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From a Country Bumpkin to the Cover of Sports Illustrated... Seriously!

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff
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December 10, 2022 1:00 am

From a Country Bumpkin to the Cover of Sports Illustrated... Seriously!

It's Time to Man Up! / Nikita Koloff

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December 10, 2022 1:00 am

Today, Nikita speaks with Perry Tuttle in part 1 of a 2 part series. Listen as Perry shares his amazing life journey.


This is Andy Thomas from the Masculine Journey Podcast, where we discover what it means to be a wholehearted man. Your chosen Truth Network Podcast is starting in just seconds. Enjoy it, share it, but most of all, thank you for listening and for choosing the Truth Podcast Network. This is the Truth Network. The following contest is set for one flaw.

Introducing first, from Lithuania, he weighs 123 kilos, the Russian Nightmare, Nikita Kolod. Now, the Devil's Nightmare. Welcome back to another episode of It's Time to Man Up. With me today, wide receiver Perry Tuttle.

Welcome to the Man Up show. Hey, bro. How are you? I'm doing great. So good to be here.

I'm doing great. Well, it's great to have you in the studio. And I learned before we came on air, I learned a little something that I should probably have known, but didn't know. And so, of course, Truth Radio is headquartered here in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. And you were born and raised, I guess, not far from the studio, I guess.

Yeah, not too far. A little town called Midway, down on Highway 52. And I'm sure if you've been in Winston-Salem for a long time, you know where that is.

And I'm just a country bunkin'. I love Winston-Salem growing up in Davison County. It's just a great experience for me. I don't know if anybody really, Nikita, I don't know if anybody really had a better time growing up than I did, but it just looked different.

Right? But so, again, Midway, Davison County, so it's not too far from here. So what is there, I know you said you had a great time growing up, is there a favorite memory or two of growing up in this area that you really, really just kind of come to mind? Well, look, so I'm the youngest of seven. Okay, because I wanted to hear about your family too. Well, yeah, I'm the youngest of seven. Youngest of seven, okay. Three boys, I mean, three older brothers, three older sisters. So you're the baby.

I'm the baby, right? I am too, I can relate. And I don't know if anybody had a better brothers and sisters than I did. I mean, they're just incredible. My mom was probably the closest thing to heaven you can think of and who passed away a year ago.

She's an amazing, just an amazing mom, amazing person. Matter of fact, I'm in the middle of reading. I didn't notice he journaled for 52 years. Wow.

Journal with dates. Wow. Matter of fact, so it's been a year ago that my mom passed away.

So I started about a month coming back up to Winston-Salem, just going into her bedroom, just closing the door, just reading her journals. And matter of fact, the first thing I read was this, I married a man I didn't love and I learned to love him. Wow. That was the first thing I read.

Wow. And so my mom, just an incredible lady. My dad, on the other hand, was an alcoholic.

I was more shameful than anything. I knew he loved me, but I never heard it until, you know, months before he passed away, which is an incredible story. But my brothers, I'm just telling you, I just left one of my brothers sitting on the porch and that's our favorite pastime, sitting on the porch.

Yeah. So the memories that I have growing up is really about not only my family, but I have some really good friends. And, you know, growing up in the country, we just had wonderful times.

I didn't, you know, I really didn't know that I was poor, but my mom certainly didn't talk about that. And the people that I grew up with, the older people that I grew up with, it seemed like I had, you know, four or five dads and 10 moms. Yeah, all the neighbors and parents. Yeah, yeah. So if you did something wrong and your parents wasn't around, you got a whooping. They had permission to discipline. Right. Wow. And I never heard my mom or dad give them permission.

They just did it. So it was unspoken or, yeah. I actually miss those days, actually. But anyway, but that's typically, you know, how I grew up.

And so when you ask any great memories, I just, I don't know. It just is like Steph Curry shooting three pointers. I just felt like I was shooting three pointers, nothing but net growing up.

And wow. And even though my dad was in and out of jail in prison. I had enough of support to know that God is really answering mom's prayers.

So let me ask you this, Perry, so she sounds like a real positive influence on you, so very influential from what I'm hearing. So with your dad on the other side with his struggles, how did that impact you? Like, did you grow up going, I don't want to go down that path, or how did that impact you? Yeah, yeah, I have, you know, playing 10 years of pro football, you know, with teammates going out and partying and drinking. And I wasn't a believer then, but I didn't drink.

The only reason I didn't drink wasn't because of faith or wasn't because of, I just didn't want to end up like my dad. And so it affected me in ways that it brought about, you know, a certain kind of father wound that I desired to fill up. But on the other hand, I grew up with some great coaches. And starting in the fourth grade, it just seemed like those coaches were my favorite kind of people.

Like about, you know, two weeks ago, I just buried along with, so my head coach from high school, we just had his funeral a couple weeks ago, Coach Steve Hinkle and his bride, Paula. And so I had coaches like that that really took care of me. Kind of became a father figure in a sense, right?

Right, yeah. But my mom, you asked about my mom, my mom was, she just loves the Lord. And I remember just leaving high school and going to Clemson and I remember just thinking, you know, I believed in God, certainly believed in Jesus, didn't really know I wasn't a believer. I mean, I wasn't a Christian. Or a follower of Christ. Right, I wasn't a follower of Christ. But I just remember saying, going to Clemson, that, you know, I have no need of church. And wasn't really interested in that other than, because I couldn't understand why, you know, a loving God would allow my mom to go through the hell she went through with a man like my dad.

Right, right. And so, so I found myself four years into my pro career. Didn't drink, didn't smoke, didn't go to church. But on a Wednesday night, you know, looked around, beautiful home.

I was single, three cars, Great Dane. And just kind of went to my knees, you know, said a prayer that probably lasted no more than 10 seconds. Like, God, if you're the same God that my mom talked about growing up, would you help me? You know, everything that TV said, that would make me happy.

I bought and it just never fulfilled me. So, but my mom was just incredible. She, so, you know, I flunked to third grade, so I want to get that out. Okay. So don't judge me, right?

Don't judge me. No stones here. No stones buried.

No stones. So I flunked to third grade. I had a teacher named Mrs. Gatewood. And Mrs. Gatewood, she was tall and she was skinny. But it was a week before school was going to be turned out for the summer.

You know, if you remember back in the day, especially growing up in Winston-Salem and surrounding areas, you know, you got your report card through the mail. Oh, wow. Okay. You know.

Okay. And, but Mrs. Gatewood said, hey, Perry, I've already talked to your mom. And I talked to the principal, Mr. Kennedy, at Midway Elementary School. And we don't think that you're smart enough to go to the fourth grade. So you're going to flunk to third grade. And not only are you going to flunk to third grade, but we believe that you belong in a special class.

Wow. And back then, you know, if you're old enough, like us, at least like me, special class meant you went to school on a short bus, you know, if you remember those days. And I remember begging Mrs. Gatewood, please don't put me in this special class. And I remember just going home and my mom, my mom, she got out of the car, and I went running to her and I was like, Mom, Mrs. Gatewood said I was going to flunk to third grade and that she'd already talked to you and Mr. Kennedy. And she dropped her head and I said, Mom, you know I don't belong in that class.

Right. And the only reason I didn't belong in that class is my brother Eddie was down syndrome. And every single day that little short bus drove up in front of our house and I was going to be in the same class as my brother Eddie who couldn't talk plainly, couldn't read at all. He was awkward. His eyes were always red. He was my best friend, but he was down.

Eddie could never read. And let me tell you, that was a hard year for me. Sure.

It would be for anybody to be here. And that was a year, quite frankly, that was a year I became dumb. And when all of my friends moved to the fourth grade and I stayed behind, and those are the nicknames that comes along with someone who flunked the third grade, stupid, dummy. Right. And one of my nicknames was Big Head.

I don't even know why Big Head. I mean, that didn't even fit the persona. No, but that was a tough year. But the thing about my mom is that my mom started every single day putting a scripture verse in my shoe. I only had like two pairs. Every single day she put a scripture verse in my shoe until I was a senior in high school.

Wow. That I would walk according to God's ways and that I would honor Him. And so about nine or ten years ago, I went back to putting scripture verses in all of my shoes. Come on. That I may walk worthy.

And how hard is it to live this life of a Christ follower? Right. Right. But my mom, she's an incredible lady. It wasn't just me. It was all of us.

Sure. I mean, every single day. Here's the crazy thing. Every single day as I can remember probably is that my mom would tell my brother Eddie, Eddie, Eddie, look at me, Eddie. And Eddie, you know, Eddie walked funny. He's always smiling.

He was the happiest person I knew. If you've ever been around Down's children, Eddie, Eddie ran like the Tasmanian devil. He's just very awkward. But my mom would tell Eddie every single day, Eddie, look, there are some students that go to that school and don't you make fun of them because they don't look like you. And don't you make fun of them because God blessed you and touched you.

And just because they don't look like you, don't you make fun of them. Eddie always thought that people like me were awesome. So he thought I'm the normal one, so to speak. And all the people are like weird, right? Yeah.

Mom convinced Eddie that he was normal. Perfectly normal. Yeah. Wow. Well, it sounds like too, like, man, she just, she just obviously sowed a lot of seeds and early in your life that later led to that decision four years into your pro career to where you just fell to your knees and, you know, asked Christ into your life.

Yeah. And I'm not even sure what I was asking other than I was empty and I didn't know that I was empty. I just, I remember just, it was on a Wednesday, I was playing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and my buddies, some of my teammates was coming to pick me up. We were going to go eat, go out to eat.

And, and I kind of looked around the house that I just bought the cars I own. I was single. Right. And I just thought that the NFL would be, my dad would say funner. Right.

Right. And it just wasn't fun. I wasn't. And it was like, man, I thought this would be different. And, and I got down on my knees and I, my prayer probably didn't last more than 10 seconds. I can relate in several things. I can relate to your story, Perry. One, just, you know, my wrestling career. In fact, I wrote it in one of my books, Wrestling With Success, that I was successful, but unfulfilled.

I climbed the pinnacle of professional wrestling as a world champion. So I can relate in that sense to the dad. Now, now I didn't have a dad at home. My dad left when I was three years old. So I grew up without a dad, but my seventh grade football coach became my first mentor. My, my first real male role model, Bill Burke, became my male mentor and role model. And so there's a lot that, and then you're, of course, you know what your mom modeled for all of you.

And it's just amazing. But let, let me ask you too about, I'm going to transition here a little bit. Before we came on air, you were telling a story how all your buddies, because you referred to a lot of the guys you grew up with. And I guess some of you are still friends to this day, even from way back then, right? But some of you, but you were saying how, you were saying how all the guys grew up and you said, Hey, let's go, let's go to the ACC, but let's all play against each other. Why against each other?

Why not all with each other? What was the story behind that? You're listening to the Truth Network and If you would like to support Kolah for Christ Ministries for a gift of $25, Nikita will send you his two CDs, Adoration and Declaration for a gift of $50. Nikita will include his book, Wrestling with Success, and for a gift of $100 or more, Nikita will include a signed copy of his newly updated life story, A Tale of the Ring and Redemption.

Go to and donate today. Nikita Kolah here and I am excited. Did you hear the huge announcement, the big announcement? Well, maybe it's a minor announcement. Anyway, Facebook, go look up my new fan page, Nikita Kolah Fans, and like it and follow today.

You're listening to the Truth Network and Yeah, well, somebody has to win and someone has to lose, right? Right, right. It's all about winning. Competition.

Yeah, it's all about competition. And so, you know, I was one of those guys that really enjoyed great friendship. Yes.

Matter of fact, I'm going to see one of them today. Of course, you've got to teach him something. Well, he didn't play. He played tennis and I love tennis and we play against each other. But growing up and certainly in high school and you go to these, you know, these high school all-star practices and you get to know each other.

Cams or whatever, yeah. And so, you know, six of us, you know, you got Joe McIntosh who ended up going to NC State. Okay.

So all of us decided that we will play against each other, right? Right. And stay in the ACC and play against each other. So Joe McIntosh, he went to NC State. And Darryl and – Darryl Nicholson and Bill Smith, they went to North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

Okay. Jeff Davis and I went to Clemson and then Kenny Duckett went to Wake and who's the only one that can – You said the only one smart enough to get in the way. Yeah, right. He's the only one that's smart enough to get in the way. I mean, it's not an indictment on Clemson, by the way. Right, right, right, right.

No, plenty of smart people at Clemson, just so we know. Well, it just wasn't period talk. For the record.

It just wasn't. But the great thing was is that our freshman year you come back home and you see each other. Yes. And my freshman year we went 11-1, beat Ohio State in the Gator Bowl.

And so to come back – Natural title, right? Well, no. It was for Gator Bowl. Okay, okay. That's when Coach Woody Hayes threw the right hook. Okay.

The infamous right hook. Yeah, yeah. Gotcha. Right, right, right. Okay.

So you had some bragging rights when you came back home. That's right. That's what I'm hearing.

Oh. Jeff and I crushed him. We killed him. We killed him. And they couldn't say no. I mean, my freshman year Lawrence Taylor, who played at Chapel Hill at the time when I was a freshman, knocked me out.

Okay. I mean, it was right before – I was in a two-minute warning before – the first half was before halftime. And it was third and three where there was a pass play.

If you remember, we had the late Dwight Clark who used to play with the 49ers, Jerry Butler who was an All-American who went first round for the Buffalo Bills. And so I was the third receiver. But I get caught up in a two-minute warning, a two-minute drill. And the quarterback, our quarterback Steve Fuller, audible so that we can get the third – I mean, get a first down. Right. It was third and three. Right.

And he audible to a running play where I had the motion down, the receiver had the motion down and hit the linebacker, blocked the linebacker so that the running back can run off of my butt and get the first down. Right. Yes. Yes.

It's called a veer play. Okay. And so he goes, 46-46. And I'm like, 46, that's a running play. And I'm not the best blocker in the world. Right. Right.

And I said, 46. And I looked at my quarterback and he nodded his head like, let's motion down, let's go. And I said, man, that's Lawrence Taylor. I'm going to have to block Lawrence Taylor. So I'm motioning down and I'm doing it really slow because I'm scared. Right.

I'm just scared. Right. Right.

Lawrence Taylor is All-American and – A beast. Still is. Right.

Yes. Still is a beast. And I'm like, oh, no, Lawrence Taylor.

But guess what? He never sees me. He's never – Oh, man.

He's not even looking at me. Right. So the closer I get to him, the braver I get. And I'm saying to myself, I'm going to knock this sucker out. Right. I'm just going to – I'm going to hit him so hard and I'm going to hit him in the ear hole.

Right. And I'm going to knock him out because the great Lawrence Taylor. And I get about six inches from him. And he knew I was coming the whole time. He was playing possum. And he took his elbow and stuck it up and hit me right in the chin.

Oh, my gosh. Yeah. And knocked me out. Even though I played the second half.

Yes. You don't remember any of it. The thing that I remember, because we played in Chapel Hill.

The next thing I remember, we were getting off the plane in Greenville, South Carolina to go to Clemson. Oh, my gosh, Perry. I mean, it's – That was Lloyd, right? That was Lloyd. I mean, he had a break in Joe Theismann's leg.

I mean, he was a beast. Right. Yeah.

Don't remind me of that scene. That's a whole other story. I know. Well, I can – and here I can relate to that because actually pre-Joe, actually my freshman year in college, I fractured my tibia and fibula my freshman year. Oh, wow. And then a repeat of that with my other leg, my senior year. So two of those fractures.

But all that says – okay, so – but you win a national championship with Clemson and go on to play with the Bills, played in the CFL, and had a career up there as well, right? Yeah. Tell that. We've got a few minutes left here.

So just a couple of favorite stories with it. Yeah. Well, you know, we played in Nebraska in the Orange Bowl, my last, you know, and that came down – Cornhuskers. Yeah.

For the national championship. Okay. Yeah. And it came down to my last catch, where I, you know, we scored a winning touchdown.

Yeah. And a week later, I appeared on the Covers Force Illustrated. Incredible experience, right?

It was incredible. And how I found out was, you know, the great running back – here's my name drop for the day, other than Lawrence Taylor – is Marcus Allen. Yes.

I found out Marcus Allen says, hey, man, a country bunking on the Covers Force Illustrated. We were in Hawaii together. I was sitting at the pool. Yeah.

I was laying around at the pool because we were at the Hula Bowl at an All-Star game. Yep, yep, yep. And Lawrence Taylor, who came and had – Did he ever apologize, by the way, for the elbow?

No, no, no. Every time Lawrence sees me, he says, don't you ever sneak up on me again, right? So you're at the Hula Bowl with all the All-Stars. And Marcus Allen says – he threw that thing on my chest and goes, man, you're on the Covers Force Illustrated, a country bunking like you. And I went running up. That's when you didn't have cell phones. Right, right. And I called my mom, and everybody was going crazy, right? And it just changed.

And so around the world – and, you know, back in that day, the Sports Illustrated, you were on the cover for one whole month. Oh, wow. Okay. Yeah. Yeah. And so fame came my way.

Wow. And the very thing that I had hoped for when I was a little boy is to be famous. Fame kind of tricked me.

And that fame, you know, you think you're going to have privileges, fame actually take away privileges. And so – and from there, I went from Buffalo, from Buffalo Bills to Tampa Bay Buccaneers down to Atlanta Falcons, ended up going to the CFL, had an amazing time up there. And so 10 years of it. So I loved it. A 10-year career.

So we just got a few minutes left, and gosh, we could do three shows, four shows with you with all your stories. You do a – so fast-forward to what you're doing now. You're corporate speaking. I know. Yeah.

Yeah. I'm doing quite a bit of speaking. I'm writing books. I'm working on my fifth book.

Okay. And my first book was about the story of David and Goliath. And I thought that story – I thought that was about a little boy and a giant. But Goliath's name is only mentioned twice in that story. And David's name isn't obviously mentioned in that story like six times. But David's father's name is Jesse.

His name is mentioned like, you know, 14, 15 times. And so I remember just praying on my knees, God, is this story about a little giant – I mean, a little boy and a giant? And it just seemed like the Holy Spirit was like, no, this story is about how a father teaches his son how to fight. And I wrote this book from the house of Jesse.

Ten things every father should teach their son to fight for. Wow. The second book I wrote was on race. I was playing golf with a buddy of mine. And I was the only black guy in the foursome, right?

And two of the guys I didn't know. And so one of the guys said – he was telling a story about a black guy, but he used the word black and African American in the same sentence, right? So I started laughing at him, and like, you know, white people just don't know what to say, right?

They just don't know what to say, right? And so I started laughing. And he's like, well, what are you laughing at? I'm like, now, are you guys confused or what? And he says, what do you say, right? What do we say? And I said, you know, if you don't know my name – so, you know, I said, hey, why don't you do this? We're going to play, you know, 18 holes of golf.

It's going to take about three hours. Why don't you guys ask me all the questions that white people want to ask, but just, you know, when black people are around, you all just talk, right? And so they asked all the questions that they always wanted to ask a black person, but just too afraid.

And some of the – you know, they asked some of the dumbest questions I've ever heard, but some of them were great, right? OK, hold on. Hold on. Hold that thought.

Here's what I'm just prompted to do, OK? I want to leave a cliffhanger, like we used to do in the old wrestling days. We go all like off air and they're like, we wouldn't give them the finish of the match.

And people, the fans get so mad, look, who won? What happened? So here's what I'm going to do, I'm going to come back for part – we're going to come back for part two. Thank you for tuning in today and we'll see you next time. This podcast is made possible by the grace of God and your faithful prayers, support and generous gifts.

May God bless you for your continual contributions. Go to and donate today. Hi, Nikita Koloff, be sure to check out the Man Up show now available on television, broadcast and podcast. Go to or the Truth Radio Network. Check out your local listings or better yet, download the Truth Network app today. Nikita Koloff here.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2022-12-10 03:08:52 / 2022-12-10 03:20:39 / 12

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