Carl Eller inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame

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Carl Eller, who played for the Minnesota Vikings from 1964 to 1979, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Sunday. "What can I do with this great honor?" he asked in his acceptence speech. "I can use it to help young African-American males to participate fully in this society. I can give a message that will lead them toward the great colleges and universities of our nation, not to prisons and jail cells." Eller, who was one of the first African-Americans to play for the Minnesota Gophers back in 1961, talks about football and race with Gary Eichten. He also takes questions from MPR listeners.

Read the Text Transcription of the Audio.

(00:00:10) And good morning. Welcome to midday on Minnesota Public Radio. I'm Gary eichten Carl Eller finally made it on Sunday former University of Minnesota. Minnesota Vikings football star Carl Eller was finally inducted into the National Football League Hall of Fame. We say finally because it took Carl Eller 25 frustrating years in his final year of Eligibility to finally be recognized by Hall of Fame voters for what he was namely one of the greatest football players of all time, but justice has been served Carl Eller is now an official Hall of Famer and he's joined us today to take your questions. But to begin we wanted to focus on Carl ehlers acceptance speech that he gave on Sunday now during his speech as you might expect are all Elder said thanks to lots of people including former University Minnesota football coach Murray Warmoth who recruited Eller from the segregated South to play football here at the you he talked about football making it possible for him to get a college education and A successful professional career the car llr who has spent his post-football life working on a variety of drug rehab and social service programs also used his acceptance speech to address some issues that go far beyond the World of Sports here is part of what Carl Eller had to say on (00:01:26) Sunday. And I asked a question to what do I owe this great honor? And it's a good one. What can I do with this great honor of being inducted to the Football Hall of Fame Class of 2004. My answer is I want to use this platform to help young African-American males to participate fully in this Society. I know that we must give young African-American men a message that will leave them in the direction differently where from many of them are headed today. I want them that direction to be headed towards the great universities and colleges of our nation not to the prisms and jail cells. African-American young men as well as young women must know that they are part of the establishment and not separate from it that they are part of this Great America. They must know that their parents and grandparents and their grandparents parents before them helped build this great country and parents. Yes. We do have a great challenge before us maybe the greatest in history. And that is we must teach our kids the value and importance of Education teach them to be members of this Society to participate fully and have a respect for Country laws and customs. Show them that if he want this country to do the right thing that we must do the right thing and the teach our children to be actively involved in everything that's going on in this country. Barack Obama There's a fine young man and a great example. But he is not unique contrary to what we see in our media controlled experiment wherein a media dominated society which has focused on the negative in the African-American communities and other communities of color. There are hundreds if not thousands Barack Obama's out there. We must educate our children. That's the Paramount's challenge like Bill Cosby says we must give all children books. But first we must know what books to give them books to help them understand our economy books on technology technological and scientific and biological advances being made every day books on relationships not just with each other but on our foreign neighbors and certainly books on how to participate in our political system. I promise I promise young men and women and I specifically say again to African American males because it seems that our country has turned its back on you and it seems that some areas have even given up. Hope I am here today to say I haven't given up on you and you need to know because I know that you have the talent you have the intelligence and now you have the opportunity to make rice of this great occasion, and I'm calling on you now to do the right thing. Don't let all of the hard work of your forefathers have done to make this a great country. Go to waste young men of African American descent hear me now. It breaks my heart. And it breaks all of our hearts. This is not your future your forefathers have built for you. This is not the future that we fought for in the 50s and 60s and 70s, but breaks our heart is to see you involved in gangs and selling drugs and killing each other that breaks our hearts. We put our lives on the line so that you can enjoy the freedoms that that we enjoy today. We put our lives on the line yesterday so that someone there could be a Barack Obama today and there could be a curler today and there could be other Hall of Famer sitting before you today. So now I stand here and say to you if the future of America's to be strong you must be strong. You must hear the cries of our forefathers and pick up the fight that has helped to make this country great and help make it what it is stay know that you are loved and respected and we have high hopes for you. Maybe higher than what you imagine. But if this country is to be a winner you are to be a winner. There'll be a Winner Takes Two things and I think those two things are courage and commitment. It takes courage to be a winner. If you have courage you can overcome you can conquer fear and you can conquer despair. And you must be too committed to your goals and to your cause and commitment means being bound to a course of action spiritually emotionally and intellectually these two things separate the winners from the losers. And you must be a winner not losers and you can tell the winners from the losers. Here's how you can tell the winners from the losers. The winner is always part of the answer. The loser is always part of the problem. The winner always has a program. The loser always has an excuse. The winner says let me do it for you. And the loser says that's not my job. The winner sees an answer for every problem and the loser sees a problem in every answer. The winner sees a green near every sand trap the losses these two or three sand traps near Evergreen. The winner says, it may be difficult, but it is possible. And the loser says it may be possible, but it's too difficult. Ladies and gentlemen, young men young ladies, especially the young men that I'm talking to be the winners be the winners. God bless you. Thank you very much. Thank (00:08:16) you. Newly minted National Football League Hall of Famer former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Carl Eller speaking Sunday at induction ceremonies at the National Football League Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. Karl Mueller has joined us this hour in the studio to talk about his career and his broader concerns. And if you'd like to join our conversation, we invite you to give us a call six five one two, two seven six thousand. That's our Twin City number 6512276 thousand toll free number is 1-800-218-4243 or comment online go to our website, Minnesota Public Radio dot org and click on send a question Carl Eller. Congratulations. It's about time. Thank you Gary. I certainly agree with that was the Chuck forever. That was the long wait finally worth it. Oh, the long wait was definitely worth it. You know, I just returned from Canton Ohio. That's where the Hall of Fame is. First of all the people at Canton go all out. They do everything. It was just a wonderful weekend. And of course just getting enshrine into the Hall of Fame is just it's more that you can even express. I'm still unclouded 9 you ever when you were a youngster imagine something like that happening in your life. No, I never really did it especially as a youngster, you know, I got a late start and football was something that came after I entered high school and that began to create visions of dreams for me. But you know getting to this point even to the National Football League was not something I could foresee until really early in my college career probably at the earliest you have received lots of notice and lots of praise for your comments to Young African-American males you suppose they were listening to you was going to have much impact. Well the speech itself I think is a start, you know, this is opening the doors. Kind of breaking the silent, you know many people, you know in all walks of life from all areas of society. This is an area of concern for the men and many of them, you know hurt my heard my call a lot of the people that we're trying to reach maybe didn't but they'll get this message. What I'm hoping is that this is only a beginning and not the end point to follow up with this with her with a tremendous effort somehow. Mmm, as you know, you were referencing Bill Cosby in your speech and his comments which have been both widely praised and widely criticized in the black community. What about this notion that when you talk about the need for for especially a young African-American males to stand up and get started with things do it the right way that you're blaming the victim no course not I'm not blaming the victim what I'm saying is this is is that my emphasis I was on the path that's already been created, you know, a lot of African-Americans and I'm one of them have really benefited and prospered from the efforts from before, you know, the things like the Civil Rights Movement part of which I took part in. So the opportunities are there. They're very very different than they are today. In fact, I speak with many many people and part of the reason I started this because I heard the cries from you know people in colleges people in trade schools people with jobs were saying well, how do I get these African-American young men? How do I get these guys involved? How do I get them interested? Mmm. You said in a segment that we didn't hear earlier in your speech that all professional and college athletes should be role models to help folks along a lot of athletes reject that notion. Well Gary, you know, I've been on both sides of the fence with this but since my induction, I am solidly in the in the Mindset and in the group that says yes athletes particularly professional athletes and also College athletes. Should we be role models? And the reason I say that is because you don't really know and you don't really realize the impact that you have on someone else and of course athletes aren't the only ones who can be Role Models, you know other people can have an impact to but an athlete particular the statue they holding this country have such presence in such exposure and so many people are exposed to them in so many ways and they are they are presented as Role Models they are presented as the epitome. So when you have that role in you have that statue then the other requirements is that to fulfill that role totally now you had some rough patches in your life along the way what kept you moving in the right direction though. So many so many folks they run into trouble and they get into trouble. Well, you know, I ran into trouble and you know had some really really difficult times. Fortunate that I was able to grasp on do you know to some straws and help help pull me out of those and I had friends and you know certainly was not easy, but I think it's important that I had an opportunity to realize that there were things that I wanted, you know, and this wasn't what that I stood for deep in my heart. I had some very different values, you know, I wanted to have my family be proud of me and to be a respected person in the community. Not not someone that Community, you know didn't didn't care about Carla is our guest he is now a member of official member of the National Football League Hall of Fame. He's joined us here in the studio. Matter of fact, you have the official Hall of Fame jacket sport coat on very nice. Well, I do it's a nice goal and you know, they give it to you on the weekend that to give it to you first time on Saturday night and then they kind of take it back because the instruments on Sunday and then they Give it back to you again, and then they actually take it back again because it want you to word for the Monday Night Football game. So when I got it, the last time is officially mine, and so I'm kind of wearing it today, you know, just to make sure you'll probably see me strutting around and you know not taking out the garbage or more in the lawn, but you might see me sitting on the patio in it. Carla is our guest and if you'd like to join our conversation, give us a call here at 6512276 thousand 6512276 thousand toll free number is 1-800-218-4243 or comment online go to our website, Minnesota Public Radio dot org and click on send to question Taro. Your first go ahead please can you I'm sorry. Can you turn your radio down please? There we go. Whoops. Well, okay, we're at let me put you on hold to our and we'll see if we can get our technical problems squared away with your phone call and meanwhile, we've got a an online question for you Carl Eller from Dana in Edina. And Dana asked would mr. Eller be willing to make his eloquent speech available online. I was inspired by his words on the differences between winners and losers. Well, we should note that it will be available on our website. So people be able to get it there to talk a little bit more about this this difference in the end and how you can get people to focus on goldarn it I'm going to do the right thing instead of an easy thing. Okay. Well, I'm glad you're going to have it available on your website. It also will be available from transcript from the NFL Professional Football Hall of Fame. First of all, the winners and losers is an Anonymous piece it was something that I've actually used before. I don't really know who the Creator was but it's something that I've used and I just was so attracted to it because I think that there is a distinct difference between those people that have a winning attitude or went in philosophy and winning behavior that follows that and those were it was very poignant. The way that that was that was, you know, Illustrated and it's kind of been a guideline for me to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. All right, let's try at our again. Go ahead (00:16:40) please. Hi. I wanted to say congratulations and that when I heard that I was driving into work when I heard the speech and it was just so beautiful and so eloquent that it brought me to tears and I just I'm I will pass that message along to everybody. I know cuz I think it was it was beautifully put (00:16:58) well, thank you Tyra and you know the message it just was something that was was on my heart. I I thought too long about it. It wasn't just this message. But when I was inducted into the Hall of Fame, you know, it really is a great honor was something that I waited on for a long long time. And when it finally happened that you know, I realize how valuable and how precious it was to me, but it just seemed broader than that. It just seemed that like I didn't think I was a big enough to work this just by myself and and you know was with the Gratitude I said, I'd like to be able to use this in some way and I struggle really with just how and I had ideas. I talked to some friends about it and other interests and things like that and I do have some other inches, but this was the one that really stuck out because other people were saying well, what do we do? How can we get a grip on this problem? I'm I wanted to talk just a little bit about how you came to Minnesota in the first place. You got recruited to play football at the University of Minnesota. And this was at a time when there weren't all that many black athletes at the U of M. But there was a wave of you fellows who came in and and led the U of M to two national championships. What was that? Like were you well received here or where there are a lot of suspicions. What was that all about? Well, you know, you're right. I came to the University of Minnesota. I started University of Minnesota in 1960 and at that time really what brought me to the University of Minnesota because the southern schools were still segregated, you know, they were not there the student body was not integrated nor did they have black athletes on their athletic teams? And I like to think that Sandy Stevens was a Pioneer, you know, and he just was a not only a player at the University of Minnesota, but was like a black quarterback and you know kind of LED those national championship teams, but a lot of us came to Minnesota because those opportunities were here in Minnesota that they weren't in those Southern schools. So there was a real Advantage for a lot of the northern schools are doing that period And but you are well received and I was well received and Minnesota was a was just so different from where I'd come from in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Siddiqa your comment, please (00:19:17) yeah, I think I just want to thank mr. Ella. I'm a little bit nervous. But I think that was a tremendous speech you made the other day. I'm from Africa. I came here at the age of 17 now. I'm about 29 but I mean what I realize is I mean, there's not a lot of educational support Block. It's a getting in this country and I think they are also very much brainwashed. You know when I go to I went to school I work hard and now I have my degree, but when I go to the park to play basketball with the kids, I don't hear any constructive comments from them. All I hear from them is talking about using things like the f words and n words instead of focusing on more constructive conversation. So I think my suggestion would be if black latest would get together and have some sort of national dialogue to address this issue. We sometimes I remember when I was going to school and working full time. Some people would just tell me what are you going to school for? I mean that's a white man thing, you know, so they would just laugh at me. I think it's very important that blackly that's inculcate those values into the mindset of young black (00:20:48) people. Okay? Thanks Judy. I said dick. I really appreciate your comments. That's really the kind of Avenue that I'm thinking along. It's almost like they are brainwashed and if they're brainwashed with the wrong message, I mean, they're brainwashed with with the idea that education is not good. You know what these these very basic intrinsic values are somehow they're running away from and they're and they're going in a direction which is which is harmful and I want to add to you know, I'm really speaking to even though it's a large group. It's only a portion of the population because a lot of young men and women are striving and doing well and and actually prospering in this Society, but you are addressing. In the the critical Crux of this is I don't think that there is a support out there for the things that we're talking about for like the education for for doing the right things for looking at citizenship. You know what I think that leadership that dialogue is actually what I was hoping that would happen. I'm not coming here with any solutions, but I do know that there's a problem and and I think that dialogue is a starting point. What do you think Carl Eller makes the difference for for young people though? As you say most most of the kids do fine, you know, they work hard to get the best education they can so and so forth. But then there is a large number of kids who don't what do you suppose is the difference? Well, you know, I think that it really takes a lot of resources to kind of get on the right track and and as a parent, you know, and I realize that and it's not just you know, all diapers and baby food. There's a lot of emotional support lot of a you know education you To be there and I think a lot of our families really haven't had that a don't have that don't have that particularly for the young men that are just coming up today and maybe even already into adulthood that they're not getting this basic support and getting these basic values at home Tony quick question here before we break for (00:22:50) news. Yes, but mine. I don't know if it's quick. But the question I wanted to ask Carl. It's not a question. There is the seems to be Okay, (00:23:01) it's still there. Go (00:23:02) ahead. Oh god, there seems to be an unspoken conflict between African-Americans and Africans who immigrated here. There is this huge misunderstanding and mistrust between them? Nobody's talking about them. I've been asked in several places if they re disease between is a division between African-Americans and Africa back there when I answered. Yes this lady actually cried, but she filter on understand that Africans in Africa do not understand what is happening very much to African-Americans here and African Americans themselves. Do not understand. What is happening there. The only see what the TV gives to them. (00:23:43) All right. How do you how do you bridge that Gap? Well, I think that there's a gap there and it's unfortunate that Gap is there I think again, it's still part of the the brainwash. I think when we see Africans from Africa that do come to this country. I think that they do not have a good image. Of African Americans that are here and I think that they there's kind of some mistrust there and I think as the other the other way too because I believed that African see African Americans. I mean a see Africans come and then they get in school and they get into colleges and a lot of them come with a high sense of achievement and they really do well and I think that there's some jealousy there, you know how these guys come here and they get all the breaks and it could all the things and so there's just some real misconceptions are you know, I feel that one of the things that we need to do is African-Americans is the we need to to get some some some, you know, some type of presence because I think there are a lot of ways that we can help in the country of Africa to there. There's some there's some things from my my interpretations that we could help we should be able to really help them into the native land and we should be able to do that really soon. Our Allah is our Carl Miller is our St. Ri so just on Sunday was inducted into the national Hall of Fame for his feets on the football field is a Minnesota Viking but Hall of Famer all around he has joined us this hour to take your questions you'd like to join our conversation. Give us a call six five. One two, two seven six thousand or one eight hundred two, four two two eight two eight or you can send in your question or comment online go to our website, Minnesota Public Radio dot org and click on send a question. By the way. We should note that Carl Eller is currently working with the Community Health Partnership a partnership that's been formed by the Vikings align the hospitals and the Medtronic Foundation to try to generate some interest in external defibrillator defibrillators, which are designed to treat sudden cardiac arrest and a Carl Eller will be at the Vikings preseason game Saturday night to make the first presentation of though the new defibrillator. We're going to take a break here for headlines when we come back. We'll have some more questions for Karl Eller. Minnesota Public Radio presents concerts and lectures that bring public radio ideas to the stage. We have a full season of shows coming up including the Second City Comedy troupe a Heartland holiday concert with Peter astroscope and a magnificent Christmas concert by the renowned choir of King's College Cambridge come out and see a little bit of Public Radio Live and in person there are a lot of events and you'll find all the details on our website. Visit Minnesota Public Radio dot org and click on events. All right. Let's catch up on the latest headlines yours 20 Randolph Tony. Thanks Gary. (00:26:38) Some hotels are already warning guests to stay away as tropical storm. Charlie barrels toward the Florida Keys State officials say they'll consider evacuating the island chain tomorrow, but it's a slow process because only one road leads out in the Gulf tropical storm. Bonnie is heading for the Florida Panhandle, the two leaders of the 9/11 commission are back on Capitol Hill urging repairs for intelligence problems chairman Thomas Kane tells lawmakers a new supervisor. Eyes are for all us intelligence would be like a football quarterback with a broad view of action on the field officials. Say six people are dead and some 20 others injured in a head-on train crash in Northwest turkey firefighters are trying to enter the first car of one train to pry out passengers. The car was smashed and flipped over one passenger says it looks like an accordion Bulgaria says it is confirmed the death of a second truck driver seized in Iraq in June. The foreign Ministry says DNA tests identified a body found in a river last month was the Bulgarian hostage militants seized the men in mosul. The other man's body was found last month in Regional news supporters of legalizing. Marijuana for medicinal purposes have submitted a petition to get the issue on the November ballot in Minneapolis about eight thousand signatures were needed but citizens organized for harm reduction submitted 12,000. The elections office has begun certifying the signatures. A couple of areas in Minnesota tied record lows this morning. The overnight low in the Twin Cities was 47 degrees that ties a record set in 1968 and in Hutchinson the Mercury reached 40 for tying a record set in 1967. It'll be mostly cloudy and cool today with a Chance of scattered showers highs from the mid-50s to the mid 60's right now in St. Cloud. It's 55 degrees 51 in Rochester and 54 in the Twin Cities. That's the latest now back to you Gary. (00:28:39) Thanks, Tony 25 minutes before twelve over the noon hour. It's off to the National Press Club live Press Club luncheon today featuring the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Richard Lugar who among other things we'll be talking about what he sees as the greatest security threats facing the United States. He says that's the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and he has some ideas on what to the next Administration should do about At problem, so we'll hear from him live over the noon hour this are we're talking with new National Football League Hall of Famer Carl Miller who for 14 years was a star defensive end for the Minnesota Vikings finishing off his career in Seattle prior to that. He was a star at the University of Minnesota and has turned a lot of heads with his acceptance speech at induction ceremonies on Sunday talking about some big societal problems in the calling on folks to start paying attention. Carl Miller is here to take your questions. I'd like to join our conversation six five one two, two seven six thousand or again 1-800 to for 22828 or send in your question or comment online go to Minnesota Public Radio dot org and click on send a question Chris. You're next. Go ahead, please (00:29:56) Carl first. I want to say congratulations to the Hall of Fame. And I'm 14 and I'd like some advice on making it to the NFL. (00:30:11) Okay, Chris, that's a really good question. I don't know if there's any straight line or any one answer, but I think your Ambitions are very Noble and the national football league's and exciting place, you know to to play and to be part of the biggest thing. I think Chris you're 14. I have to tell you to really study. Well, make sure you get the required courses in high school so that if you are on a team and play well enough that you get some recognition from a college that you've got all the requirements to get in and perhaps get a scholarship to go to college our Sports good for kids or do they do they get them off track? Well, I think sports are good for kids for a number of reasons one is a and this is really not the reason but it does really occupy a lot of their time and it takes a some dedication to end the Add to that the other thing is is develops a camaraderie. You have teammates you have some common interests and develop some bonds are very early on and those are really good things you get common interest and of course you get a chance to physically and mentally pursue some of the you know, the skills that it'll help you later Steve your question for Carl Eller. (00:31:25) Yeah, how you doing? First? Let me congratulate you a course on the induction also like to say that that speech was very very powerful. I've heard it twice now, I can't get enough of it. My comment is the I grew up in Chicago in a neighborhood bossy called East Lawndale. I was one of the last white kids and many years ago a much younger Jesse Jackson. I was involved in the gangs and the drug scene. They're much younger. Jesse Jackson told a much younger me that I had an advantage and it was the color of my skin and I should use it now looking back 30 years later. I know that I've succeeded in life because I've had doors open to me. So my common is that it's not it's not it's important. The black community to come together, but it's also important for the white Community to recognize the restrictions that they put on people that are qualified intelligence and willing to do everything that I've done in my life. (00:32:17) Well, I really appreciate comments and and those restrictions and doors and barriers are there and I'm not sure how how long they will be there. But the thing that I have to say is that a lot of them have been lowered and I want to say they've been removed but I do know that the opportunities are there and partly I'm a result of it in many other people that I know and many other people have achieved because they of us ought to go in the direction of where the opportunities were, you know it and I'm not just talking with African-American certainly. This is not something we can solve alone but it is something that we must address and recognize that in order to pursue those goals in order to accomplish those things. We really have to take advantage has advantage of those opportunities that are there. I mean whether it's Occasion or job, but I just talked with a guy this morning that said well, we really need to recruit in. This is in the health field. I was out talking with a group of health professionals and there are so many opportunities. There's a shortage actually in in in most Fields today the particular the technical fields in order to get those and make an entry you need to be prepared in that takes groundwork. So irregardless, even if those doors were open and you're not prepared the opportunity is not going to come Marlene know your question, please (00:33:33) hi. Congratulations on your induction. And my question is how can we help athletes in general and African-American athletes in particular be more responsible about conceiving children and parenting them so that we can break the cycle of kids not having role models that they need. (00:33:49) Well one of the things is that is I think with the African American athletes in young athletes young African-American men in general is that they really do need to assume that responsibility and part of that is on you. African-American women to I think that you know, they see this Limelight and they think that Athletics is gonna really be their ticket and it may be but not always but it certainly can provide some opportunities what I would say and I have a daughter I have two daughters actually, but what I would say, is that the young man that you you date or become involved interested in make sure that this person is going somewhere has some goals and dreams and and if you develop a relationship with that person make sure the kind of person that you really want to be involved with that. There are some values don't be just attracted to the bling-bling they say, you know, and I think that's important. The thing about parenting is what I've learned is that I said earlier, it's not just a diapers in the baby food. You have to be there for that emotional support. They need you they look for Direction. They look for guidance and it looked for strength within that parent. One thing that was largely overlooked your son Regis gave you a gave the introductory speech at the Induction ceremonies and he pointed out that when you are in your Heyday kind of your choice or wherever you might want to live you chose to live in North Minneapolis when you know, so many other folks were moving to a more exclusive suburbs and so on. Why was that well, you know, and I've never really been asked this question. I suppose it really wasn't out there before but what I like about living in North Minneapolis is as I can see, you know, young African-American kids standing on the corner waiting for the bus and maybe their parents walking them back to the bus and and I wouldn't see that if I lived in some of the other communities, you know, they see little monk kids or a little you know Latino kids and that really makes me feel good. That's the I just love that and and being able to do that see other people walk by on the way to the basketball court or on the way to the park or coming home from school and old ladies going to church. You know, that that that's where it word is for me and I just love that and I would not have that if I didn't live there we have spent almost no time talking about football. So I better ask an online football question that came in here Andy from Minneapolis says since you were on the best defensive line in football in your era sort of I can said defensive line including fellow Hall of Famer Ellen Page who had the best offensive line that you played against. Well, I think the probably the best offensive line probably would be the Miami Dolphins and because we played them doing their perfect season doing the 72 and they had to 17 and oh we lost them in the Super Bowl, but they probably had more success particularly against running the particularly running the ball against anybody, you know, the Oakland Raiders. They probably have more people that actually made it to the hall of fame Bob Brown being the last one and enshrine of the winning with me, but I think that that Miami Dolphin line was probably Really great executors mention the Super Bowl. So I've got to ask the question what in the heck happened great teams, four times four bites out of the apple and four times the Vikings came up short. Well, it's hard to explain but the thing is is that we were challenged and we were motivated to go back and I think that that did keep the drive going for us and enable us to be on top or dominant team for about a 10-year period but we were never able to get that that Golden Ring. I'll get the prize. The championship is something we want it very much, you know, just to simplify to say the best team one is really an over simplification. But in reality that's that's what it was. We just got beat by that team today for any variety of reasons, but overall, I think we had really one of the best teams in professional football during that period do you think had you had an opportunity to say I don't play a best of three series against the These teams that you would have done better. Yeah, we would have done better. We probably would have won two of those three, you know and probably because those games were close and and the other thing is that those were mostly games we would teams we were not familiar with you know, because we hadn't played them before doing this season or didn't really have a history. That's because AFL and NFL those kinds of things. So a lot of times we would come in and not really have a enough preparation. So we would go with you know, kind of what we thought was was our standard and I think that they probably had a good preparation time because we were on that track of getting to the Super Bowl so they probably anticipated it's being there know that period and we're more familiar with us when you are playing did you have fun playing or was it a job that you did extraordinarily? Well, it was a joy for me. I was just great. You know, I'd go out brutal game. So it's a brutal game at but I think the enjoyment comes if you do it well and If you can Excel the you know, and the thing that I regret probably most now as I age in mature is a losing the physical prowess, you know, it's just being able to go out and run and jump and make your body do what you wanted to do and and you compete against other guys that are just physically, you know magnificent. So it was a one-to-one competition and when you win that contest, it's just a great feeling interesting online question for you hear from John and Mankato John asks what Carl have listened to someone like himself when he was going through his young adult life. Well, I would have and some people did have an influence on me. You know, I mentioned a gentleman named Norman King wasn't kind of a mentor, but I was impressed just by seeing him and have exposure to him in my neighborhood Peter your question, please. (00:39:59) Yes, mr. Eller. I'd like to know what your opinion is on the lawsuits to allow the eligibility of high school students into the draft and I'll just take your response out there. Thank (00:40:11) you. Okay. My response is that well the lawsuits I can't speak so much about except that. I'm glad that they were turned down because I would not like to see high school athletes go into the into the NFL and I know the NBA is doing this and they're doing this with more regularity, but I think it would be a real Injustice to take younger players and to allow younger players into the National Football League and I don't think it's denying them a right to earn a living. I think that there was a process and a maturity that's needed for the younger players. And I think that this is certainly the way the National Football League is thinking they want to get two more, you know, more responsible people into the into the National Football League more mature and and so they are definitely In support of not having the high school draft you think college players ought to be paid. Well, I think if they're just they're just for athletics, but you know college is a great experience and it's a you know, a college has an educational institution. That's what it's for. The thing that I think that maybe ecologist you really do is as I think they should offer track for athletes that are predominantly athletically inclined in other words. They're not just there for athletics. But an Avenue to pursue Athletics as part of their part of their education and and not deny them that they spent a lot of time on that lytic fields and they don't get very much credit for that. And and I think that's that's a disadvantage to them Bill earlier question, (00:41:46) please yes, Nostalgia really rains today. I was at the University with you. Mr. Eller and I would say that the University of Minnesota football team. Then I was a staunch supporter of the same as the Vikings. And I don't know if you remember this, but we were you don't remember me, but in the same anthropology class Professor Gibbs himself a African-American very (00:42:10) astute very knowledgeable (00:42:13) fellow. I remember coming into class and he was this huge African American guy sitting there kind of tired looking. I'm sure Athletics is really hard and it sort of plays into some of the earlier questions. What do you yourself? Think you got out of your undergraduate work at the University back when you and I were there and would you do anything different since that time and what do you think about you yourself going into education like professor gets did (00:42:46) well, I remember Professor Gibbs and my anthropology class and I'll tell you it was one of the toughest classes that I took at the University. It was a large glass. So I probably don't remember I'm surprised you remember me. That class but it was a good class. I learned a lot of the University. I didn't always do well in those classes certainly not in all of them. But most of them I did fairly well and kept a good average all through the you know, my my college Years are the thing was is that the academic load was so challenging in man. It's just it was really tough to keep the both of them going. I think athletes today should really plan on a five-year type college education or something where they can realistically do both but at the University of Minnesota and a lot of people don't know this is the athletes really do not get a break you have to take their regular classes as same as everyone else that were no special classes and you had to compete with the other students and some of them, you know, I know we're more prepared than I was coming from Winston-Salem and and coming from the high school that come from now at that time. If I memory serves freshman did not play Varsity Sports though at the you so Did that help you make the transition from from high school to college and participation in the Big Time Athletic program not playing as a freshman was a big help for me. I mean it gave me a chance to adjust to being away from home. First of all adjusting to college life. You know, I was all so new to me. I mean, it's amazing when I look back at, you know, being 18 years old and away from home for the first time. It was so amazing playing football to and competition. I'm not sure how I could have handled that belisle your (00:44:31) question. Yes. Hello, mr. Eller and congratulations on your accomplishments and football and in your life. I'm calling to say thank you for your recent comments during your acceptance speech and I'm sure you're still celebrating. But I just wanted to ask you to make very clear if possible. When you speak about your speech that you were not saying all African American kids who are underachieving or not contributing. Because certainly some African American kids are not living up to their true potential and all of us should work help with this issue. But there are many African-American males who contribute greatly to the society and our race, you mentioned a Barack Obama and there are many others like him and I also wish to Media dominated society as you called it earlier wouldn't work so hard to cast a negative or suspicious light on African-American males. May God bless you. Mr. Eller and I wish you much success and say if you get a chance give these same comments to Bill Cosby. If you would please good luck. (00:45:38) I will and I appreciate your comments and that's a very difficult as you point out the problems. It's very difficult to distinguish and sometimes point out the successes all in the same tone, but you're absolutely right and I did mention that earlier because a great number of our kids are succeeding and we have a lot of adults that have succeeded. I mean the thing is we have so Many people that are African-American or mixed or maybe some other color person of color and they're at the top of their fields and those are the things we don't hear about so yes that does go unnoticed and and I think the the media I know is a challenge but I think they should find Opportunities to talk about these successes and give a more realistic picture of that now I think we would be remiss if we didn't round out your your life a little bit more. You are really a Arts Aficionado as well. Are you not. Well, I'm an Arts Aficionado. Yes. How did you how did you because I know when you were when even when you are playing you did some things with the Guthrie Theater York. Your teammates have been quoted as saying you used to quote Shakespeare on a regular basis. And so how did you get into all of that? Well, one of the things I did in my son spoke of that it is presentation on Sunday. Well, one of the things I did in high school, I was part of the thespian. But I did play in some high school plays and since then I have been in some, you know, Hollywood Productions or those kinds of things my son mention. They're they're hard to find. Yes, but you know, it was a good experience and I've just become involved in that. I see Athletics in arts being closely related. It's an expression and and for me Athletics was the medium, but I appreciate when I see people do something creative and understand when it takes a lot of work to to really go into something and do something. Well something you believe in we're not likely that the sea like a car all Eller film festival or anything. No. No, you wouldn't want to see it. I don't think Arlen your question, please. (00:47:47) Yes. It's a privilege to talk to you. I was responsible to bring you up to a small school one time to talk about drug and alcohol abuse. I'm wondering if you're still doing that. (00:47:59) I haven't done that as much in the recent past time. I've become kind of a bureaucrat really pushing papers around over with the state of Minnesota. I'm still involved and but not too much in direct service anymore. Tim. You're up next. Go ahead, please. (00:48:18) Yeah, Carl first of all, congratulations. I remember watching you purple people eaters way back and it was a real Joy. You don't see that kind of enthusiasm and football anymore. That's my opinion. But you know, everybody kind of knows what some of your old teammates are doing parking in a page, but it's you ever keep in touch with the rest of them. You know, Winston Marshall cocks then others. I can't think of you you ever get together with him or where they at? What are they doing? I'm just curious. Thanks. (00:48:51) Well a lot of the players live in town, but you know, I did have some players therefore the enshrine. Troy Western Lonnie work Gilliam a lot of those guys, who were there Oscar could read martial and Bud Grant was there a lot of those guys came to the detriment but there's guys like Bill Brown tingle Hoff, you know Kraus live in the area page lives in the area. So we get together, you know, when there's something going on, you know, I know what but the page and Marshall and actually with luurtsema, you know, we get together and have lunch once in a while and it's kind of fun. So we do keep in touch. Are they going to have a day for you at the Vikings where you are introduced to the fans as the new Hall of Fame guy they will that's going to be towards end of the season and that will actually be a ring ceremony. That's when you get a hall of a faint hall-of-fame ring and it's very beautiful this Sunday your or Saturday. I should say you're going to be at the dome but for a different purpose, I'll be there on Saturday. It's a kind of the kickoff for the line. A safe heart communities and that is to be really bring attention to sudden cardiac arrest, you know, there are so many people each year that died from you know, just having a sudden Cardiac Arrest which basically their heart stops beating about 450,000 people a year die from that and so what we want to do is get this it's automatic external late external defibrillator, which is a mouthful but a d is for sure which is a lot of use they want to get this and we're going to start off put them in schools. The Vikings are contributing to this and they're gonna make a donation of one ad per game. So it'll be 16 of them going out this year and it's a big start to bring a word. It's just sudden Cardiac Arrest caller asked about the old Vikings. Could you and and your old teammates playing today is National Football League? Well, we could play, you know with new knees and haha new shoulders all that stuff. Yes. I mean I'm young. A younger version? Okay. All right. Yeah. Yeah, we probably could our group was a little different we were mostly smaller but faster so it was speed-wise we're definitely compete and you know strength was one of my Forte's to so I think I would place you as a younger Coryell. I'd be right in there. What about today's players? Could they have played in your time? Well, they would have had a harder time. I think that wouldn't have been the you know, the the autograph signing at the end of the the end zone or cell phone the feeling I had to make some sacrifices that way another Viking related question that a viking followers would be interested in. I think Brock Lesner the the wrestler sir trying out for the what do you make of that is that you think that's a legit deal or it's certainly entertaining. Well, I'm sure it's entertaining and I smile because you know the wrestling ring out. I'm not sure how big it is 20 by 20, you know the football. Was a lot bigger than that. The only thing that I think that Brock might have some problems with is really the breadth and you know you that's a much larger Arena and you have to cover a lot too much larger territory and the people are trying to you know, evade you they're not coming at you. So he may have some troubles there. How you plan to followup on your speech. What would you like to see come out of that speech that you gave them? Well, one of the earlier callers talk about a dialogue. I think that that is that is going to be part of it and we'll probably get some formula some some way that we can address this thing. The thing will probably do it is to channel, you know more young men into college and probably for provide some opportunities here and probably some kind of training naturally and community-wide or we can go in and train groups of people how to reach out to these these young men Across America are all Eller. It's been a real pleasure to have you in the studio and congratulations on your induction of the National Football log. Football League Hall of Fame. Well, thanks guys a pleasure talking with you again. And I do listen to your show. By the way. Thank you very much Carl L are joining us this first hour of our midday program. Again. If you tuned in late Carl was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday having played 15 years total in the National Football League 14 with the Minnesota Vikings several times All Pro and considered by many to be perhaps the best player to ever play defensive end in professional football quite an achievement and quite a an acceptance speech that will be available to speech again on our website Minnesota Public Radio dot-org like to remind you that today's programming is sponsored in part by dick reader and upholstery on 42nd Street going to break for some news headlines when we come back. We're going off to the National Press Club at catch up on some National Security issues Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, Richard Lugar is at the Press Club today talking about the danger is he He's at the danger of weapons of mass destruction. (00:54:02) What are you doing this (00:54:02) weekend working in the garden running errands heading to the lake whatever it is. Take Minnesota Public Radio with (00:54:08) you - personalities Saturday at noon right after Car Talk check out our new show public radio weekend. (00:54:15) It's two hours of news and stories about life and music and the Arts you take fresh lemon or lime and chili then stick around for Splendid Table with Lindros at oh Casper and This American Life with Ira Glass. Enjoy your Saturday With a Little Help from Minnesota Public Radio your to 91.1 cater wfm Minneapolis. And st. Paul cloudy Sky now partly cloudy Sky 54 degrees in the Twin Cities weather service says there is a continuing chance for showers this afternoon with a high maybe reaching 65 degrees tonight partly cloudy to partly cloudy skies still fairly cool lows 45 to 50 tomorrow. It should be a little bit warmer partly cloudy with a high near 70 on Friday again a high near 70 degrees.


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