Dick Harmon: Ex-Cougar, Steeler Chris Hoke turned hard work into 11-year career
"Being in the NFL is not easy. There are a lot of demands and a lot of pressure and expectations. Having a wife and children who are not into you as a football player but as a husband and father, when you come home after a bad day at the office, they love you unconditionally.
"When you have a bad day and call home, they don't want to tell you what they think about football. They want to talk about what went on around the house, what happened at school and other things."
Hoke says he doesn't understand how any NFL player can go through what they do, with everything they face on a daily and weekly basis, without a strong home base, a family that stands behind them regardless.
"That's why many turn to drugs or alcohol, to deal with the pressure of fans, the media or life in the NFL. I came home to a loving wife and kids who loved me for what I was, a father and husband. That meant the world to me and I can't describe how much of a difference that made."
Hoke currently is hunkered down watching his kids play spring sports. He will do some work as an NFL draft analysis in Pittsburgh for a radio and TV station. In time, he plans on moving back to Utah to be close to other members of his family. "I'd like to be involved in some way with BYU. I think that would be great," he said.
Hoke graduated from Foothill High School in Santa Ana, Calif., back in 1994, right before the explosion of the Internet and a plethora of technology.
These modern advances in the world haven't changed certain recipes for success and Hoke proves it.
Interesting how a simple three-point formula paid huge dividends for this undrafted athlete with two Super Bowl rings.
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