JJ Birden played 9 years in the NFL as a Wide Receiver after a stand out career as a star track athlete at the University of Oregon, which is known as “Tracktown, USA”. A 5’10”, 157-pound wide receiver, JJ was drafted by the Cleveland Browns in the 1988 NFL Draft and played nine seasons (Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Kansas City Chiefs, and Atlanta Falcons). To play nine years in a profession where the average players career last an average of 3.2 years is something special. Two of those nine years was with Hall of Fame Quarterback Joe Montana. He certainly was not the biggest, strongest, or fastest guy on the field, but he knew how to seize his once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and maximize his success through dedication and hard work.
He is now a motivational speaker and representative for the health and nutrition company Isagenix. He is an engaging communicator and a leading expert at helping individuals seize their opportunities in life. In his presentations, JJ shares lessons from his experience as a small man in a big man’s game. JJ’s time in the NFL helped shape the message that he now delivers to audiences around the world. After seeing the successes and failures of others at the highest level, he developed a set of principles that others could follow to achieve greatness, no matter how they defined it or what they’re pursuing.
JJ has also written a book entitled, “When Opportunity Knocks: 8 Surefire Ways to Take Advantage.” He and his wife Raina have 8 kids, including 5 that are adopted.
In today’s episode, we discuss:
- Catching footballs from Joe Montana
- Playing 9 years in the NFL
- Adopting 5 children
- Staying positive in any situation
- Whether this world-class sprinter ever got caught from behind