give your money just give your name. Exactly. Thanks. Awesome day Meltzer with entrepeneurship playbook. I hope you enjoy this week's episode of the playbook as much as me on a personal note. I just wanted to thank everyone for making playbook such success. Don't forget to continue it by sharing subscribing and listening to your favorite episodes. Dave Meltzer with the play.