- Michael Irvin had a successful NFL career that included three Super Bowl wins.
- However, Irvin says the happiest he ever was playing football was at the University of Miami because he didn’t have to support anybody.
- To this day, Irvin says he still has family members who ask him for money and now must choose between “front-end” investments and “back-end” handouts.
Former NFL wide receiver Michael Irvin had a pro career most would be jealous of, including 12 seasons with the great Dallas Cowboys teams of the 1990s, three Super Bowl rings, and a lot of fun along the way. But to hear him tell it, none of that compared to the three seasons he spent playing college football at The U.
Irvin was recently a guest on “The Dan Le Batard Show” on AM 790 The Ticket in Miami and was asked when he was the happiest and when he had the most fun playing football. According to Irvin it was at the University of Miami and the reason might surprise some people — It was because he was broke.
“Oh my god, yes [it was at Miami],” Irvin said. “Let me tell you why, Dan. Being broke, because then it was having all the highs of the moment and not dealing with some of the lows of the moment because you didn’t have the people attacking you from a financial standpoint.”
Irvin last played in the NFL in 1999, but as he explained, he still has family members who ask him for money to this day, and now he has to pick and choose whom to help based on whether it is a “front-end” investment or just a “back-end” handout.
“I gotta get a letter out to all my family members and everybody and say: ‘You do know I’ve been carrying this load since 1988? Can I please get off this wagon?’ My brothers and sisters, they’re all grown. I’m like: ‘You guys are grown.’ Now I don’t mind, I do what I can for all my nieces and nephews. I consider that to be an investment, what I give to them. But I consider it to be throwing money away now when I give to my brothers and sisters. I’m like: “Hey, this is spending money on the past. You guys, your future is set. An investment is spending money on your kids. Getting your kids into St. Thomas, I’ll help you do that.’ Because that gives them a future and gets them out my pocket when they’re grown. I’d rather spend on the front end than when it is costing me on the back end. So I’m helping the kids early to get them in the right schools, put them in the right situations. That’s spending on the front end instead of what I’m doing with my brothers and sisters, giving money, spending on the back end. You never get back-end money back.”
After Irvin’s playing days were over, he did start a successful career as an analyst, first at ESPN, and now at the NFL Network. But to him, nothing will ever top playing football at Miami.
“That’s why college was the greatest,” Irvin said. “I don’t care what anyone says. That’s why college was the greatest. When you get to this place, there is a bunch of responsibilities. You have to be putting out fires all the time. You’ve got to build up the water hose and put out fires. You’ve got to build up the water hose and put out fires. In college, it’s just special, it’s a special time, nothing like it.”
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