Bam Morris, Steelers Running Back, 1984-1985
Bam Morris (September 15, 2011):
First, can you tell readers about your motivational speaking business –how you got involved with this and what specifically it entails?
I saw a need for guidance for male youths.
I got involved when many of my close friends and family were always asking for my advice with their sons. I was asked to speak for a company which led to speaking to schools and juvenile detention centers. I feel if I can reach one person through my story then I did a great part in serving. We all have a purpose to serve in one way or another and I found my purpose.
How do then kids you work with react to your message? Do your past legal experiences make it easier or harder for them to relate to you, do you think?
I have received positive feedback from people of all ages. Many parents have thanked me for sharing my story and teens feel they can relate. We all know someone who has taken the wrong path in life and have made bad choices but life can be changed and the direction you take can be rerouted.
You’re never too old for change.
What lessons have you taken from your football career that helped you in this new career – and what players and coaches helped instill those lessons in you?
To never give up and have courage. Dick Hoak was my running back coach at Pittsburgh and I always admired his toughness and resilience to life and what it has in store for you whether good or bad. He taught me to overcome any obstacle.
How was Coach Cowher to play for –how did he help you as a player and what, if anything, frustrated you about playing for him or the team?
Coach Cowher was a great coach. He was an old school coach that believed in running the ball. At that time Coach Cowher tried to steer me in the right direction but I was in the wrong state of mind.
My fondest memory as a Steeler was the AFC Championship against the colts and I scored the winning touchdown.
How frustrating was it for you to have to share the carries with Pegram –and how well did the both of you get along?
Pegram and I got along just fine. We were both two different running backs. He was quick and fast and I was a “big back”.
Who mentored you as a rookie – and how so?
John L. Williams was my mentor my rookie year. My rookie year was difficult adjusting and I had a particular game that I kept fumbling which was unusual for me. John took me aside and told me,”block out the crowd, stop beating yourself up for it , move forward and lets win the game”.
Craig Wofley in an interview with us discussed the need for rookies to prove themselves to veterans. How did you do so – and what “hazing” rituals did they put you through?
As a rookie I proved myself by producing on the field. I was never hazed but I did get stuck with a dinner tab for the running backs. ouch!
How difficult was it to play for the the Steelers rival, the Baltimore Ravens, after being released by the Steelers? How much grief did the Steelers players give you when you played against them?
It wasn’t difficult, I had something to prove and on the field I proved it with the Ravens.
How do you feel about the way veterans are treated by the NFL and today’s players?
Veterans laid the foundation for players today and future players. They should be treated with respect and never be forgotten.
The NFL is working towards helping the vets with physical illnesses etc… but they still have a ways to go. Most of today’s players realize that they too will be vets someday but there is still a small number that thinks they will play forever. Nothing lasts forever.
Any advice for rookies today?
There is a quote used that the NFL stands for “Not For Long”. So the rookies need to use all their resources the NFL has to offer while they are there.
Any last thoughts for readers?
To my fans , I want to say “thanks for the letters and words of encouragement” and to readers that want to know how is Bam doing……Bam is doing great. He is enjoying life with his wife, and raising Italian Mastiffs. Most of all he is not taking a day that goes by for granted.