I know I had been successful in football. I had been successful in broadcasting. I didn't think that anything could touch me. I thought, I can beat anything.
But like Mrs. Ford, I think that the more people realize what a difficult and what an insidious disease it is, the sooner people will start to correct that situation.
My MELD score was pretty high. And the worse you get on that scale, the sooner you get a transplant. It's based on how sick you are. And believe me, I was pretty sick.
Well, to take me from where I was, and the life I was leading, to the life I lead now with the church and with the Lord and with Jesus Christ, it's a total, total turn-around.
Seemed like everything I tried to do in broadcasting and as a player before that turned out successfully. I was succeeding. I got to the top of the heap in every facet of broadcasting.
I've done a lot of Super Bowls and appeared in a lot of big, big events and places and the Masters and what have you, but there was nothing as intimidating as speaking with Billy Graham.
When someone saves your life and gives you life, there's gratitude, humility; there's a time you've been so blessed you realize you've been given another chance at life that maybe you did or didn't deserve.
So, I didn't get moved up because of celebrity status or anything like that. I got in line, and I passed the test. And they realized that I was sick enough, and as soon as the liver became available, I got one.
There were a couple of things in the intervention that made me know I needed help. One was a letter from my daughter saying that she was ashamed she had the same last name as I did, which will shock you a little bit.
In football, there were drinks available everywhere you looked. On a golf tournament, you could find one free anywhere you wanted it. In tennis and NBA basketball, everybody had a hospitality suite, and so you could go there and load up if you wanted to.