129: Gus Frerotte: Retired NFL Quarterback for the Broncos, Dolphins, Vikings, Redskins, Bengals, Lions, and Rams who overcame high school injuries and has moved forward with his own podcast, Partner at ProDayExperience.com, and President of Business Development for the startup RC21X who developed a tool for brain performance monitoring.

December 13, 2019

Gus Frerotte

Gus Frerotte, who grew up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, talks about what it was like for him growing up with athletic aspirations, which led to eventually having a 15-year career in the National Football League. “My childhood was different than most. I fought through a lot of adversity. In 9th grade I broke my neck playing football and I didn’t play for my 9th or 10th grade year. I never played quarterback until I was a junior in highschool and then we ran the Wing T, so we never really threw it. I was just lucky enough to be 6’4” and 210 lbs.”

On this episode of Finding Your Summit Podcast, we talk with Gus Frerotte, Retired NFL Quarterback for the Broncos, Dolphins, Vikings, Redskins, Bengals, Lions, and Rams, Podcast Host, Partner at ProDayExperience.com, and President of Business Development for the startup RC21X who developed a tool for brain performance monitoring. Gus Frerotte shares his career in athletics, overcoming adversity and the idea behind coming up with his podcast Huddle Up with Gus with his co-host Dave Hager. “We started finding some traction with people. We found a local media company that wanted to help us called Tribune Review, and they helped us for a little bit. But then we moved on from them and now we are with Radio.com and we are really excited because we’ve been building this thing over the last nine months.” 

What You Will Learn:

Gus Frerotte discusses his experience at the University of Tulsa. “College was great. I got to compete every day with guys from all over the country and you wanted to go prove that, hey, they are going to bring in 10 quarterbacks and I’m going to be the best one out here. We had a quarterback by the name of T.J. Rubley who was older than me. He got hurt in a game against Arkansas and my second year I was red-shirted. Then my second year in college I was not supposed to play, I was punting, and I ended up starting eight games that year.”

What does Gus attribute as the driving force to his success in hindsight that might not have been so obvious to him when he was younger? “Tulsa, we didn’t win a lot of games. But you just had to fight. You had to fight through adversity. You had to be tough. You had to take hits and get up off the ground and prove to your teammates that, ‘Hey, just because I got hit doesn’t mean I’m going to play here and be soft.’ Being from Western Pennsylvania one of the things is you’ve got to be tough. And that’s kind of what my mantra was going through my early and mid football career.” 

Gus Frerotte talks about his dad being a tough military guy from a big family with 14 siblings. Was Gus’ relationship with his dad a contentious relationship or was it just a matter that his dad was pushing him hard in a healthy way? “There was some contentious times, you know? In eighth grade when I was playing football I came home after the first practice and I said, ‘Dad, my foot is killing me.’ My mom says, ‘I think he broke his foot,’ and my dad said, ‘No, I just bought him those new cleats. He’s playing. Just tie your shoes tighter.’ I played the whole season. My foot is still hurting. The doctor says, ‘How long has it been like this?’ I said, ‘Since the first day of practice.’ He said, ‘Well, you’ve been playing on a broken foot for nine weeks.’” 

Guy’s tough father taught him some lessons about expressing emotions that he chose to do differently with his own family. “My dad never told me he loved me. You know what I mean? It just didn’t happen until he was super sick and he’s older, I’m older. I don’t care what he thinks now. I’m going to say it. And I don’t go a day without telling my wife or telling my kids, if I get to talk to them, and they are not busy, that I love them.” 

What was it like for Gus Frerotte to play for the Washington Redskins? “It’s just a great NFC East team. Back when I was drafted, the fans, there was a 10,000 person waiting list to get tickets. It’s not the Washington Redskins that you know today. And it was such a big thing. I didn’t care.  I was going to go there. I was going to do everything I could. I didn’t want to leave at any time. I practiced everyday, longer than I was supposed to.” 

Seven Different Teams

Gus Frerotte describes what it was like to bounce around the NFL to seven different teams, comparing it to moving around as a military family would. Washington DC was clearly a highlight. “My wife and I were married after my first year in the NFL and we had all three of our kids in Washington. I get cut by the Redskins after five years there and waiting to be picked up by somebody, end up going to Detroit. While I was at Washington, I’m also the talk of the town. I’ve been in the Washington Post all the time and through the quarterback of the Redskins, you are almost in the paper as much as the president.”

If Gus Did It All Over

During this episode of Finding Your Summit Podcast with Gus Frerotte, not only does he share his successes, but he opens up about difficult moments and areas of life that he views differently now. “The one thing I regret over all of it is I wish I just some how some way written down more people’s numbers. Because there are so many people that I got to meet that I don’t remember and I wish that I just somehow solidified that a little bit better.”

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