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The JBoy Show Welcomes Merril Hoge, former ESPN Analyst/NFL RB
November 18, 2020

The JBoy Show Welcomes Merril Hoge, former ESPN Analyst/NFL RB

  • Teams win championships, not one player or one play
  • Author shares motivation behind new book, “Brainwashed”
  • Hoge, Crain talk turnover in the NFC East

On Nov. 5, 2020, The JBoy Show added another well-known name to the guest list roster as former NFL running back and ESPN analyst Merril Hoge stopped by for a chat. Hoge is the author of two books, a brain cancer survivor, an inspirational speaker and a man who tackles challenges head-on.

JBoy host Jacob Crain and Hoge started the show by discussing the NFL and storylines that have stood out: the Steelers, Ben Roethlisberger’s recovery, Mike Tomlin, the Titans and more. There is never such a mismatch in college football that you cannot win, the two agreed. A player “may be a beast,” but there is always a way to neutralize them. While one player may provide strong inspiration for a team, a single player does not win championships.

“Teams win championships,” said Hoge. “When people say defense wins championships, your missing two-thirds of the team. The one thing I can tell you is the best team is going to win the Super Bowl.” 

It’s not about the offense or the defense; it’s about both, he went on to explain. A balance has to be achieved. It’s not about one play or one player. It’s hard to overcome the unknowns. Statistics don’t dictate an outcome, at least not as much as turnovers do. “Turnovers,” observed Hoge, “speak to wins and losses.”

After talking NFL, Crain steered the conversation to Hoge’s most recent book, “Brainwashed: The Bad Science Behind CTE and the Plot to Destroy Football.” Hoge said that once he completed his first book, “Find A Way: Three Words That Changed My Life,” Hoge never intended to write another book. But when Mike Webster, his former roommate, passed away, he began to challenge the information being presented by the media about CTE and football players.

As someone who has worked in the world of television, Hoge stated: “I know how things are presented. I know how biased one person can be, even though they aren’t supposed to be when you talk about a good journalist.”

Hoge shared with Crain his motivation for writing “Brainwashed” and the misinformation the media is providing regarding head trauma in football players. Along with board-certified forensic neuropathologist Peter Cummings, MD, Hoge explores the hidden agenda that fuels the CTE hysteria.

“I wrote the book for kids and parents to empower them,” he said. In addition to providing better information, the book shares about protocols that are in place and how to treat CTEs when they do happen. “I don’t think living in fear is living,” Hoge remarked.

The show ended with a discussion around the NFC East. Neither JBoy nor Hoge see the division gaining traction. The division was hit hard this year with injuries and also has three new coaches. “Turnover like that is hard,” said Hoge. “It’s harder to be consistent as a team when those things happen.”

This insightful discussion between Hoge and Crain can be found, along with all the JBoy Show podcast episodes, on Anchor, iTunes/Apple, Spotify, Google, Breaker, Overcast, PocketCasts, RadioPublic, or YouTube

Hosted by Jake Crain, the JBoy Show burst on the podcast scene in April 2020, delivering an in-depth look at Southeastern Conference (“SEC”) sports emphasizing the SEC West. With topics ranging from recruiting and real-life athlete experiences to a multi-episode series honoring legendary Auburn football Coach Pat Dye, the JBoy Show is ranked as one of the top-10 sports news shows on Apple Podcasts.

For more information about the JBoy Show, please visit

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