Along the journey in this amazing story we have captured the attention and hearts of so many great people and amazing athletes. I have been fortunate to have struck up distant friendships with many of them. Today takes us in a slightly different direction as "Five Questions" features it's first professional football player, Former Pittsburgh Steeler placekicker Jeff Reed.
I contacted Jeff on twitter about Jam the Gym 5, he was moved by our story and did a feature on his blog about us.(
Jeff also does a podcast. He discusses a wide variety of topics, some serious and some, well, not so much! It is great fun either way and I recommend you give it a listen! The podcasts are also available at the link above, and the November 20th 2014 episode can be played below.
Five Questions takes on Thee Man Cave in our first endeavor into professional football.
Jamming in Five Questions, Jeff Reed!
Pittsburgh Steelers, Placekicker (2002-2010)
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Journalism and Mass Communication
You were blessed to play on some great teams and witness some great teammates. Who was the hardest worker on those Steeler teams and what did you learn from him?
The greatest teammate and hardest worker I played with was Hines Ward, although there were many guys that truly worked their tails off. Hines handed out shirts one time in the locker room that said: "Hard Work Beats Talent when Talent Doesn't Work Hard." Not sure I really need to explain this, but I will. There are many people that are just flat out freaks of nature. Many times, these individuals lack a great work ethic and end up not meeting expectations and not reaching their utmost potential. Hard workers may not be the freaks of nature that I referred to, but they are the athletes/individuals that exceed expectations and maximize potential, leading to a great amount of success. Hines exemplified this description. To be honest, growing up that is all I knew. I had to work for everything. NOTHING was handed to me.
You have also had opportunities to be the difference in many close games. If you could choose just one, what is your defining moment as a professional football player? Which bad moment would you like to get another crack at?
My defining moment as a professional football player was the day I put the black and yellow on for the first time in November of 2002. It hit reality, not in practice, when I jogged on to Heinz Field to people yelling my name from pregame warmups all the way through the 4th quarter. The dream became reality. If I had to pick one game and one big kick I made to help the team to victory, I couldn't pick it because it is just too selfish to view it that way.
The one "bad" moment I want back is missing 2 4th-quarter field goals with the score tied against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Not only did I miss a 38- and 43-yarder, Robbie Gould made it that much harder on me by kicking the game-winner just a few minutes after the second miss of mine. It is still hard to swallow to this day, because I felt that I let my team down tremendously.
What was the longest Field Goal you have ever made, practice or game?
The longest field goal I ever made in a game actually occurred in high school (my first year ever playing football), and it was 54 yards. My longest kick in the pro ranks was 53 yards. Now, in practice in college, I made a 72-yarder that banked off of the crossbar and continued through the uprights. That was a "wow factor," as I surprised myself!
Along the way you have been influenced by many coaches. Who was your favorite and what set him/her apart from the rest?
My favorite coach was Bill Cowher. He gave me a chance. He also spit on me a handful of times. The reason he is my favorite is because he was never a huge fan of specialists, but I earned his respect rather quickly. It was pretty cool how he welcomed me with open arms. As far as a football coach, he was emotional and passionate, yet he was very laid back as long as the work was being put in. He actually listened to his team and respected every single individual in the organization. He had the power and reigns, but he never acted like he was better than anyone.
Your podcast(Barely Controlled Radio) seems to be growing at a great pace. What are your hopes for it and what is the next natural step for Jeff Reed?
Barely Controlled Radio is my podcast. It is rapidly on the rise. My ultimate goal is XM radio, but who needs that when you have a successful podcast?! I will continue to get prominent guests (hopefully once a week) and take over the air waves. I am very serious about the material and really have fun expressing it. The definition of "passion" is "barely controllable emotion." Hence, the name of my podcast has "barely controlled" in it. Not many people get to participate in work they actually enjoy, but I do! Add BCR to my dedication to motivational speaking, charities, and working with young kickers, and you have the recipe for success for Jeff Reed.
Five Questions has a big following among elite female volleyball athletes. Who is your all time favorite female athlete and why?
My all time favorite female athlete is Mia Hamm. My true love is the sport of soccer. Yes, she is a fellow Tar Heel, but basically she was the face of all female athletes for so long. I truly believe it goes back to what I was saying about Hines. She said this quote: "The vision of a champion is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when nobody else is looking." Does anything else need to be said as to why this woman helped her teams win the Women's World Cup in 1991 and 1999, and take Olympic gold medals in 1996 and 2004??? I don't think so.
A BIG thank you to Jeff Reed for taking the time to answer "Five Questions". Make sure to check out his podcast
and read his blog posts. Thanks #3, YDM!