You might know Steve Austin as a professional wrestler, but prior to becoming a WWE icon, he lived and breathed football.
In fact, he played football at the University of North Texas in the 1980s.
“It was a fun experience,” Austin said on The DA Show. “I had dreams of being a pro football player but just couldn’t quite make the grade by a long-shot on that. I was a good player at the local or regional level. Beyond that, those guys had too much talent.”
Football, as it turns out, was in Austin’s blood. His father played for Rice University in the 1950s.
“He played in the 1958 Cotton Bowl. Scored Rice’s only touchdown in a [20-7] loss to Navy,” Austin said. “So he took me to Houston and he was trying to get Rice to take me on, but they wouldn’t. But the football scene in Texas was no different then than it is now. It’s still a hotbed, from high school to JC to college. That is a very big part of what’s going on in Texas football.”
Austin played linebacker at North Texas, tore his ACL on kickoff coverage, rehabbed, and played defensive end as a senior. He played running back in high school.
His high school experience, he says, was very Friday Night Lights.
“Oh, man, absolutely,” he said. “I was fortunate enough to make the varsity team as a sophomore as a running back. We went to the semifinals and got beat by a team down there in South Texas. We went to the playoffs each one of my years, but we couldn’t quite make it to state. But god dang, man, the little town of Edna – 5,000 people – we would pack that stadium every single Friday. It was a sellout no matter where we went. We played hard, and we gave them hell.”
Austin also discussed his show, Straight Up Steve Austin, which airs on USA Network. Click below to listen to his interview in its entirety.
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