JOHN CLAYTON

John Clayton’s highlights from Radio Row: Wednesday, Jan 31

Jan 31, 2018, 2:34 PM | Updated: 2:43 pm
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Former Coug Husain Abdullah chatted with John Clayton at Super Bowl LII's Radio Row.
LISTEN: Leigh Steinberg joins John Clayton live from Radio Row in Minnesota.

710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton is broadcasting live from Radio Row at Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis all week. Check out the highlights from today’s interviews:

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Everson Walls

One of the most decorated defensive backs in Dallas Cowboys history, Everson Walls talked about how his multisport background ultimately made him a better pro football player, and discouraged people from limiting kids to one sport:

“I was blessed with a diverse background. I played football, played baseball, played basketball. To me, every sport helps with another sport, and I don’t like it when these kids get pigeonholed into playing one sport – (or when) their high school coach is like, ‘You’re only playing football. You can’t run track, you can’t play basketball.’ Those basketball ball abilities, and playing centerfield when I was in little league, that’s what allowed me to be able to track the ball so well. It was something that was ingrained in me, because you want to be successful. When I’m in that Pee Wee league team and I’m the only black kid on the team, I want to do well. So, if they put me in centerfield — like they did all black kids, because they think everybody’s Willie Mays — then I gotta act like Willie Mays. And if I’m going to be like Willie Mays, I’m going to think like Willie Mays. So I would eat, drink and sleep sports. That’s the mentality that I had growing up.”

Husain Abdullah

Former Washington State Cougar and Kansas City Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah surprised fans by announcing his retirement from the NFL at age 29. Abdullah took us back to that point in his life during his interview with Clayton:

“I retired at the age of 29 after seven years in the NFL. Previously, when I played for the Vikings, I had four concussions in 18 months, and that led me to kind of pause to re-establish the purpose of life, re-establish and adjust my focus. In 2012, I took a year off from football and went on a Hajj pilgrimage … and so coming back to football, I had a sense of a greater purpose and wanting to give more to society at large and to my family. So when I got (my fifth concussion), it was just like, ‘Ok, I’ve had my fun. I enjoy playing football. But I don’t want to end up in a place to where I can’t do I want to do down the road in my life.”

Abdullah also spoke about the drive to advocate for his health and seek treatment for head injuries:

“For me, it would seem like I’m living behind a glass window (when I had a concussion). Like I’m not present, or I’m trapped in a fog at times. Or I’d be very irritable. One of my children would do a thing a child would do, and all of the sudden I’m just enraged and I blow up. And I aspire to be a great husband and a great dad, and that’s not a great dad.”

Listen to all of Clayton’s interviews from today here and here.

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John Clayton’s highlights from Radio Row: Wednesday, Jan 31