“If you want to even think about going to the mountain top, you need to go through the valleys.” -Takeo Spikes
Legendary 2-time All Pro NFL linebacker, Takeo Spikes, joins The Brink of Midnight Podcast.
Known to teammates as "TKO", "Bam Bam", and for the size of his neck (21 inches), Takeo Spikes has left a legacy both on and off the football field. He was team captain of 13 out of 15 of his NFL seasons and had a rare 219 starts in his career with the Cincinnati Bengals, Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, and San Diego Chargers.
Takeo is known for his incredible discipline, sense of creativity, and belief in teamwork, and he credits growing up in a small town in Georgia with building that foundation. Despite having a mother who was an educator, Takeo struggled in school and had difficulty with test-taking. He had to sacrifice at an early age to make sure he did whatever it took to take advantage of opportunity when it came. His life-changing moment came at 15 years old when his father gave him the VHS tape “How to Be a Champion” by Lou Holtz. He learned about putting priorities in order to set up a blueprint for success in life and it's this same blueprint that he reviews ever year. Takeo honed in on the word "ethos" and it led to becoming All State in high school, being called "Mr. Football" in Georgia, and to making a lasting mark at Auburn University, where he developed his sense of discipline, mindset and consistency.
In this conversation, we go deep on Takeo's life-changing moments and how he developed his character and consistency despite never making a playoff game in his 15 year career. He shares how he continues to develop his mindset, express his creativity, and commit to lifelong learning. That same struggling student became the kind of guy who went back to finish his bachelor’s, get his masters, take executive classes at Stanford University, find a love for photography, and write a book!
TAKEO'S WORDS OF WISDOM
"If you want to even think about going to the mountain top, you need to go through the valleys".
“What really makes you appreciate things, is by finding your weakness and then dedicating your full attention to improving it.”
“You need to do what you’re supposed to do when you’re supposed to do it…and be consistent.”
“One of the hardest things to do in life is not only to develop a habit, but to just be consistent.”
“You have to be disciplined in order to have longevity in anything.”
“Do what they won’t do.”
“Football is one of the best team sports ever. Here’s why - I don’t care how great a player is. If you don’t have a supporting cast, there’s no way you’re going to make it.”
“Every day is a race, and I want to win.”
“If you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life.”
“If who you are is what you have and what you have gets taken away, who are you?”
“Don’t let someone else’s opinion become your reality.”
1. Put God first.
2. Love what you do.
3. Be committed to what you do.
4. Treat people the way you want to be treated.
5. Love everyone.
Behind The Mask is dedicated to and chronicles the life and times of the great NFL linebackers of our time and includes photography taken by Takeo
CONNECT WITH TAKEO
- LARRY FITZGERALD, 10x NFL Pro Bowl Wide Receiver, AZ Cardinals
- SANTONIO HOLMES, Super Bowl XLIII MVP
- MORTEN ANDERSEN, All-Time Leading Scorer in NFL History
- RAY LEWIS, Super Bowl MVP, NFL, Analyst