Like his father before him, Chris Simms played quarterback in the NFL and then parlayed that into a broadcasting career. Chris played five seasons with the Buccaneers and Broncos. Now he can be seen on NBC Sports as an analyst for Football Night in America, Notre Dame football and ProFootballTalk Live.
We caught up with Simms for this week’s Friday Five…
Who is your biggest mentor?
That’s definitely my father. Whether it was just life, sports, whatever, my dad is certainly the guy that I follow more times than not, in a lot of ways. First off, he taught me to be a good human being and treat people the right way. He taught me work ethic, and what it would take to be successful. I got to watch his career as I grew up, so I got to see how invested and what he did to make himself great in football, and really that followed right into the TV world. I’m in this world certainly a big part of it because of my father. He certainly laid the groundwork for how I should approach this job, what you have to do to be good at it and be successful at it.
What aspects of your father’s broadcasting career have helped in your broadcasting career?
I think the aggressive mentality of preparation and work ethic. I think that’s the biggest thing. I never felt like my dad’s intensity level really dropped off a whole lot from when he got done playing to go into TV. If it was in-season, in the middle of a work week, Wednesday was going to be a hectic day. Yeah, he was going to be around the house more, but I knew he was going to be upstairs watching film, talking to coaches, talking to people at the TV station figuring out the game plan. And that was going to go on until he had to travel wherever he had to go. I realized the TV thing wasn’t going to be, “Oh yeah, football. Just sit back and talk and you’ll have jobs forever.” No, you’ve gotta work at it and be good at it. And I certainly took that from him.
What did you think about the reaction you got after ranking Tom Brady as the 10th best QB in the NFL for 2021?
It’s every year. How many years do I gotta be right in a row before people give me credit? I don’t care, whatever. I don’t mean it like that, but it’s like every year… “Oh my gosh, you had Herbert in front of Tua? You’re crazy!” No, I wasn’t. I was right. “You had Mahomes as the number one player in the draft? You’re crazy.” No, I was right.
The most surprising thing about the business in general – and I’m not gonna mince words here – is how many idiots think they know something about the sport, or think they know more than the people who have been around it, invested in it their whole life. I don’t take it personally, because I see people on social media telling Bill Belichick how to do his job, so that tells you how delusional the world is about things right now. People don’t want to hear truth. Brady’s always a sensitive topic — I get that. But for people to think Brady is better than the nine guys in front of him at age 43, it’s just insane. All those quarterbacks in front of him would have won the Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, too. So I don’t really worry about what John, at 38 years old living in his mom’s basement, says about me on Twitter.
What do you expect to happen now that college football has begun NIL policies?
I really don’t know. I’m certainly intrigued by it and I think it’s a good thing when all is said and done. I don’t know how you could continue on the path we were on and think that was fair to some of these young athletes. I’m just interested to see which way this is gonna go. Is it gonna even the playing field more, or is it going to make it even more that the elite of the elites have the true power in college football? I can kind of see it going either way, to where these new rules make the Alabamas and the Ohio States and the Clemsons even stronger and better. But I can also see it maybe gives the lesser schools a fighting chance to maybe get certain players to improve their program. I don’t know what to expect but I am interested to see how it plays out.
If you could have dinner with any three people in history, who would they be?
Well, JFK is definitely coming. No doubt about that. I’m big into JFK. I’ve read many books about him and the assassination.
I think I gotta have Muhammad Ali there. I’m just intrigued by everything about him. I think he’d be a hoot to be around. He’s funny, tell stories. And of course he’s so intellectual.
And, man, I gotta have somebody that I can drink beers with, so I gotta get Babe Ruth there. I guess I’m just amazed by Babe because he was so ahead of his time. The guy was hitting more home runs than any team in baseball. He’s the first commercialized athlete in the history of the world. He’s the first Michael Jordan, and I kinda find that amazing.
Check out all of our Friday Five features — including Troy Aikman, Adam Schefter, Andrea Kremer and more — in the Friday Five archive.