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September 14, 2022 6:07 am
Former Florida Gator & CFB HOF QB Danny Wuerffel joins the show.
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So that's where I started with Danny. I saw a photo with you and your son that he would move them into his dorm room in Florida and I was wondering what that was like for you Danny and with the fall Conjures up in terms of football all the emotions with the years. The red playing the game will yet definitely a lot of double feeling very no-fault is always an exciting time in gator football. Brings back a lot of memories team on the field and all the things in this church is very very special and indifferent.
You know, we have three kids known are old on take your first drop them off and leave them in the big deal for mom and really bittersweet moment and no interesting note, Matt my wife. She loved gator fan but we live in Atlanta on don't get to allot again but now that you have the thumbnails that you want to go to Gainesville for every everything so that works out well was your son considering other schools. In addition to Florida or was Florida always his destination while he always would love to go on Florida but he definitely applied other like pretty tough stuff to get into for the day. Once again, just yesterday announced that it was ranked in the top five public university really great school. He was very excited to get accepted and we are very thrilled as well. Congratulations and there is a photo there with your former coach Steve Spurrier who has been around football in various forms, whether it be college or pro is that relationship mean to you I got it has impacted so many lives in that arena. Yeah, I mean think about thousands of people that live certainly my life meaning entire trajectory of my life was changed by the chance to play for him success. We had and it really is ship that the arc of my life in general and in that also just honestly been great.
After he retired. You know you got a lot more time and a lot more energy and you really fond to to be around this kind like some people say when someone comes your parent is one thing but then when your grandparent if like another experience a coach first highlight melodies retired like the grand coach work. Just get all the best part on great to be around all weekend again. It's been a few years since you were at floor nine and won the Heisman Trophy international championships and the game has changed so much, Danny.
When you look at the landscape of college football. Whether it's the growth in terms of its popularity.
Whether it's the and IL. Whether it's this conference realignment that seems to take a new shape and a new form every year.
What's your reaction to what you see now you know it really a good thing I was talking with my wife today about this very thing and you feel like when you're in the off-season, your thinking about the transfer portal and IL all the things going on this kind like man, what's happening to this sort of amazing amateur sport that we all love that a lot of people wondered how this can affect it will never be payment. I certainly have thoughts and opinions. All those things but also say that once the fever started. It's like immediately. You're drawn back into help amazing fun college football is in some really really excited that fall is here and the games are going and you upset.
All these things are going on and that sort of what you love about the game. I'm just really happy that will impact all that were really excited to spend a few minutes with former Heisman Trophy winner Jenny Warfel also part of the College football Hall of Fame from his days at Florida and kicked around in the NFL for a few years. I actually saw an interview that you did with Tony Dunphy in which you are describing your very first play with the New Orleans Saints. But when you look back on that teeny how do you believe football prepared you for the next phase of your life. The next, calling the next mission field really that will talk about well you know we could talk for days about. I think the lesson that you learn playing football that that are part of like prepare you for like going to tough times and teamwork and not about you and all the things that that are important, but very specific way, you know, I was drafted by the bank and got a chance to go to New Orleans and that's where I was introduced to a small organization working in the ninth Ward of New Orleans very under resourced neighborhood called desire street ministry started volunteering there and when I retired. That's where I began working in an and at work there ever since. Even up to this day is now desire street works in under resourced neighborhood all over the South. He will help people in English tough neighborhood do a lot of academic afterschool enrichment summer camp help start will help start medical clinics always help start churches help start housing program. People getting jobs and starting business is an incredible journey to be a part of that and just very, very grateful for desire street chance to be part of it.
Now you are the executive director and as you talk about.
It's more through various phases and moving out of New Orleans and into Atlanta and obviously has grown why this ministry.
Danny why desire street. I mean, I think it is a combination of that was where I felt like I was led and don't drawn into it. I always felt like I've been very blessed and fortunate person and I've had some tremendous people pouring to me and give me support. We talked about coach Juergen I'm not here talking to you Amy without him. And people like him in my life and we look at the landscape of the world. Even in America. A lot of people that don't have the same opportunities that many of us did the chance that to get back to be a part of that I think of that incredibly exciting and rewarding opportunity and you're just interesting newsworthy moment is you know I just saw in Nebraska. The interim head coach now after Scott brought Mickey Joseph, who many people may not know this was working with.net desire street and around Hurricane Katrina, giving back, and he was coaching on our football team there and I've got a lot of the war stories are just tough things that we went through together and I'm just really happy to see that success that you have that hopefully this opportunity will will lead to more for him as well were spending a few minutes with Jenny Warfel here in after hours on CBS portrayed you mention Katrina. I wasn't even sure if I was to bring this into the interview because you had so many experiences in your life. It's hard to pinpoint one or two and I want to make sure that we highlight desire street, but people may not know I did not know until I started doing some research that you and your wife and your son lost her home in Katrina. How did that experience change you and prepare you for what you're doing now that we did when we a few days after the storm we realize the thought picture of our neighbors house that was underwater on our house with a one-story house at that moment. We sort of realized we had lost everything but the same time. Amy like we were really worried because so many of the people we knew and love from the ninth Ward were missing a lot of the people that we could talk to her missing family members and the mayor of New Orleans was speculating that maybe up to 10,000 people at possibly drowned at that point. Fortunately it didn't taste but so is this weird feeling. Where on one hand we have lost everything we we had but at the same time I was sick with my family and I felt like I had everything I really needed and I just thought that was a very powerful reminders. You know that your kids a lot you know you don't really need that you want that but I think we all get mixed up between what we want and we need to work very blessed in many cases spoiled and Americo in so many ways that just a great reminder of the simplicity and and and having the main things in life cow very grateful for the it's not a natural disaster that changed America over the last couple of years, Danny, but there's so many more people in need now because of the pandemic.
We see it everywhere in our nation and the economy and the struggles for families how much have you seen the impact of desire street grower, maybe even how much is the focus had to change a little bit because of what's happening in our nation now will currently during COBIT.
Some of the interesting unique challenges that surfaced when kids were not in school, you know, one what the education kinda gap where people like my kids to have resorted to get resources we have Internet that you went right and online will, but if you don't have Internet or midmorning system that was able to provide that the academic support was vital so we had a lot of sort of different types of pod learning that was happening from the organization of the other thing was a lot of people don't realize and under resourced neighborhood. A lot of children get to reveal that school. So if there's no school now you're in a situation whether sort food issues within you on top of that, a lot of the parents can't work because the businesses of enclosed and you can even afford food so a lot of the place about this yesterday at one of our organization here in Atlanta all kids and they started are still running a distribution center providing essentials for people in the community is used to incredible adaptation to current needs and I'm just really proud of all the making, leaders in and around the desire street family that have just been such great work because football awards have gotten so extensive. There is a national broadcasting and there are these incredible young men who are honored every year, mostly for what they do on the football field. The gaudy numbers the incredible individual feats of the Warfel trophy that you established in 2005 which actually honors athletes for something different. But what was the focus. When you created this award. We always someone there initially came to me group in Florida that we want to start a national football awarded name it after you and out very on about like you know there's plenty of award. The last thing will need another award notices different.
We want to honor the person who does the most community service and name it after you and it was very intriguing idea, and in fact it was the, the former Executive Director of the Heisman.
Really Risko finally said to me, and you need to do this, though the world need and so we did. It is been an incredible journey we have amazing winters. We often have had over 100 nominees and one of my desires is just a shine the light on the good work of these guys are doing so many people are doing heroic things, but unfortunately we cannot live in a world where you know it.
If you're not the best player on the winning team or you did something really bad you probably are going to get a lot of coverage so you give us a chance shine spotlight on young men that are doing great things and they inspire me and hopefully it inspires others to do more and our were really excited. Our winter was invited this year to be in New York, also for the Heisman Trophy weekends that's can be a really awesome opportunity talk to highlight our winter as well so Lotta great things are happening and regret glad to be part of it. Do today's college football players no your name or recognize that you also stood on that stage at the Heisman Trophy winner is. Is that too far back for them not as interesting. So like I go spend a lot of time in Florida and all very very nice and kind and know who I am. But I also think that maybe coach Napier maybe had given him a little while to remind you, gave Florida gator grout, which is sort of a big student pep rally and they asked me to host this year having empathy for like a promo video hey my name is Danny were: if you're under 30, you can ask your parents, who I am now I don't know. You can ask your grandparents benefit but yeah I'm really popular with older people that the moms the grandmom's. They love me. The 1996 Heisman Trophy but also in the College football Hall of Fame from 2013 Danny Warfel is with us here after hours on CBS portrayed how much does it mean to you that Florida as well as Georgia. Actually, because now you're basing Alanna former players from each of these schools that are going to get together and try to highlight and support desire street with an event really are our biggest bond fundraiser and fund that the desire cop and week playoff.
The rivalry of the Georgia Florida Florida Georgia game and write for that game. We gathered bunch of celebrities and coaches from both schools and camps from both out very competitive golf outing and a wonderful event and I will have a lot of fun and this year we also added a pickle ball event which actually some people know that pickle ball. The fastest growing sport in the country I love ball and putting together celebrity program. We got some of the best professional pickle ball players in the world you are our professional pickle ball players and were pairing them with celebrities from the same college so we have a college being celebrity program pickle ball tournament as well. The week of the desire cop. Very exciting stuff. People can check out desire cop.com for all the information I can't not ask dead as a guy who was part of those epic Florida, Georgia, rivalry games, what was that like well usually if I appear Georgia people are asking you why are you living there like Georgia hate you and are going to give you all this trouble and I know I played four times and they never gave any troubles they don't like that either. It's been great. We had a good run.
I'm very fortunate to have gone for an elegant Georgia doilies can fall back on that but they are certainly the big dog in the hunt now Kirby Smith Kirby smart doing is absolutely fantastic. He's really proud of that program to what did you take away from that.
In terms of just that tradition and and how much it matter to you when you were there, even if it's a quote unquote distant memory downright well. Part of what was exciting about it was, you know, in the 90s Lord really hadn't experienced a lot of the path and and so that the fan you know like they were just so real to win anything and start winning at the national championship really exciting. In fact, I remember I took a visit Alabama in one of the selling points is that you show you all the history of these incredible you know team the bear Bryant years, you know, like exciting to go there but you might be 13th got to get a chance to help them with national championship as opposed Florida man. They were just starving so I was really fun. Even to this day.
Gator fan. I remember those moments in that winning the national title in and kind of starting that tradition of excellence was very special when I look back at it. So it's the desire cop and desire cop.com any workable.com links to all that and I'm just really excited with Lotta things that are happening that we get to be a part of and I sometimes up to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming when I think about what happened in my life and what I get it do now in the thing happening in the future and like a very very blessed person and very thankful. Glad to help give back.
Did you have to practice getting ready for the gator grout.
Well, I got a little bit of time. The event is not actually fill homecoming in October so I've been you know going to Matt my scale know Flo Rida is the musician so I thought that we couldn't pry really appreciate if upper for one of the songs or something like my kid thought that was not a good idea, but I felt some jokes collect think I'm funny but they fell and got his dad jokes like now started below little conscientious about health conscious of the minor say if I can can't do that. When in doubt, just talk about gator football and Heisman.
Every now and then just drop in the conversation that brilliant drop a score of our game against Florida State joke about Georgia now you're talking my featurette I did you doing great so you can find Dede on the various websites he mentioned are also on twitter at Danny Warfel W you ERF FPL misspelled for people who may not remember. And yes, he played football.
He was a Heisman Trophy winner. He won a national championship. He was in the NFL, but his life's work now is desire Street ministries Danny, it's okay to catch a couple of minutes with you. I'm sure you can nail the gravel thank you so much for the time you so much.