On this Sportfolio program, Alan Page, Minnesota assistant state attorney general and former Minnesota Viking, discusses running, his NFL career, challenges of athletes transitioning out of sports, law profession, and his football hall-of-fame induction. Page also answers listener questions.
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(00:00:11) This afternoon, it will be much colder than we've been used to in recent days. Sunny skies this afternoon with a high from 10 to 15 degrees above zero tonight. Skies will be clear during the evening hours. Then expect increasing cloudiness after midnight a low from 0 to 10 below zero tomorrow Breezy and much warmer with a 40% chance of snow and a high on Sunday in the mid 20s to the low 30s. Well that little musical interlude takes us to just about three and a half minutes now past the hour of 12 o'clock noon. Hi, this is J.G. Preston. And this is portfolio today are topics will include running law and maybe even football. My guest is Alan Page assistant State Attorney General distance Runner. And also one of the newest members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. We first came to know Alan during a great career as a defensive tackle with the Minnesota Vikings now, he's well into his second career as a lawyer. This is your chance to chat with Alan Page today as well. If you have a question, give us a call here on sport folio at 2276 thousand our phone number once again 2276 thousand and we'll put you through to chat with former Viking now a state attorney general Allen page here on sport folio. I wonder so many things going on in your life that when I called you the morning you were elected to the Hall of Fame. I wasn't sure what to expect. I wasn't sure how much this would mean to a guy who's done all the things that you've done in your life on the field and of course wherever but actually seemed in a low-key kind of way pretty tickled about the whole thing. Well, I'm certainly pleased about it and I'm proud and happy to have my accomplishments. Noted but on the other hand, you know, it doesn't change anything and there's still a lot to get done. We're goes on no matter what you're doing in July, huh? That's right. I guess I was I didn't grow up here. So I just watched you on TV from afar and your playing days. I had forgotten that your hometown was Canton and that's where the Hall of famous you're kind of going home for this thing this summer. I am going home hurt for it should be kind of interesting haven't been back there all that often since I left for Notre Dame all those many years ago, but it should be kind of interesting you have much family in the area back there anymore few family members. My father is moved to Washington DC and my brother and sister in Washington DC and a sister in Toledo, Ohio, but I still have a little family still in Canton. Hmm. I suppose they'll all be getting together in Canton. Anyway. Oh, yes, I think it's going to be a big crowd. That's that's that's real serious football country, Canton, Ohio and that whole Northeastern corner of the state do when she get in the steel country up there and everything. I mean I suppose there's a lot of football around you growing up as a kid there was Great deal of football around me both at the high school level and professional level. It's it was an area. It is an area where the predominant Pastime is football. I mean, it's the kind of thing where you've got 20,000 people at the high school game on Friday night on a regular basis really and televising them televising games back in the late 50s early 60s, which was something that wasn't done very often back in those days. So how did you handle even at that early age being in kind of a real? I don't know if pressure cookers right? Where would a real high visibility situation with the with a game like that? I don't know that was all that difficult to handle in terms of, you know want to being on a day-to-day basis pretty much for me. It was a case of I play football but I'm I was a student in lots of other things at the time. So football wasn't the only thing you didn't feel too elevated pedestal eyes or anything because of your status as a football player in a town like that. Certainly not still had to go to class going to do the work. Nobody would do it for me there. There are probably people who wouldn't even necessarily believe that to be true when they hear about places like Massillon and other towns in Northern Ohio where football is so important that but if you're saying that even then you weren't excused from your well normal Duties are winked at or anything just cause you're a good football players. Certainly there were people who were excused or were winked at who didn't do the work but I didn't I guess part of my My Philosophy has always been I don't view myself as a football player. Hmm never, you know, my own minds eye. So it seemed to me that if I was going to accomplish anything in life that it was going to be To me to do it and that nobody else could do that for me. What were your folks doing at the time what they do for a living? Oh my father ran a bar and my mother worked at a country club. Hmm, and they were very very strong on making sure that I my brothers and sisters got an education so that we could have a better life than than they did. They worked very hard at instilling that in some huh, and obviously the message took hold. Maybe we're still we're still working at it. Did you wind up picking Notre Dame as a college mostly for non-athletic reasons? How much was football a factor in that and how much were other things? I can't give you a rational reason why I picked Notre Dame over the other schools that were recruiting me the other schools that I was interested in. I suppose the maybe the thing that did tip the balance was the academic reputation of Notre Dame and the fact that they seem in particular to kind of make sure that their football players are full-time students as well. Well, they do it as much as anybody else, you know, it's pretty difficult. Mmm. I just say, you know you I don't even worried about that Alan. I knew it was going to slip out. I know Notre Dame is a school that is a football Factory. It also is an academic Factory and to the extent that those two can coexist in a in a reasonable manner. I think they do a good job of it better job a better job than some other schools. The fact is Oh that with most schools. If the student wants to get a good education, you're going to get a good education wherever it is, if you're willing to work at it, if you take the initial if you take the initiative, unfortunately for me, I didn't take the initiative that I probably could have certainly that I should have but I managed to graduate in the normal four year time period but I probably didn't get the education that was there and available to me Alan Page my guest this afternoon on sport folio 10 minutes after 12 o'clock here on ksjn 13:30. I'm J.G. Preston. If you have a question for Alan Page, give us a call to to 76 thousand 2276 thousands our phone number here on sport folio seems like you were telling me Alan that you didn't grow up playing football all the time as a little kid that you came to a kind of later in your development. I started playing as a freshman in high school not until then not until then I suppose I tell I can't and they probably had a pretty organized football all the way down to nine or ten-year-old level, huh? I don't know if they did back then and I don't know that you just were oblivious to it. I was oblivious to it. I wasn't that close to it. Certainly they had Little League Baseball died and I assume they must have had some form of Little League football. I just wasn't involved in it. Hmm and really wasn't terribly interested in it. My brother who was a year ahead of me in high school started playing and it seemed like a Interesting thing to do. He seemed to enjoy it. So I thought I'd give it a try really what What attracted you to it. When you first started fooling around with football. I don't know at least it's honest. I mean, I really don't know I I started playing and Had some success and don't know why that was and but had some success and I think that led to as much enjoyment as anything just the fact that you were could excel at something really fun, right and and get the positive feedback. We were you a lot bigger than your classmates at that time of your life gnome. When I my freshman year the team that I was on didn't play Varsity, but the varsity team and most of the freshmen were as big or bigger than I am. In fact the first team that I played on in my sophomore year the offensive line, I think averaged 225 230 pounds and at the time I was about to 15 wow, but you were playing the line even then right? I was a an offensive and defensive lineman in those days and little did I know that one has to be Don't know exactly how to put this in I want to offend offend. Anybody one has to be less than intelligent to be an offensive one just because of the the masochism that's involved. Right? You know, of course, I only observed football players from two arms length probably but it seems like there is an unusual number of Fairly intelligent guys who wind up playing offensive line and maybe it's because there are only a few that are intelligent but there they try to tend to stick up for the rest of them. How well is it how well have you gotten to know these guys? Not not at all only third person. I only hear them talk to other people you see but if it seems like at least you get some fairly articulate guys at play the offensive line. So I've always had this Mystique that of course, this could be Paul Zimmerman is induced this Mystique since he's a former offensive lineman and everybody reads Paul Zimmerman. Maybe that's it that that offensive lineman actually have and if you think about what they actually do in their job, which is basically get hurt but by just trying to Stave off you hungry defensive people you wonder why anybody with intelligence would get into that lineup exactly. Exactly, but I suppose if you're too slow to play defensive line and you're too big to do anything else. You can have to make the best of it. Maybe said I'd still find something else to do. It's that bad. Huh? Of course. I hated blocking you. I know that for a fact because it was it was described to me that that you were you're in your days you were stronger than the guys who were quicker than you were and you were quicker than the guys who were stronger than you were and then I follow that one. Yeah. I don't know. I don't know that's follow up with the but the combination they didn't know what to do. Well, I don't know, you know what it was that Ultimately made me successful other than a lot of good fortune and I suppose some basic skills. And that again is a matter of Good Fortune to have been born with those skills and a lot of hard work, but we enjoyed it now had you ever been through Minnesota at all when you started to play here as a professional. No, I was you know from Ohio there goes, you know again from Ohio had gone to school at Notre Dame. That was my first trip really away from home. And then my next trip was here to Minnesota and I've been here other than a short interlude in Chicago ever since it did you ever feel like I mean early on did you get some kind of feeling about the place this was going to wind up being home or did that just the longer you stayed that kind of evolved into being home base for it? I think it just evolved into being home. This is where my wife is from. This is where my kids were born. The interesting thing is for my children. This is home. They don't even think of And or anyplace else forget it, this is home. Mmm because this is where they were born. Hmm. It's interesting how that how that works out. Now there came a time. I guess late in your playing career when you decided to go to law school, which they're still I mean the Vikings today even have a couple of guys to go part-time to law school or off Seasons or whatever but I suppose at that time there probably weren't too many active players are also pursuing an academic line on the side. What what led you to think you could combine the two football and and legal training my interest in law school or my desire to go to law schools. Was there early on in my football career? I enrolled at way of Mitchell College of all back in 1968 survived for about three weeks and two of those weeks, you know, that's that's how long it took me to figure out how to get out how to drop out. It just want to be in too much of a burden doing both things. I wasn't committed to it at that stage. I was you know, relatively young, you know, hmm relatively young trying to Develop a career as a professional football player and really wasn't there mentally wasn't prepared to accept the challenge of law school you early enough in your in your playing career that you still had to really kind of devote a lot of time. Just learning your job. It was it was my second year. It took a lot of concentration. Mmm. That is also required in law school. By the time I'd played all six seven years and had tried a number of things to plan for my future. I was a used car salesman. Hmm didn't sell any cars, but I wasn't used car salesmen look on it enough glad you there's some presidential candidates. I wouldn't buy from I did a number of other things. None of which seem to fit me and I decided in 1974 that I was frustrated with being a football player because I hadn't done anything to take care of my future and because after you block and tackle people for a number of years you sort of get that down and there isn't much of a challenge to what the challenge becomes. How do you force yourself to do it on a weekly basis at a level to which you would not be ashamed to have attached to your performance? Hmm But beyond that, you know, once you tackle somebody you sort of know how to do it. Some people have suggested or I would suggest that I had played football for 15 years. Some would say I had 15 years experience. I would say I had one year experience 15 times and given that and given the frustration that came with that. It was important for me to find something to do law school. The second time around was much better because I was committed to it prepared to do it both in terms of commitment to physically do it, you know, make the time to show up to class show up in class and do the work. But also emotionally ready to go through the rigors of law school and I found it fascinating. I am one of the few people that will tell you that I enjoy law school. I found it absolutely and utterly fascinating for the first time in nine years. I was using my head for something besides a battering ram and I found that very exciting it also made football a little easier and a little less of the drudgery that had become in terms of I could now go to practice and have something to look forward to other than just practice besides that I could keep my mind busy while I was standing around you could think cases while you were running place certainly, but you found the kind of knowing that there was something else going on than football. You could go with a little more enthusiasm on the practice and made it much easier now, he didn't much easier. I would just guess from hearing you talk that there must have been some times in there. We thought about getting out of football all together. A number of times. Unfortunately, I fell into the Trap that many athletes fall into that being the economic trap. The money was just too good to Ward away from where do you go at that age to earn even half that amount of money to be honest with you when you're only skill is dead of a defensive line. And where do you go to do anything period where do you where do you find a job and that was the second component of law school it? Took me out of feeling trapped. By the money aspect of it because I knew that once I completed law school that I would be able to go out and whether it was on my own or with a law firm or someplace else earn a living. Hmm, and that was important just have to play football for the money as you work right the time right and yet even after you got out of law school you continue to play even after you had your degree and that right? Yes. In fact when I graduated I had (00:18:00) Two more years (00:18:02) under contract and I fully intended to play out those two years and that would be it as it turned out. I ended up going to Chicago and the opportunity came along to play longer and it was a real difficult decision as to whether I wanted to play longer now just given what we've just talking about that kind of surprises me so or had law school giving you so much more freedom in your mind that you felt like you could make the choice to play football. I thought it was it was for the first time in my career. It was a choice for me to make with a choice for me to make in terms of where to play whether to play and that resulted interestingly enough in a situation where the team that I was playing for was very much into they were very much interested in having me come back and that's can continue to play and that that was Harder, but you know, it's always nice to feel wanted and they were willing to make it worth my while. Mmm beyond anything. I would have anticipated in terms of money to come back and you know at some point I didn't have to continue to play but they made it so lucrative that if they made it difficult not to see wound up kind of having the Best of Both Worlds because you had the choice the best of all worlds one of the things that you know this real what that word again that that phrase it works. You're excused Alan. One of the interesting things about this last round of collective bargaining is you know free agency was the issue. Mmm and What players don't understand is there are more ways than one to have your freedom. If you have an alternative source of income if you have an alternative career, that is a very good way to have freedom. So it's not just a question of whether you're going to play in Minnesota or Chicago or Los Angeles or whatever else the question. What do you do for a living? What are you going to do for a living? If you have a choice all of a sudden no matter what you do, it winds up feeling better than if you're doing something even if you love it or loved it and you're stuck with it or feel stuck with that's exactly right now. Have you been involved personally Alan since you know through your experience in working with the with athletes of any of them come to you for advice or counseling, you know, how do I do this? How do I try to juggle these balls? How can I make it happen? I've talked with individuals here and there I haven't certainly been involved on any formal basis in that sort of thing. But sometimes people will come to you for I get a phone call every now and then somebody wants a little advice and I try to give them. At least from my perspective and from my experience what it's like in in terms of going to school or pursuing other career Alternatives. Is it your perception that with the way football salaries have risen in the last few years, especially that that players are now a little less inclined maybe to think about things outside of football just because the financial rewards are now so much greater in football. I'm not sure my perceptions at this stage come pretty much from what I read in the newspaper. I don't have much contact with any current players. And so my sense is that maybe things are changing the other way a little bit. Finally that people are realizing there is a need that there is a need to have something to do when you're done playing even you know, let's face it even if you Earn millions of dollars that someday at some point that career is going to end and you have to fill your days with something. That's that's just one of The Facts of Life, right? And if you're not filling your days with something productive, I would think that that would make life very difficult and I believe that athletes are now starting to realize that you know, you often see the argument when you get into economic issues in sports it well, you know in this particular sport players, I only have an average career length of so many years or at best. It's so many years but I think implicit in that is the argument that somehow you should be able to make all the money that any normal person would make through the course of a 40 or 50 year working career should be able to make all that money in 10 or 15 years as an athlete and I guess much as I you know, I think athletes are certainly certainly be as long as people are willing to pay to see him. They're certainly worth the their cut of the swag, but I just don't see where you should feel obliged to give them a lifetime's worth of in. In 10 or 15 years, I think there's probably some basis for that. You're feeling although you do run a number of risks as a football player. Hmm in terms of injury that may be entitle you to be paid a little more than somebody else does although I suspect there a lot of truck drivers out there that would say that they run a fair number of risk of injury risks of injury on a day-to-day basis. I think the better argument, is that as an athlete I generate a certain amount of income and to the extent that I am involved in generating that income I ought to be able to share in the benefits of correct. And that seems to me to be a better architecture. I don't mean to dominate the conversation. You folks are welcome to get into I'm J.G. Preston. This is portfolio on ksjn 1330. And my guest is Alan Page. It's coming up on 27 minutes after 12 o'clock. I'll give you the phone number two two seven six thousand. Go ahead and give us a call if you like and we'll put you on the air with Alan Page 2276 thousand is our phone number on sport folio. Now you say you'd been thinking about law pretty early on Alan and you actually started going to school first your second year in the NFL. What was it about law school that appealed to you. Is there something that you particularly wanted to do in life that you thought law would be the best Avenue to get a tour. Just what? It began probably with childhood dreams childhood visions of growing up to be a lawyer and what lawyers lives were like hmm this idea that lawyers make a lot of money that lawyers don't work hard. They go to the golf course every Wednesday afternoon those kind of dreams and as as you grow older you recognize that lawyers also play a role in the society in terms of Protecting individual rights. You also learned that lawyers play a role in dispute resolution. Some would say that lawyers play a role in creating disputes. That's a different topic a very different topic and I have always been a little bit fascinated with dispute resolution and how to resolve problems and to protect individuals rights and interests. And so the the second time around then you still had that motivation and the other things worked out that it was able to click that was able to click. Was it much of a problem being a celebrity law student did it create either good or bad effects with with your classmates or with the faculty? Not really it didn't Hard for me to say because I was always in the center of it. But from my perception that didn't help me at didn't hinder me. I was just another student. I felt even-handedly treated through the whole thing. Certainly. Yes, and that was at the U of M that at the University of Minnesota, right? We have some caller standing by to talk to Alan Page here on sport folio and we'll get ready to get to you in just a second. And if you'd like to get through don't forget our phone numbers to 276 thousand and we'll put you on the air with Alan Page here on sport folio. You're listening to ksjn 1330. It's 29 minutes after 12 o'clock. Hello. I'm Kate moose hoping you'll stay tuned to ksjn 1334. This week's edition of the week in review. We'll Trace developments in the presidential campaigns of the Republican and Democratic contenders and look at developments in the Middle East on the best of midday today Maya Angelou. Stay tuned for the weekend review at one o'clock on ksjn 1330 Minneapolis st. Paul. Pretty chilly in the Twin Cities. We're looking at a high just barely into double figures today, maybe up to 15 if we're lucky. It'll be kind of breezy get some clouds coming in after midnight tonight. The temperature will get below zero before the sun comes up Breezy again tomorrow and warmer and is a chance of some snow tomorrow about 40% chance with the high maybe back up to 30 and it will get above freezing. Once again. I will have my driveway shoveling finish there just a little bit of ice left and I refused to go out and do it myself. So come on son. All right, two to seven six thousand is our phone number call are standing by to talk to Alan Page here on sport folio will go to st. Paul. Hi John (00:27:15) curl Look At You is kind of a real role model for youth particularly black youth College kind of interested in your comments regarding the future of black youth in this country and you're well aware of all the single parent families and kids particular young mothers and that whole situation. How do you see that Rectify it? And and you know, do you see any role particularly for? Um black athletes in terms of maybe doing with youth and having different message besides just playing sports for kids (00:27:50) John just don't be too embarrassed. When I remind you, this is Alan Page and not Carl Eller cause I know you know, it's Alan Page 3. That's okay slip of the tongue. Just just want to make sure yeah, absolutely now that when you can address the issue, Very important issue seems to me that athletes black athletes in particular can play a very important role in sending the message to young black children to other disadvantaged children that there is more to life than sports that there is a hope for the future that that hope is found. I think in getting an education that with an education you open up a whole number of possibilities and that Life doesn't have to be. That of the disadvantaged. I mean there's clearly the argument that there are people who excel in sports one of the reasons they excels because they put a lot of time and effort and emotion into it. The argument is if that same time effort and emotion were applied to almost any field that person would find success in that field. That's correct. And one of the things that we tend to do particularly with black children with minority children is to push them in the direction of sports because that is a way out that is perceived to be a way out the fact is that that's a false perception very very few people make it as professional athletes not enough to what are their about 6,000 maybe sixty five hundred professional athletes in the world period period that's it. There are 230 million people in this country. The odds are long friend. The odds are real lungs something like one in eighteen thousand and something real crazy. Not much. Hope of that the people who make it big make it so big that it becomes almost an irresistible. Lure. It's out of proportion. Yeah, what we have to do is come up with some method to and this has to be done early on I'm not talking about with sophomores and juniors in high school. I'm talking about with first second third fourth fifth graders. Have to instill in them the desire to learn how to read learn how to write learn how to perform in school and the motivation to continue that once there, you know as they move through the process because education is the Hope and it's the only hope Athletics isn't going to to get anybody anywhere. Are you comfortable with the whole role model business the the notion that people would maybe be more likely to pay heed to what you say because you're Alan Page the football player or are you kind of like to look at that as an opportunity to you know For Better or Worse use that to do some things there was a time when I was not comfortable with that early on in my career. Now, I looked on it as a fantastic opportunity to get the message across that there is hope outside of Athletics and that is not to say that you can't be an athlete to in fact I am I think Athletics sports are important for development. because I think Physical development is as important as emotional and intellectual development but it can't be the only kind of development that you seek here. I think it's important to keep a keep a balance between the physical and the intellectual and I think that's possible and I like to think that I can be an example of that to give people some sense of hope that you can do both and I really enjoyed the group aspect of sports when I was younger when you just don't get a chance to get that in a classroom setting you don't although I think in the classroom setting you you do have a bit of a group feel one of the things as I've gotten older because of my involvement in in team sports. I've sort of started to enjoy individual sports more really simply because I'd never really been involved with them. I think that's part of my love of running is it's an individual sport. It's In that you rise and fall on your own efforts. Hmm. And I find that interest that is not to say that group and team sports are unimportant because I think they are 2276 thousand our phone number on sport folio with Alan Page. I'm J.G. Preston and we'll go to St. Paul. Once again, Ken. Hi, you're on. (00:32:39) Yes. I've got a couple questions. I was wondering when when you started running marathons and why and what your present running program is (00:32:47) started running, I believe it was 19. 76 77 thereabouts coming towards the end of my football career thinking about the future thinking that I know a lot of football players who have ended their careers and gotten fat and sloppy. Hmm, and I didn't want that for me about how much did you weigh at the time at the time I was about 250 pounds and struggling struggling to maintain maintain a that way keep your weight up to know to keep it down down really to keep it down and I didn't want to be one of those people that bloomed up when I was done. I thought well there has to be something that I can do in the future that I enjoy for a lifetime of activity that was about the time the running boom started and I got caught up in it and found it fascinating and these days I run not so much because I think it's going to make me healthier because whether it does or doesn't if I'm not enjoying it, I'm not sure that I would continue to do it and whether it does or doesn't doesn't guarantee that I'm going to live for a long time and I could walk out the studio and get hit by a truck and have this wonderfully strong heart. But at least to make sure you good transplant candidates, but these days I try to run this time of the year 40 miles a week in the summer time. I try to get up to between 50 and 60. I mean that's that's the level you see a lot of people who are involved in. Guitar competitive racing running that kind of distances true and that's pretty much the kind of mileage. I was running when I was I did some competing and was was at that mileage. I just sort of like the mileage. I like to run like to run longer distances. Uh-huh. You'll just like having the kind of the time on your own you you find yourself mulling over the job while you're out running or you just kind of let your mind wander some a little of both let the mind wander let it focus on specific things that I have to get done. It's a good way to spend time with friends many of my friends are Runners. It's a great time for my wife and I to have time alone together we run together and that's a fantastic time to be together. So there are a lot of good aspects of it. Do I remember right? Did you actually run in a marathon while you were still an active NFL player Iran Grandma's Marathon in 79, uh-huh and It was a wonderful experience. But that puts you in a very small Club the the NFL Marathon Club it put me in a in a very small club and I tell you I was not my my favorite day. I had a long hard afternoon and run a number of marathon since and have enjoyed each and every one of them you do you plan any competitive running or you just took on a get in the mood and sign up for something. I mean, do you look ahead and see yourself doing some there was a time when I planned it these days if something comes along and catches my fancy, I'll do it. I've gotten the last couple of years into longer distance events. I did the Edmund Fitzgerald hundred K. Did you really a couple of years ago? I did a race in Jackson Michigan. I think it was three or four years ago that involves actually a series of races starts off with a 10 K goes from there, too. (00:36:27) A (00:36:28) hundred yard dash than 400 meters in a mild in a marathon same day. Same same same same day. And I sort of like those Oddball kinds of things. It's 21 minutes before one o'clock here on ksjn 1330. I'm J.G. Preston Ellen Page's our guests on this portfolio this afternoon and we'll go to st. Paul to to 76 thousand is our phone number by the way, Jenny. Hi. Thanks for waiting. (00:36:53) Hi. I was wondering since you were busy running. Are you thinking about running it all for politics (00:36:59) after all his boss is a politician by nature. (00:37:03) And so I was wondering if you were thinking about running for something also. (00:37:14) Well, the thought has crossed my mind. I I don't see myself as an office Seeker. What is required in terms of trying to raise money is something that that personally I don't particularly care to do at this stage in my life maybe later as I as I get older and become more mature I'll be able to deal with that. But right now just because of the nature of having to go out and kind of and kneel down and ask for money. Yeah. Yeah, the pride Factor The Pride factor and really what it costs to run a campaign. Hmm. It's it's it's phenomenal and at this stage of my life. That's not something I want to I want to do something you've thought about is kind of a means to the the ends. You want to find pushed thought very seriously about it and that that feeling of mine the the not wanting to be a fundraiser. Creates a lot of conflict because I think I would make a good office holder. It's the office seeking that I have the problem with. Hmm. Unfortunately, that's how it is. Right too. Many of the best people I think is it just the process is a turn-off. The process is is very difficult. You know, when you look at the current campaign for the presidency, it's just phenomenal with those people go through and it takes a special breed of person person. I think to put themselves through that and not necessarily the breed of person you'd want to have holding the office unfortunately, but we haven't really talked about your job as assistant State Attorney General, but I know you're in the employment law division, that's correct and unlike your boss's job yours is not an elected position. It's called a pointed to Civil Service. What do you how do you just we serve at the pleasure of the Attorney General? I see well tell us how you serve him. well primarily what I do on a daily basis is defend claims against the state employment claims, whether they be discrimination or wrongful discharge. We provide advice to various state agencies with respect to employment matters. We are division is 11. I believe it's 11 attorneys right now. And we do just about everything that tangentially effects employment. We do some bankruptcy work. We do workers compensation. We get involved on occasion with unemployment compensation cases. We do a lot of wage an hour claims where we represent the department on behalf of various individuals in terms of trying to get to ensure that they are receiving proper payment for their for their work. And are you involved in the private sector at all to or just with the state and its agencies solely with the state and its agencies. We are not permitted to practice in the private Arena and to be quite honest with you given the workload that we have you couldn't do it. Any we couldn't begin to do it Alan Page our guests on sport folio back to the phones at 2276 thousand to Edina we go. Hi, (00:40:24) Chuck. Hi. Well, (00:40:42) people do recognize me running around the Lakes. Although most of the time it has to be the early bird because we generally run six o'clock in the morning and even on weekends. We're out of the house by 7:00 7:30. So people do recognize me they wave they said they say hello people who are running as fast or faster than I am may, you know, come by and want to chat but there's a there's a fair amount of recognition. My favorite is the type of response where people say, hey your Alan Page. I mean, that's that's kind of tough to come back to well. Yeah, as a matter of fact, well, then there's the one that's didn't you used to be allocated. It's always humbling 22276 thousand our phone number once portfolio 60 Minutes for one o'clock Chuck. Are you still want another question? (00:41:37) Yeah. Well, I've got a good lawyer joke, I don't sharks eat lawyers professional courtesy. (00:41:44) That's almost what's the one about the the difference being the the the dead lawyer and the dead deer of their skid marks in front of the deer is nothing we could we could do humor. Probably all I have ternoon and we probably won't we'll go back to the phones and go to Bloomington now on its portfolio with Alan Page. Hi Dale. (00:42:00) Good afternoon, Alan. Yes, when you left the Vikings one of the reasons given was that you wanted to play at about 225. If if that is a correct, if that's correct. Can you give us a little bit of your reasoning behind that desire and number two, are you willing to discuss any of your relationship with Bud Grant? (00:42:22) Let's see the second part. No. Mainly because I don't see any reason to not something that I spend a lot (00:42:29) of my question is not to be controversial. It's just interesting to strong personalities both successful people, you know, the the Dynamics of that type of relationship more than to try to generate controversy (00:42:45) only not something I spend a lot of time thinking about are analyzing and trying to figure out and that's primarily why I'm not interested in discussing it the fact is (00:42:56) that (00:42:58) when I started running back in late 76 early 77 my interest was in being healthy. I didn't have any preconceived idea that I wanted to lose weight. And serving no preconceived idea of how much weight I wanted to lose. it occurred to me, however that having a lot of body fat is not conducive to being healthy. And when I started running I started losing body fat and it didn't necessarily bother me one way or the other and I wasn't looking at a football career in terms of playing at a given weight. I was I was concerned about being healthy and concerned about my future and that was that was only the only thing that was involved with the with the weight loss and I had the sense that I could continue to perform at a level which I found acceptable and at a level which I think was At or above the level that I performed before and so it didn't bother me at least personally a whole lot in terms of losing the weight. So it strikes me as nuts because I was young and naive at the time and so I it's hard for me to go back and put myself in the context of 10 12 years ago. But I mean here you were doing something to increase your overall. I mean your cardiovascular all kinds of they were all kinds of positive benefits from running and yet you were looked down on criticized for considered almost a wacko just because NFL players traditionally play 30 or 40 pounds over their natural body weight. That's that's true in the other interesting thing was that the weight I lost was simply Mass. It wasn't muscle mass. It was fat bulk. It was just it wasn't helping me. Hmm. I suppose in terms of of situations where you had to hit somebody and some external minimum would help I suppose I lost that but beyond that I didn't lose a whole lot. Certainly, I don't think I lost any strength and I was never all that big and strong. Anyway, I mean, I was already lighter than most offensive lineman. So being a little little lighter still really wasn't for my perception at least wasn't going to matter a whole lot and I don't know that it changed much in terms of the way. I played 12 minutes before one o'clock. We have several caller standing by for Alan Page here on sport folio. And if you'd like to get through to to 76 thousands or phone number, we still have some room left before the the end of the hour. We have a caller standing by in Golden Valley. Hi Robert Hi, how are you? (00:45:48) I'm fine. Thank you and not finding any I guessed any employment in the job market in the private sector. It seems that Minnesota has had any number of national Hall of Fame athletes including Alan and Help them Rod Carew in the nature and there just doesn't seem to be any place other than probably in the governmental sector for black athletes. I'd like to have a valid address that if you (00:46:19) would well first of all, I started my practice in the private sector and found that the private sector didn't interest me that I that the government practice practicing in the in the public service in the public interest was more to my liking and so from that standpoint there are opportunities available. As with most athletes whether they be black or otherwise, you have to have some skill. You have to have some marketable skill. There aren't many employers out there who are interested in having athletes or anybody else around who is not going to be productive and there aren't many employers out there. Who As I said once somebody without basic skills, there's very little use for a professional glad-hander. There's a very little use there are a lot of athletes both black and white who have the same kind of problem and that is that they don't have the skills, but they do not have the (00:47:29) skills. What about in the area of public? And that seems to be a fairly. I don't want to say non-skilled area. But at least it seems to be one that would be accommodating at least two nationally known figures. (00:47:43) Certainly, that's a that's it. That's a difficult question. I think. And I'm not quite sure how to respond to it. The the important thing I think is that athletes have to understand that they have to develop some skill one skill that that athletes do have and many of them have the desire to extend their lives in sports. They do have knowledge about sports. They make great coaches. Hmm. They make great coaches and that's an area where they don't get an opportunity both, you know at the high school level the college level or the professional level and it's not just here in the Twin Cities. It's across this nation that there are a lot of athletes out there who with a little with just a little training on-the-job training would make very good coaches at all levels. That's one of the real Frustrations of sports is that blacks have been successful on the playing field, but that has not translated into careers after their playing days and I think black athletes as have the same ability and skills that white athletes who do go on to become coaches. They could do it just as well and let's face it at least for now that that even intensifies the pressure for the black athlete to find something outside of sports just because you know, you kind of I mean the line is de facto drawn for you right now is to where you're going to go in sports. Absolutely. They this is this is really a two-fold. Two-fold problem in one it's the the athletes themselves have to understand that they have something that they have to prepare for. Hmm. The second part of it is that employers have to begin to understand that you know, there are skilled people out there who can do the job for them. Do you think it's possible that the any kind of legal case of discrimination could ever be broader proved against in particularly NFL For talking about blacks and coaching positions now. I think it's possible. I think it's it's it's an interesting question would be interesting for somebody to challenge the system. The problem is that if you challenge the system in that way you're out of it. You're out of it forever. Mmm it to have standing to do something like that. It would take somebody who's actually been denied a job. It would it would take somebody who had applied who was qualified had been denied the job and then it would be a very iffy proposition. Even then. Let's say somebody came to you as a lawyer somebody in that position to ask for your advice saying, you know, I recognize I want to try to do some good to change this. I'm frustrated not finding a job in coaching. I'm willing to maybe sacrifice my future in this business to finally open things up. Is there enough there do you think would you recommend that that somebody who was interested in taking the personal sacrifice go through with something like that? I think if the the fact situation were right. Hmm, I think it would be Worth pursuing very much worth pursuing and it might indeed be able to open the door somewhere down the line. Let's face it. It advances that minorities have made in the society have primarily come from two places one is through legal action. And the other is through Civil Disobedience and to that end certainly pursuing the legal alternative is a is an important Avenue. Two two seven six thousand our phone number with Alan Page. We've got four or five minutes to go before the end of the hour. We'll try to squeeze these last callers in go to st. Paul and that literate literary friend of mine GC. I GC. (00:52:01) I JJ. Hi Alan. I had a sort of a couple of follow-up calls one with regard to you're trying to encourage young students minorities and disadvantaged to into Alternatives other than just becoming a star professional athlete when you do this, do you have you been encouraged or discouraged by by your personal efforts and secondly given the you've been through a draft before it sounds a little bit like you're angling for and are you interested in political draft and also given your interest in settling disputes. What about a judgeship down the line for Alan Page and Minnesota are in the federal (00:52:49) system. Well, first of all, I've never liked drafts your free enterprise guy second. I think my skills pretty my legal skills are best suited to someday being a judge and I would hope that at some point in my life that will happen. I think that's where I can utilize my skills the best but also hopefully make a contribution to society. And the third part of this decision not getting the message getting the message through that there needs to be more than Sports. I have spent a fair amount of time over the last eight or nine years talking to various groups both large and small in terms of trying to get the message out that there is hope Beyond Athletics and I am discouraged at times and encourage the times my sense is that you know, the more I talk about it the more other people talk about it. The more people become aware the the greater likelihood that people and Young The Young will get the message the problem. Is that when you have one individual speaking It's hard to create enough ripples to get the message out there. There's a limit to how many people you need directly content. You can contact but my sense is that over the last four or five years on a national basis that there is more talk about education and and focusing our young children in that direction. And I think that's encouraging that's really interesting. We have time for one final question on sport folio this afternoon. Unfortunately, I'll have to be brief. I hate to put the constraints on you Tom, but go right (00:54:51) ahead. Okay. The question is simple you made a remark earlier that the takes average of four years to get through college. Well actually takes longer than that. So what's wrong with the idea if they really want to give athletes in education of having a five year scholarship, especially if some of these Proposition 42 players instead of a four-year scholarship. I know it's more expensive and I you know wouldn't be able to have as many of them. But if you're really interested in education wouldn't that be a better way to go give the guy a chance to really (00:55:16) learn and that's actually become policy at the U of M and Probably a lot of other the bigger schools around the country is just to assume the fifth year. We don't have time to think to discuss the many number of things that I think would be simple to do may or may not create additional cost but given the the amount of Revenue that student athletes bring into a school seems to me that cost shouldn't be all that big a factor in terms of the number of things that that colleges and universities can do to ensure that student athletes get an education. There is the idea that you know five years what's wrong with six years nothing wrong with that what's wrong with utilizing the institution itself to teach some of these kids because often times they do I hear music in the back. Yeah, but you can finish your sentence often often times. These kids come to school without The background what about getting them the background so that at some point, you know, if you've raised their abilities and skills from the fifth grade level to the ninth grade level. You've given them something in return for their athletic participation, and that's another program, which maybe we'll do some time now, and I've really enjoyed it. Thanks very much for coming over. Thank you. I've enjoyed it Alan Page Our Guest on sport folio this afternoon. My thanks to associate producers who winking In Absentia to Jeff mcandrew who answered the telephones and to Jeff Walker who did the technical Wizardry. Thank you guys very much. I'm J.G. Preston. Thank you for listening and we'll see you again here next week Saturday at noon on sport (00:56:58) folio. (00:57:13) You're listening to ksjn 1330 Minneapolis-Saint Paul just about one o'clock coming up next world and national news from the Associated Press. Stay tuned right after that Kate moose will be back with the weekend review here on ksjn. (00:57:24) I'm an sea lions (00:57:30) battle lines may not have to be drawn this time around (00:57:33) concerning President Reagan's night. You're listening to ksjn 1330 Minneapolis-Saint Paul just about one o'clock coming up next world and national news from the Associated Press. Stay tuned right after that Kate moose will be back with the weekend review here on ksjn. I'm an sea lions battle lines may not have to be drawn this time around concerning President Reagan's night.