If you had asked me two months ago who my top ten favorites Steelers were Merril Hoge probably would not have been even on my list…maybe not even on my top 25. He was a running back during the years toward the end of Emperor Chuck Noll’s coaching days and the start of Bill Cowher’s tenure. There were some solid teams, but no where near the glory days of the franchise. A good friend recommended his book saying that she found inspiration in his words and that intrigued me so it was off to Amazon for me.
Find a Way, in Hoge’s words are “three words that changed my life” and the book is about many of the tests he faced, overcame and became the successful father and man that he is today. His love for his family comes through on the pages. I had know about the abrupt end to his football career and had enjoyed his early broadcast days as a guest on my morning drive radio station WDVE in Pittsburgh, but I had no idea about the things that he went through to make it to the NFL, survive and thrive in that climate, deal with the concussions that ended his career, and his battles since.
Find A Way is inspirational in that Merril Hogepresents himself like the average guy that he is except that he is unusual in that he finds a way to achieve his goals. One thing that he reminded me was how much I enjoyed watching him play the game. He was perhaps the prototypical Steeler in that he worked hard on every play and he played hard. Hoge admits that he wasn’t the fastest, biggest or most talented player, but no one worked harder. These are the guys that make a team succeed, the backbone that allow the “stars” to get the glory, but they are the real stars.
You don’t have to be a football fan to find the story interesting, compelling and if you open your mind, inspirational. The book is written in the style that Hoge uses in his broadcasts…open, friendly, and honest. I’ve never gotten the impression that Merril Hoge is anything other than himself. Coming from someone who played in the NFL (albiet before the TO’s came along) and is now in broadcasting he still projects this freshness that I enjoy and found in Find A Way.