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Dwight Freeney, Hall of Fame Defensive End

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
February 21, 2024 4:18 pm

Dwight Freeney, Hall of Fame Defensive End

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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February 21, 2024 4:18 pm

Hall of Fame Defensive End joins Zach Gelb

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Oh, sorry. One retired quarterback returns to claim what's his. Um, that's claim a ring with diamonds made from M&M's peanut butter, but you're on a roll.

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Just use Instacart, Brian. And away we go. Hour number two of our radio program.

We have a jam-packed hour number two. Dwight Freeh, the newest member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is going to join us coming up in a matter of seconds. And then in 20, 25 minutes from now, the commissioner of the NHL, Gary Bettman, will stop by. Last year, I guaranteed Dwight Freeh on this show that he was going to be a first ballot Hall of Famer. And when he didn't get in, I felt terrible and I wanted to punch everyone that votes for the Hall of Fame in the face because I couldn't believe it that they screwed him over. And it's not like I'm a Colts fan. I've said this before since I'm a Patriot guy. The Colts have been my least favorite team in the NFL, but I've always had respect for the way that Dwight Freeh played the game at a dominant level.

And now a year later, we're very happy to say that Dwight Freeh is the newest member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And he joins us right now. Dwight, first and foremost, congratulations.

Thanks for the time. And how you been? Good, man. How you been? Well, I've been fantastic. And I was so elated to see the news and it was long overdue.

Now they put out the video. That's become the best part when someone gets in the Hall of Fame. It's how they surprised that person. You had Coach Dungy, Michael Jordan, and your wife surprise you that you got in the Hall of Fame.

Relive that for me. I mean, it's absolutely amazing. I mean, my wife lied to me the entire week.

I mean, I can't believe she can keep a secret like this. I mean, and Michael, I'm good friends with MJ. And his golf course, right, is a great course. One of the great parts about the courses is you don't really have many rules. You know, the only rule is just don't be slow. Don't be a jerk.

Let guys through when they come to you. Right. So you can wear whatever you want. So every day, my outfit pretty much is like T-shirt and shorts, you know, might wear flip flops, who knows?

But I'm really, really casual. So leading up to that week of the week of when I was going to find out, Michael says, Hey, I got a photo shoot next week. And I need you to dress up nice for it. You know? And I'm like, Oh God, I got to dress up.

Here we go. You know, so I dress up getting ready for his photo shoot. And I walked to the door and I thought in my peripheral, I said, was that Coach Dungy inside? Wow.

That doesn't make any sense. I opened the door, Coach Dungy sitting right there, the biggest smile on his face. And I see my wife, I see MJ cracking up in the back.

I said, man, I take pride, honestly, and not being that guy who gets caught in him by surprise. Oh, man, I had no clue. Absolutely not.

That's, that's absolutely awesome. Who is the better golf game, by the way, is that you were MJ? He does. He has 30 years of experience over me. That's what I tell him.

That's what I thought. So I always see following you on social media, you guys, as you said, you're very close. You play a lot of golf together. How did you guys formulate this relationship? It was actually through the game of golf, you know, which is an amazing sport.

You know, it's the only sport you can get a guy who is from a completely demographic, completely different, you know, you can get a 20 year old playing with a 75 year old on the same, doing the same game. But I met on the golf course in 2003, he invited me to his golf invitational in the Bahamas, one of his best friends lived in Indianapolis, and me and his best friend got cool. So whenever he was going on a trip, whoever, wherever, you know, they'll call the young kid on a tell Dwight to come on, you know, grab the bags, let's go.

And that's what it was, you know, it started way back in 2003 2004. And we've been, you know, that's my big brother, man. He's been best friends ever since talking to the Pro Football Hall of Famer that has a nice ring to it. Dwight Freeny has that settled in yet? Has that sunk in? When you hear people call you a Pro Football Hall of Famer?

What's the emotion that it elicits? Man, it really has. It's like I'm still leaving living a dream right now.

Mike in on cloud nine. It's just I don't want to come down. And it's funny, it's like you're waiting for the come down.

And there is none. It just keeps going like this every single day. You know, you get this, you get that someone says, congratulations, you can't even believe it, then you start thinking about what what you had to do to get here and all the people who helped you get to this point, you know, and you kind of get missing the odd thinking about all the sacrifices and all the stuff. So, you know, it's just one of those things where it's a lifetime achievement.

There is no higher achievement in the game of football and I achieved it. You got screwed last year. You should have been a first ballot Hall of Famer.

I saw some of the emotions that you displayed and Mike kind of told the honesty part of that with some of the videos that they've released. What was the last year like? Because there's nothing else you could have done. Your career was over for years.

You knew everyone knew you should have been a Hall of Famer. But how was it handling that year of not getting in? Oh, man, it was terrible.

It was terrible. I think, you know, for me, I do I think a pretty decent job of only worrying about things that you can control. And, you know, leading up to there, I promise you, I was not worried about it. I wasn't thinking about it. I had the blinders on. I was staying focused on whatever else I was focusing on until guys like you guys like, you know, Michael Strahan and Jason Taylors and the Bruce Smith say see me and say, hey, you are a shoe in this year. I'm just telling you now I'm congratulating you now before the actual announcements made. So once that happened, you start thinking, you know, I might have a chance.

You know, everybody's kind of saying, you know, I'm a shoe in this year. And that's where I slipped up as I started. I started really caring about it. And when I when I didn't get the call, it crushed me because I was expecting, hey, this might this is it.

First first ballot. And it didn't happen. So this entire year leading up, I promise you, I couldn't tell you who was in the semifinalist, the finalist list. I completely shut myself off. That's why when I got when Tony was in there, I promise you I knew it was around the time but I didn't know exactly when I wasn't really focused on it, man. I was ready to go hit some golf balls.

I was so surprised. Talking to the Hall of Famer and Dwight Freeney. You know, I brought you up.

And I know you know him well. I had Antonio Gates on the day after the announcement came and it was a similar story. Everyone thought Antonio Gates was a shoe in and you could just tell talking to him in person how heartbroken he was just what advice would you give to someone like Antonio who we all know is going to get in but has to deal with being told he is going to get in and then didn't get in on the first try.

I mean, I would just tell him Look, man, there's not you can't control this process. And, you know, yes, it sucks that you don't have the first ballot next to your name. There's no going back.

You can't go back in time and fix it. So you might as well just find a way to get over it. And once you get in, you're just like everybody else. And you know, I promise you, you're going to forget about the fact, you know, somewhat that you weren't first ballot, you know, but you're, but I promise you, you're going to feel great. Your family is going to feel great. And, you know, be just like, you know, like it never happened.

Alright, so don't worry. How do you want people to remember your career? And what do you want people to know about your story since the football part of it is wrapped up, seal signed and delivered?

And now you get the highest honor of going in the hall? Well, you know, I think for me is, you know, a couple of things. I think one, you know, I played the game, I think the way that it was supposed to be played. And I played it hard. I played every play for the most part, like it was my last. And I gave it all and the game has given me so much. I wanted to respect the game in that way where I gave it as much as it's given me or try to and respect the game. I think that's, that's one.

And I think the other thing is, you know, it's, it's just, for me, you know, never listen to the noise, you know, just, you know, and if you're going to listen to it, use it as fuel. You know, my whole thing was, Hey, you know, you're from Bloomfield, Connecticut. No guys come out of there. No guys get, get to the pro football, you know, hall of fame from there or even more, even let's bring it down.

People don't go to D1 schools from there, you know, and you're too small. You shouldn't be playing defensive end. You should be playing linebacker, you know? So I kind of used all of those things, you know, he shouldn't have been drafted so high.

You know, he, he's a tweener. He doesn't, you know, he'll only play on third down, et cetera, et cetera. So I think for me, it's, you know, I, I use that as fuel, you know, and just played the game as hard as I could possibly do it. Who was the lineman and then who was the quarterback that just gave you fits in, in preparing for them? Well, I think, I mean, I played, you know, what's funny is that I played in, I think the golden era of the offensive tackle. I think that there was more hall of famers from my generation, Walter Jones, Willie Rolfe, Lando Pace, Jonathan Ogden, you know, Joe Thomas, you know, those guys are all guys I played, but I think out of all of them, I think is really Jonathan Ogden. I think Ogden was just, you know, he was a mountain of a man. There was never, you know, how you, when you're running, rushing the passer, you have the corner and we call the corner is when you can run around the guy and get to the quarterback.

So you run out on the outside speed rush. There was no edge to him. He was so long and it was just like, I kept running. I'm looking for the corner.

There is no corner. He's a mountain. So I had the only thing I had is be able to spin inside and he's the nicest dude. Now he always has a smile on his face.

Oh my goodness. I would never want to get him mad. And how about the quarterback? You know what, for me, I hated playing, you know, it's look, I love playing against guys who used to run and scramble in the backfield. Cause it gave me opportunity to get there.

Right. But when you play against guys like Tom Brady, the reason why I didn't like playing against him as much is because he threw the ball so quick. It was like ready set hike. And by time I even thought about, Oh, I can beat my guy completely clean and the ball's gone and the ball's gone. So it'll be like 30 passes, 27 of those passes.

They're throwing three yards and four yards and five yards. So it doesn't really give me an opportunity to get there. And then that one time, you know, the one opportunity to get there, you know, you have to make sure you win because it's going to get you.

You'll be there for the sack if you can never get there, but that's the whole thing with them. And before we let the pro football hall of Famer, Dwight Frini run, you know, based off that answer, usually when someone wins a Superbowl, that's their most memorable moment, but I've always thought because of what that Patriot cult rivalry meant, you guys beating them in the AFC championship game. That to me was basically the Superbowl, no disrespect to Chicago. Was that your favorite career moment? Just wondering.

I it's, it's like one a and one B I honestly, it's that close. I think emotionally, emotionally, it was that bowl, right? Just because we couldn't get past the Patriots. We couldn't get into the Superbowl.

And like you said, no disrespect to the bears. But when we got there, we knew we were going to win. It wasn't even a question in our mind. Devin has their fellow hall of fame classmate runs it back the very first time he touches the ball. I don't think anybody was worried on our sideline. It's just because we, we felt like, look, okay, we won't kick him the ball anymore.

What else do they have? Right. And we kept going in that fast, but to beat the Patriots, you know, that thorn in the side, that bear on our back, those feelings and those emotions while I will always stay with me forever. Uh, it wasn't my fault, but our show started up some controversy a few weeks ago. We had Micah Parsons on and he said, uh, TJ watt is in a top five pass rusher in the league. And it's been a very contentious debate on who the best pass rusher is in football. Uh, some people look at Nick Bosa, miles, Garrett, uh, TJ watt, Micah Parsons. There's a bunch of others to you since you were a stud at it, who is the best pass rusher in football right now? I mean, it's, it's, it's not an easy thing.

Um, I think they're so different. Um, I think I like miles Garrett and, and just because the moves that he works and you know, how dominant he's been for, for so long, um, you can move on each side. You can bull rush it. He has length. He can use a spin move. He, he's, he's like, uh, he's a bigger version of me with a little mix of Mike. Um, I love them all though. I think Mike is a beast, his motor and his energy and, and his effort makes, it gives him more, uh, of, uh, maybe an edge over someone else that who just has a lot of numbers.

But I think, you know, those guys, you know, talking once again, one a and one B, you know, but if I had to say, I would give it to miles. He is the pro football hall of Famer, Dwight Freeney, Dwight. So happy for you and your family. Thanks so much for doing this and all the best. Oh man. Thank you for having me.

Take care. You got it. There he is Dwight Freeney, one of the best pass rushers of all time. Now, uh, this summer going to be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, in the pro football hall of fame. We'll take a break. We'll come on back. The commissioner of the NHL, Gary Bettman will join us on the Zach Gelb show on CBS sports radio.

A peanut butter M&M's production. In a world where Superbowl winners get the world's admiration and a fancy ring, but the runners up get nothing. One retired cop returns. That's one retired quarterback. Read the script.

Oh, sorry. One retired quarterback returns to claim what's his. Um, that's claim a ring with diamonds made from M&M's peanut butter, but you're on a roll. The ring of comfort coming soon to a Superbowl.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-21 18:54:52 / 2024-02-21 19:02:29 / 8

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