Monday Bacon: Glory Days


I saw an interview on the television yesterday with Brett Farve where he said he asked Reggie White what he misses most about the NFL in retirement. His answer? The glory? The perks? The ProBowl after ProBowl? Nope. The guys.

He missed the guys.

This weekend we trekked down (or over, I’d have to look at a map but I’m pretty sure we went south so I’ll say down) to Iowa City, IA for the Hawkeye/Badger football game. Bigg’s sister and brother-in-law both on faculty as Doctors right across the road from the Stadium so she got us great tickets and we had an absolute blast. We tailgated inside their adorable rental house. I say ‘inside’ because the landlords rent out the backyard to one group for tailgating; the front yard to another; and the driveway to yet ANOTHER group! They even provide a port-o-potty. Yup, Dr. Kari has a Port-O-Potty right outside her kitchen window. When she expressed mixed feelings about it, a local friend said, “You’ll appreciate it. The people are going to go, no matter what.”  Good point.

Anyways. It was a partial family affair and and we had so much fun from start to finish. Kari had breakfast and Bloody’s for us and Chili for afterwards. We pretty much hung out on the 3 season porch since the grey day was still in the high 40’s and the house was overtaken by terrorists; I mean little kids screaming and watching cartoons. Heh. Matt and his youngest sister, Alli were talking about their Dad’s stories of his four years playing on the Offensive line at Iowa in the late 60’s to early 70’s. His Glory days.

And guess what he talks about most? The guys.

Their antics; their fun; all of it.

We then talked about the pudgy 20-30  year old’s who talk about THEIR glory days. Ya know, the High School football guys.Those who find out most of my days are spent in the gym and feel obliged to say, “Ya I have a football background but now have been into MMA so I’m focused on that now.” Usually without looking me in the eye until I say, ‘Cool, when’s your next match?’ Which automatically get a “Wellll, I’ve been dealing with this injury for a while now so I’m just doing light stuff in the gym.” Yawn.

Dude, you know I know you don’t even train or attempt to enter a gym that doesn’t hand out Pizza. Let’s just talk about the weather and be done with it.

See, there’s a difference between living in your past and talking about your Glory Days. For one, to continue the example of Hawkeye (when Matt’s sister started having kids she asked their folks what they wanted to be called if Grandma and Grandpa were off the table. Mom-in-law is Nana and Dad-in-law said, “Hawkeye.” So he’s Hawkeye which is pretty awesome) not living in his glory days, he still does stuff. Last summer he rode the Ragbrai bike ride across Iowa with his teammates from IA that he is still close to. It was awesome. It sounded like a bike pub crawl only was really hard…and really fun. They’re already in the planning stage of 2015.

It’s a common theme that I’ve noticed among athletes who are still competing/participating into their silver years. They’ll talk about the fun of the past if you ask them, but aren’t hung up on it. Cuz they’re still going. I love that. OH! He also wants to throw next spring. He’d do great but I wish he’d just go get two new knee’s and be done with it. He’d move better. But he’s still strong and athletic, hopefully always will be and will be a great thrower.

I like the idea of having glory days to appreciate. Hard work, tons of fun, crazy stories. We should all have crazy stories by the time we get into our silver years. FoShizzle. Looking back with fondness, I like that.

OH BY THE WAY, here’s another perk to not laying around living your life in your past or through other people. You don’t care about what happens each Gameday. I’ve been struck this season by people who take this little game of football so seriously in their lives, they’ll actually try to pick a fight with an unknown female sitting in a bar wearing purple instead of blue and orange after the team your cheer for had already beat the purple team.

I find that weird. See, when people of all ages want to trash talk a team I’m cheering for, I just simply remind them I don’t play for the team. Nothing vested. I have a weightlifting meet in two weeks, wanna trash talk me on that? Cuz that’s something I actually care about so will engage.

When we told Hawkeye about the time Matt nearly had to get rough with this guy for not leaving me alone last week, he laughed and said, ‘This guy knows nothing about football if he isn’t humble about a Bears win.’ 

Hawkeye really is a cool father in law. Lucky me.


I looked down at the field on some point on Saturday and wondered what stories those players will tell 20 and 30 years from now about their glory days of college football. I hope they’re filled with appreciation…and evil pranks. I hope.

Showing off is the fool’s idea of  Glory.

Bruce Lee

Training Log

About tosabarbell

For training opportunities at tosabarbell, call or text Juli at 320-296-9313. e-mail to At tosabarbell, I build relationships cultivated in a strength and learning environment. There is no 12 week magic pill program to strength but rather a lifetime commitment to be the very best and most useful human you can be. tosabarbell is a private, home grown gym with three lifting platforms; squat rack; prowlers; throwing implements; bars, bumpers and everything else needed for an effective strength and conditioning program. Straightforward barbell programming including the Olympic lifts; sound (read: not fancy bullshit) diet advance for weight gain or loss; and strong coaching will ensure you will meet your goals such as becoming stronger, more explosive, and better conditioned. I have been coaching teams and athletes for over 30 years. I grew up participating in various sports at various levels but was always drawn to those that require strength training. I have multiple local, national, and world records in the sports of Weightlifting and Highland Games Heavy Events as well as a combined total of 5 World Championships. My 5 years of training and coaching under Mark Rippetoe provided a wide range of influence from some of the top strength & conditioning and throwing coaches in the country. I will strongly encourage tosabarbell athletes to compete (and prepare you to do so.) However, tosabarbell is also for those who wish to be stronger and go through life feeling better. Matt WanAt is a retired Professional Strongman who competed frequently with Strongman Champions League in Europe. He played a year of D1 football with Iowa before concentrating on his Chemical Engineering degree in Iowa City. He is a native of Wauwatosa and still remains a staunch supporter of Tosa East. This blog will be a mixture of strength notes, coaching and nutrition tips, personal shit; bacon delicacies, and a whole lot of fun.
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