The second season of EPIX’s Rich Eisen-hosted “NFL Icons” NFL Films docuseries is underway, and it has a strong media focus, with seven of the eight people spotlighted this season notable for post-playing or post-coaching media careers. One of those is Jimmy Johnson, who’s featured in the next hour-long episode (premiering at 10 p.m. Eastern Saturday on EPIX.) And a preview clip shows off an interesting impact Johnson made on the game during his time as a Fox broadcaster, discussing a speech the Kansas City Chiefs invited him to give to the team ahead of their February 2020 victory in Super Bowl LIV. The clip has both Johnson and Chiefs’ tight end Travis Kelce talking about the speech:
Some notable discussion there:
Kelce: “I loved the speech that Jimmy Johnson gave. He came up to us, I think it was the Thursday before the Super Bowl and told us he was banking on us to win it. And he told us the story of a two- by- four.”
Johnson: “I picked a couple of players and said, ‘Oh, if you walk from one end to the other.’ And then I talked to Brett Veach and Andy Reid, and I said, ‘Okay, who’s one of your good players, defensive.’ Oh, they said,’ Chris Jones.’ I said, Okay,’ I said, ‘Chris, get your big fat ass up here.’ I said, ‘You walk from one end to the other.’ So the guys got a kick out of it.”
The clip then goes on to show Kelce discussing this with teammates on the field on game day:
“Jimmy Johnson said it best, baby. Like we walking on a two-by-four, whether it’s on the ground or ten feet in the air. At the end of the day, we’ve been doing this our whole lives.”
That last part shows off the power of a NFL Films series. Discussing something like this after the fact is one thing, but having the gameday footage that shows Kelce talking about it in the moment elevates it further. It’s also interesting that Johnson still has the power to inspire NFL players decades after the last game he coached, which came back in 1999.
Johnson is in both the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his work as a coach, and he’s had a notable career as a Fox broadcaster for the past two-plus decades as well. He’s a good figure to focus on for a series like this. And it’s interesting to see this clip spotlight an impact Johnson made long after he left coaching.
The hour-long NFL Icons episode on Jimmy Johnson will premiere Saturday at 10 p.m. Eastern on EPIX and will be available in the EPIX app. Previous installments on John Madden and Walter Payton are also available in that app. Further episodes are en route on Steve Young (Oct. 1), Ray Lewis (Oct. 8), Troy Aikman (Oct. 15), Cris Carter (Oct. 22), and Tony Dungy (Oct. 29).