Without question, Emmitt Smith is known as one of the greatest NFL players of all time! We were honored to take a moment with him during the Super Bowl earlier this month to find out about his partnership with Haggar Clothing Co, the importance of his relationship with his father, what the Super Bowl means to him, his fuel foods when he works out, his participation in Dancing with the Stars and his work in Real Estate! Emmitt shares it all with us as well as his hidden talents and what he's up to at the moment.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about your partnership with Haggar Clothing Co and the search for Haggar Hall of Fame Dads.
EMMITT SMITH: Haggar is special to me because they made one of my very favorite pieces of clothing I’ve ever worn – my Pro Football Hall of Fame Gold Jacket. When I got the call that not only were they launching a Hall of Fame for Dads, but they wanted me to help get the word out, I thought it was a great idea. I’m in the Hall of Fame because I had a dad who sacrificed for me, worked hard to take care of his family and supported my dreams. There are dads and father figures across America who do that every day for their kids, step-kids, students and extended family. They don’t get enough recognition, and I think it’s wonderful that Haggar is celebrating these guys and reminding us all how important dads are to future generations. I hope everybody goes to HaggarHOFDad.com to nominate a great dad in their life.
AM: With this activation focusing on fathers, what is the special relationship that you have with your father?
ES: My father has always been a strong presence in my life. He’s the reason I pursued my dreams, made it to the Super Bowl and to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. When I was six, I told him I wanted to play for the Dallas Cowboys someday, and he said that would be a good goal. There was no question – no discouragement, no “that’s a really hard thing to do.” That simple statement supported me so much, and it became my life goal. My dad sacrificed and worked hard for his family, he encouraged my dreams and taught me how to make the dream a reality. He also taught me about what it really means to be a father.
AM: As a Pro Football Hall of Famer, what special place does the Super Bowl hold for you?
ES: The Super Bowl holds so many of my greatest memories. Earning the chance to play in it with my team, the Dallas Cowboys. Winning it. Being named MVP. Learning that I would be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame – all things I associate with the Super Bowl. But more than all of those, the Super Bowl is where I learned what a special man my father is. The day before Super Bowl XLIV, my dad and I were spending some time together and he told me how proud of me he was, which was something I’d always known. Then he told me something else I hadn’t – the story of how he’d dreamed of being a pro football player himself, and that he’d given up his chance to play college ball on scholarship to take care of his family. That’s the day I learned I was living not only my dream, but his, and that I was fulfilling God’s purpose for my life. That’s one of the many things I think of when I think of the Super Bowl.
AM: We have seen you as an analyst for the NFL, ESPN; however, you have also been a host for Miss Universe as well as appearing twice on Dancing with the Stars - what other ventures or activities have you been a part of since you stopped playing professionally?
ES: Following my NFL career I enjoyed venturing into broadcasting, then turned my attention to my real passion – business development, starting with construction and real estate. I have since developed a multi-tiered and multi-faceted enterprise originating with my construction company, and has expanded to include subsequent enterprises. We have been blessed to have notable success and will continue to expand into new ventures.
AM: What was it like when you first joined the cast of Dancing with the Stars and how did you feel that preparation you did for the weekly dance show?
ES: I was very excited when I first joined Dancing with the Stars, until I saw some of the dancers I was going against like Monique Coleman, Joey Lawrence and Mario Lopez and how good they were. Then I got nervous, but I knew that my dedication, hard work and commitment would pay off. I trained and I trained hard.
AM: How important is fitness to you post professional football and can you tell us how you stay in shape, how long you spend working out and what your go-to fuel foods are?
ES: Fitness and taking care of your health is the key to longevity. Good cardio, paying attention to your body, physicals and eating properly are essential. Cycling has become my new workout and has now become an extension of my charitable efforts through the Emmitt Smith Gran Fondo. Cycling is a challenging work out, but riding for miles and miles is a lot easier on my body after 20 plus years of football. Being out in the fresh air, taking in the beautiful scenery can’t be beat. My go-to is my favorite – grits, eggs and bacon. (Laughs) Can that count as fuel food?
AM: When you're not working on a number of projects, what would we find you doing on your time off?
ES: Time off? I’m a full-time father of five very active kids and my wife’s biggest cheerleader. We have a full calendar of the kids’ activities ranging from basketball, football, soccer, creative endeavors and the like. Everything is very family-centric or focused on charitable work and I love it. I do indulge in a round of golf during my downtime.
AM: We know that you were a phenomenal football player, and you're a great dancer - what are other hidden talents that you have yet to reveal or planning on revealing?
ES: (Laughing) I can sing. Just joking. My hidden talents should probably stay hidden. They need to be developed a bit more before making them public.
AM: With the winter Olympics coming up, what are your favorite sports that you enjoy cheering?
ES: You know, I’m really more of a Summer Olympics guy because of track & field, but I’m going to be watching the Winter Games. I’m interested in the women’s and men’s bobsled because of their Texas connections, speed skating and the skiing events.
AM: What are you looking forward to in 2018 and what can we keep an eye out for that you are working on or participating in?
ES: I have a lot of exciting ventures on the horizon. I have a great team of experienced partners and am looking forward to continuing to grow our footprint in Texas in commercial real estate, construction and infrastructure.
PHOTOS COURTESY | JERRY COLI/DREAMSTIME + MBR IMAGES/DREAMSTIME