Terry Crews is a fascinating individual. The actor who is currently on Brooklyn Nine-Nine has been an actor since 2000. But before he made it in Hollywood, Crews was a linebacker in the NFL.
A journeyman player, Crews played for four NFL teams, over a six year span, not spending more than one season with the same team. Crews never really had the skills for the pros and eventually found acting but we never really found out why Crews decided to leave his football dreams behind when he did.
In a YouTube video for First We Feast, Crews eats some incredibly spicy wings while talking about his life. Around the six minute mark, Crews reveals a story from a 1997 tryout with the San Francisco 49ers and how that was the last straw for his NFL career.
In talking about his lowest moment while in the NFL, Crews said,
“It was 1997, I got a tryout with the 49ers. And they treated me so bad. I mean, they treated me like I was dirt. He was working me out like he was mad, like you had to be out there. It was just a psychological mess. I was a little farther away from him than I am with you (about three feet away) and he threw the ball at me and I flipped my hand up and *BOOM*! My finger was like an “L,” it totally went sideways. And I snapped it back and I was like, “What you doing?” And he was like, “Come on, come on, let’s get to workout!” And I was like, “I’m done.” And I remember coming home to my wife and I said, “Never again.””
While Crews never reveals who broke his finger, it seemed as though it was a coach based on what was said. Steve Mariucci was head coach for that ’97 team but who knows if Crews was talking about Mooch. It seems like this affected Crews so deeply, it’s not even worth saying the name of the person who broke his finger.
In a roundabout way, it did get Crews to try Hollywood and has been in some great TV shows and movies for the past 15 or so years. I’m sure he preferred to not have his finger broken to see that, it does show that the path one takes in their life is going to have a lot of twists and turns. And sometimes it takes being on the absolute bottom to one day make it to the top.