New Orleans (LA) -- Former Dallas Cowboys fullback Daryl "Moose" Johnston has been out of the NFL for 13 years now, but it doesn't feel like he ever left. That's because he's been in NFL broadcast booths since the year he retired. While many of the Cowboys from that era have been all over the map, Moose's life has been steadier. He's been with his wife, Diane, for 17 years, has two kids and is also extremely passionate about his dogs, one of which participated in the Purina Pro Plan Canine Combine at the Super Bowl here in The Big Easy.
I was invited to spend some time with Moose and his family as they put 3-year-old "Gunner" through his paces. And while there was a nice canine connection, I couldn't admit to Moose that one of my fondest memories of him stemmed from his 1996 appearance on Wishbone.
1) Brad Gagnon: Why'd you get into television?
Daryl Johnston: It was an opportunity to stay close to the game. When I got hurt in '97, I had all the networks call me. They heard I was gonna retire and they wanted to know if I was interested in broadcasting. I told them I was gonna go back and play, and then when I got injured again three years later I called them and said, "Hey, if that offer's still there I'd love to take you up on it now because I am gonna retire." I went over to Europe for NFL Europe for Fox's network in Europe. I came back, I did a little bit of work with ESPN and I did a practice game with CBS. And at that time, CBS gave me the offer that I thought worked the best for us as a family. Unfortunately it was just a one-year contract, and I had a good season and Fox hired me the next year.
2) How do you deal with the criticism you face as a broadcaster, which is completely different from the type of stuff players deal with?
Johnston: It's a subjective business. There is no win or lose in broadcasting, which is the hardest thing to replace as a player. A lot of people say competition -- to me it's the satisfaction of a job well done. And all you gotta do is look up at the scoreboard. If you lose, you already know what things you didn't do well that day and you need to go back and work on those and make sure they don't happen again. In broadcasting, some people are gonna like you and some people are not gonna like you. You have to do it in a style that's true to who you are as a human. You have to stand on the values that you feel are important. And people are either going to accept that or they're just not gonna like it. So there's really not much we can do. When you get negative criticism -- not constructive criticism, but negative criticism -- from people, I can't change your point of view because I'm not gonna be different than who I am. So that's the tough part of the business. I think when people start to change to try and please everybody, you lose, because you're not true to yourself and that's how you get in trouble. I'm more than happy to do the game the way that I think the game should be done and people are either going to like that or they're not. And they're free to go listen to somebody else if they don't like my style.
Or simply hit mute.
Johnston: Exactly. Or turn on the local guy, right? That's our biggest fear. We talk about that. What's the one thing you want to accomplish during the course of the game? And mine is to make sure that they don't turn the TV on mute and turn the radio on to the local broadcast.
3) Do you re-watch a lot of your games?no comments