File this one in your mental rolodex under “Things I Never Thought I’d Hear”.
When most people think of NFL players, they imagine them one way only to eventually find out they’re human beings just like us. And, like us, they have their own list of guilty pleasures. It’s a truth that can be found around the league both present and past, with Dallas Cowboys‘ legend Drew Pearson not being exempt. Speaking to Will Brinson of CBS Sports, the Minnesota Vikings’ killer admitted his undying love for soap operas, more specifically “The Young & The Restless”. So unbridled is his loyalty to it that he would go home on lunch breaks during practice to watch the show instead of grabbing some grub with his brethren, needing to get his Victor Newman fix.
Now, in 2018, he’s leveling up his love in a big way, landing a guest spot on the long-running show to air June 28 — and you can guess who his role is tied to.
“The part they had me playing was a security guard, working for Victor Newman, which is perfect, because he’s my hero,” Pearson told Brinson. “He’s the real person I gravitated toward back in the day when I first started watching ‘Young and the Restless.’ So I was [playing] that as opposed to Drew Pearson, former NFL player, showing up. I had a couple of lines.
“I got to interact, acting-ly, with some of my favorite actors and actresses. Victor of course. Victoria. Neil — Kristoff St. John. And Hilary. These are some of my favorite actors and actresses on the show.
“So I was so blessed and honored that they included me in the segments involving them. And that made it a lot easier, because they accepted me — I was excited to see them, and they were excited to see me, so that made it a little bit easier for me to adjust to it.”
Under no circumstances during his playing days did he allow his secret to get out, though.
“I couldn’t tell the other guys I was watching ‘Young and the Restless,’ OK? I couldn’t tell my teammates,” he said with a laugh. “They might have questioned my toughness or something like that. I became a fan then.”
It’s truly nothing to be ashamed of nowadays, although the culture of football and society as a whole was much different during the 1970s. Still, there’s something to be said for anyone who admires a character like Newman, as does yours truly, a man who symbolizes unbridled power and a savagery to overcome all obstacles by any means necessary. Back in those days, the Cowboys’ organization had a similar mind frame as they finally broke through to become a powerhouse in the NFL, so maybe Pearson was psychologically onto something.
Granted, a field full of adult men throwing themselves at each other with reckless abandon to land a trophy isn’t the same as Jack and Nikki attempting to usurp Newman’s power to take over Jabot Cosmetics.
Or…in an odd way…is it?
“What drew me to the show more than anything was the business aspect,” elaborated Pearson. “What drew me to Victor Newman was his business acumen, how he ran Newman Enterprises, how he handled his people and how he got his family involved and all that kind of stuff. How he used to work these deals to try and stick it to Jack, you know?”
Newman never played his game for second place, and neither did Pearson.