|Reggie Swinton; “Never give up!”
INTERVIEW By Benny Henderson Jr (June 29, 2007) Doghouse Boxing
There has been so many names throughout sports history synonymous with never giving up, from Muhammad Ali or Jackie Robinson not giving in to racial prejudice to accomplish their goals, from Rudy Ruettiger giving it all to suit up with the fighting Irish when he was told to go home, what about Emmitt Smith who was told he was to little to play football and now is the NFL’s leading all time rusher? It happens everyday, some kid’s dream dashed out due to negative spewing from others, then there are the ones who take that criticism and use it as fuel for their fire, as the ones mentioned above, they hit harsh
criticism head on kept on trucking.
You can learn from the ones who are not afraid to stand inside the fire, as you can learn from one Reggie Swinton, a man who carried the childhood dreams of being a professional athlete to seven different teams to only be turned away, but un drafted or not he refused to give up on his journey, then…became a Dallas Cowboy!
Actually Reggie spent three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys as a wide receiver, but returns was his specialty where he placed a league best as a team leader in 1,327 kick off return yards and 414 punt return yards with one touchdown. He had two years with the Detroit Lions and one with the Arizona Cardinals, and preseason efforts with the Jaguars and the Texans.
So all though Swinton was told no not here, you cannot play there or you’re not welcome, he kept on, he fought hard to chase and catch that dream of becoming a NFL player and he earned his stripes and will now forever be remembered as a go getter in the league.
Now he applies that same go get them attitude with his music, from old school rapping at the age of seven to owning his very own record label 501 Entertainment, Reggie has proven that he is one of those to be admired for his will.
Reggie took the time out to speak to Doghouse Boxing, why a boxing website, well as a Cowboy and Swinton fan and the fact that my man has a great story on perseverance why not! Enjoy.
Benny Henderson Jr.: First off I just want to say thanks for taking the time out to speak to Doghouse Boxing, as a diehard Dallas Cowboy fan you know I have much love for yah.
Reggie Swinton: Ah I really appreciate that man.
BH: I just recently read that you retired from the arena football league, are you retiring from the NFL as well?
RS: Oh now I am not retiring from the NFL, I am waiting for a couple of teams to all me, sometimes after everything is set in to place they will look into their roster and see that they need some experienced player and that is where I will come in.
BH: Well besides football what else is on your plate at this time?
RS: I am doing music very heavily now, I am with my label 501 Entertainment, we have had some concerts and had a big one just recently here at Little Rock.
BH: How long have you been dabbling into the music business?
RS: I have been writing and rapping since I was fourteen, I started my own label in 2002, which was 501 Records, and about eight months ago I changed that over to 501 Entertainment.
BH: How would you define your music as far as the sound and your influences?
RS: I am a big R Kelly fan, I try to pattern my shows after him, all though he is a singer and I rap, I do pattern my shows after him as far as giving the crowd a show, give them something more to look at then just somebody holding a microphone. R Kelly has been my biggest influence.
BH: Let’s dive into the boxing world a bit, how about some fighters you really enjoy or enjoyed watching?
RS: I was always a Mike Tyson fan, and now that our hometown hero has stepped out into the spotlight I am a big time JT fan (Jermain Taylor). I push for him in every fight to represent himself and the state of Arkansas.
BH: Here recently we had a former football player Johnnie Morton try his hand in the MMA realm.
RS: Yeah, I actually saw that knockout.
BH: It was a horrific knockout. What are your thoughts on these guys jumping from one sport as football to the boxing or MMA world? Some think just because they are athletes they can jump into the fight world and actually compete.
RS: I think if it is something that you have been doing for a long time then I am ok with it. I do not want people to do it because they are used to being in the spotlight, and that is a way they are trying to keep their name out there. If you had been doing it all your life then it is ok to continue, but don’t do it just because people know your name.
BH: Let’s get back to your football career, what are some of the highlights on your career?
RS: I guess my first career touchdown, which was on Thanksgiving Day in Dallas against the Denver Broncos, it was a sixty-five yard punt return. Another one would be was when I ran back a hundred yard kick off return against the Eagles; it was Sports Center top ten number one play. And then the day Emmitt Smith broke the all time leading rushing record, I was there and was actually on the field to see that and play with him the day he broke Walter Payton’s record, that was real big in my career.
BH: What was it like playing with those guys such as Emmitt Smith, and what did you learn I guess from their locker room presence?
RS: I learned that everybody is human, when I first got there at the Dallas training camp I was kind of in awe to be sitting there in the same media room with him, but I learned that everybody is human, I learned that he is a person as myself, it was real special playing with guys like Emmitt Smith, Larry Allan and Darrin Woodson future hall of famers, it was real special.
BH: What advice would you give to the young guys wanting to step into the NFL or into athletics period?
RS: I speak to kids all the time and the first thing I tell them is that sports is not for everybody, but if you have a dream go for it, I had a dream in the seventh grade that I was going to play sports, I did not know which sport because I was playing all of them, it happened to be football. Just go for it, if you come up short at least you went for it.
BH: You have been in the spot light for such a long time as an NFL football player, you have played in games in front of millions of television viewers and packed stadiums, etc. Now you get on stage and play, what about butterflies, any difference in the two?
RS: There are always butterflies, but you have to channel that. Just be focused.
BH: So you are going to be returning to the NFL?
RS: I am definitely going to give it one more go, but I am a realist so if it happens good, if not I can always look back and say it was a great run and I have nothing to be ashamed of. I wanted to play for years and was cut six times and kept on going and finally made it. I was cut nine times totally and traded twice. I had a heck of a run and I never did give up on my dreams and that is what I teach my kids is to never give up.
BH: How would you define your time in the NFL and if this is it how do you want to be remembered?
RS: I want to be remembered as a lesson on something I just touched on, life is not easy, if you work for it you really appreciate it, and I really worked hard to make it to the NFL, I did not have an easy road I was never drafted, seven teams told me no but I kept on going. So just keep pushing, if you close the door before you even give it a chance to open then you cut your dreams short.
BH: Anything you would like to add to or say in closing of this interview?
RS: I would like for everybody to support my second career now, that is rapping, they can go to my space page and they can support me as a rapper if they are a true Reggie Swinton fan.
I would like to thank Reggie Swinton for taking the time out to speak to Doghouse Boxing. For more info on Reggie please check out: www.myspace.com/swinton.
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