Quarterback “guru” Steve Clarkson trains boys as young as 10 to become NFL quarterbacks, but when it came time for one of his own sons to play football, he wasn’t so keen on the idea.
“Ironically enough, it's a lot harder when you're on that side and you turn your kids over and you hope for the best,” Clarkson told Morley Safer in a 60 Minutes interview. “I had a rule that I would not have my kids play football unless they dragged me kicking and screaming.”
Nevertheless, one of Clarkson’s young sons recently started playing tackle football, and Clarkson told the 60 Minutes team that it was a difficult decision.
“Because of what I do as a profession I didn't want them to think that this is how they got me to love them, by playing football,” Clarkson said of his sons. “Quite honestly, I'm very happy if they don't.”
Clarkson’s concerns are understandable, says Safer, given the risk of concussions and life-threatening injuries. “He played at a very high level, and he knows what can happen,” Safer told 60 Minutes Overtime.
A former quarterback for San Jose State University, Clarkson didn’t make it to the NFL, but some of his students have. His success stories include Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger, Tennessee Titans’ Jake Locker and Minnesota Vikings’ Matt Cassel.Young quarterback hopefuls as young as 8 or 9 sign up to train with Clarkson with the hope of making it to the NFL, but their chances of success are incredibly low. To see Safer’s 60 Minutes story about Clarkson and his quarterback training program, click here.
Photo of Morley Safer college football team courtesy of Western University