An Examined Life with Jeff Allen 12: Jeff (Jeffy) Fisher

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Jeff (Jeffy) Fisher (@jeffymra) of the Glenn Beck Program joins the show this week, and we discuss everything from parenting to comedy to university life for the modern athlete.

First off, Jeffy talks about the perils of working in radio, and moving around the country at record pace – and his career path is much more stable than most people who work in radio.  I remember working in different clubs all over and “meeting” the same radio guy three times in three different cities as he worked for three different stations.

But, Jeffy counts it an incredible blessing to work so long with the same station in Tampa Bay, and then with Glenn Beck for the last 14 years – even though he gets picked on during the show.  To be a man of Jeffy’s size, he’s incredibly humble to take it on the chin as he does.

And, speaking of his size, Jeffy recently lost the equivalent of another person through Simple To Lose.  At one point, he was weighing 397, he joked that he was trying to get to 500 – that’s a nice round number.  Now, he never broke 400, but he does wonder where the line is for people where it just doesn’t matter that they’re overweight?  Does there become a point between just not caring and indulging more and more or turning things around?

For me, as an alcoholic, it wasn’t the bar fights or DUI’s that were the markers to turn things around, as much as it was waking up in your own waste.

But for so many others, it’s the pressure of parenthood that brings them to the straight and narrow.

Jeffy’s oldest son, Elvis Fisher, was a star offensive tackle for the University of Missouri.  He recently spent time on the New England Patriots’ roster, but was unfortunately cut due to injuries.  On one hand, he was relieved to get the news because he was tired of getting hurt for a living, but he had really worked hard to make a comeback that just wouldn’t materialize.  So, today he is preparing to serve as a coach at his alma mater for the 2014 season.

Now, I remember being a Bears fan in the freezing Chicago winters and thinking about these guys (as I lay in front of the TV with a warm blanket and a bratwurst) who had no choice – they knew that they were going to get hit, stepped on and gouged in the freezing cold that day.  So, what on earth could Jeffy had done to damage his kid so badly that his desire was to get beat up like that every Sunday?

In all actuality, Jeffy tried to convince his son to play soccer, or at least be a kicker.  He was really good at both, but there’s no way a guy his size with an ego as big as his body would “settle” for being a kicker.

Now, on the subject of college football, I asked Jeffy what his thoughts were on the Northwestern Football Unionization.  To put it simply, he says it’s insane.

What people don’t realize is that, while today’s college players should perhaps get a bit more money than they do since they bring in so much income to the universities, they do okay.  The whole line about college basketball players who are starving while they attend classes is a bunch of bull.

Take Elvis’ University of Missouri experience.  During his freshman year, he (and all freshmen players) were required to live on campus.  While living in the dorms, he had a food card for the cafeteria in addition to a food card for the athletic facility.  The school provided tutoring for him as well as a study hall at the athletic facility.  Jeff will admit that it’s a long day, but his health needs are taken care of as much as his academic needs and athletic needs.

In Jeffy’s words, “In college athletics, you have to WANT to fail in order to fail.”

Then, when athletes make it to their sophomore or junior years and move off campus, they often move in to apartments in groups of two-to-four in order to save money.  Having roommates also cuts down their utilities, rent, and other living expenses – all the while, each player collects a living expense stipend from the university, in addition to per diem money when they’re on the road.  This affords them plenty of  “walking around money”.

Oh, and by they way… they’re receiving a college education, too!

And it’s not just division one football.

Because of title nine, for every male scholarship that the school offers, it needs to offer a woman’s scholarship as well.  So, if a female golfer coming out of high school can shoot in the 70’s, she can be taken care of during her college years as well – unless they WANT to fail.

And, there seems to be a pretty deep well of funds to provide for these student athletes.  ESPN has their TV rights contracts that the colleges profit from, then many of the schools and conferences are arranging their own TV deals outside of ESPN.  We’re talking billions of dollars!

All this to say, there is the possibility of providing for today’s scholar athlete’s needs without unionizing or any unsavory (much less illegal) tactics.

As Jeffy says, if you (the athlete) decides to take your abilities to the “next level”, and you feel like you’re being short changed by universities profiting off of your likeness, then the “next level” should provide the income you feel you’re due.

And “next level” doesn’t necessarily mean professional sports.  It can be any field that you wind up in after earning your degree.  And if you don’t end up with a degree, you either left early in order to go professional and make a whole lot of money, or you simply wanted to fail.  Because the opportunity is there and the tools are there so that you don’t fail.  The college wants you to succeed and play for them.  Then they want you to carry the university’s name into your profession.  Therefore, the burden of failure rests squarely on the student’s shoulders, not the system’s.

Sadly, they don’t offer scholarships in broadcasting.  Not that I stood a chance at receiving one.  I had one professor actually ask for a copy of my demo tape in order to put him to sleep at night.

Jeffy and I also reminisce about his earlier days with the Glenn Beck program (Bobo the Dog), cooking dogs in hot cars, living in Arizona, and taking my kid to the gym.

Simply push play to hear the fun and enlightenment.

For more engaging and entertaining podcasts and videos, check out the E-Squared Media Network at www.e2medianetwork.com

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