Former Ravens 2001 Super Bowl run playoff hero and safety Anthony Mitchell joins Nestor to discuss path of his son Keaton to the NFL spotlight from Atlanta to East Carolina. Words of wisdom here borne of experience! We loved this conversation with our old friend from the Festivus Maximus days of The Barn.
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Nestor Aparicio, Anthony Mitchell
Nestor Aparicio 00:01
Welcome back wn S T tacit Baltimore and Baltimore positive we’re gonna be taking the crabcake tour out on the road. Beginning on Friday we’ll be down at Lexington market at fadeless. It’s all brought to you by our friends at the Maryland lottery. And our ravens scratch also be giving these away at a dozen places before Christmas, you could get the whole schedule out of Baltimore positive I put it out on our social as well. It’s all brought to you by friends and when donation 866 90 nation you buy two, you get two free five years and 0% financing and our friends at Jiffy Lube with a pitch special this weekend for Veterans Day. Anybody in the veteran space, make sure you get that big discount if you live in multi care. We’re gonna be doing it all on Friday have a crab case, this guy is going to be having crab cakes because he’s going to be coming back to Baltimore probably a little bit more often than he did. He’s a part of something very special in my life, certainly something very special in his life. And it’s now it’s all come back to me. You know, I’m gonna have an Anthony Mitchell on for 25 years, maybe 2425 years from back in the days at the barn before he was the big hero and white returning the ball. And I saw all the interceptions that he had as a player. So if you were unaware of his era, maybe that rod Woodson guy or Macalester some of those guys, Dwayne Starks that he played with back in our secondary, his boy running around out there and Luke has been pimping Keaton Mitchell since back in the spring. I had Anthony on two years ago, I think we had a 20th anniversary for Purple Rain. And then I went looking around for a picture of me and Anthony Mitchell because I have this grainy picture that Bobby Nick took the day that he made the big play in Nashville, and it’s not a really great quality picture to share. So I was trying to find one where we’re smiling. And there he is on the back of Purple Rain with WWE Hall of Famer and former wn St. Intern, Stacy Keibler along with Mike Flynn, and Kim herring, whom I love my all time favorite ravens there. Anthony Mitchell, your boys made you famous again. I saw you on sports center returning interceptions, man.
Anthony Mitchell 02:05
Yeah, it took my son to put on bringing out some clips that I was looking for for a long time and
Nestor Aparicio 02:12
you had a couple interceptions in the NFL or no. I
Anthony Mitchell 02:15
used to tell him but I never had the footage they see my in my balls at home they get in a session on but they never seen the footage till now. It took him to do what he did for somebody to bring out the footage of me actually pick pick. Pick it up. Hey, Manny. Is
Nestor Aparicio 02:35
that something later in your life that you’re like, Could I call the Ravens with somebody have a copy? I mean, did your family not DVD because I have videotapes and DVDs that I used to show on my bus trips of the big games of the Tennessee game. I mean, all of that stuff is I figured you would have it or pictures on the wall.
Anthony Mitchell 02:57
I called I called the Ravens a couple of times try to get them to give me those game footage. I have Yeah, I have.
Nestor Aparicio 03:04
Well, I got a DVD. I’ll give you all the playoffs brother. I mean, you still got a DVD player. I mean, we’re all fancy now with YouTube, and it’s got to be on my phone or it’s not real. Right.
Anthony Mitchell 03:14
Right. We got to find a way to convert it over to USB Osama. Well, look,
Nestor Aparicio 03:21
man, I want to have like a real deep dive with you on your boy because when I had you on about two and a half years ago, we were like in the plague. I looked it up. I mean, you came in for I don’t know somebody went in the Ring of Honor. Maybe it was Billick when pillock went in? I reached out to you or whatever. And I said, I’ve seen you at various things over the years where we’ve been in a room together because of the ravens and you come home and I mean, we lost goose right? I mean, I was down at the bullies thing that they did when they shot the video that night, and we lose goose couple weeks or so I’ve reached so many of you and you guys. I mean, I feel like family with some of you. I mean, we call Richard cine here and people that I reached you not as media celebrity come on my show, but just like, I feel like I’ve known you my whole life, and then your boy puts you back in the spotlight. But two years ago, you were telling me my boys a hell of a football player. So let’s rewind to all of this because I’ve talked about you a lot this week, and the fact that you are going to be on and I found this picture of us with Stacy Keibler I don’t remember the picture. It’s on the back of my book. It’s crazy. But I talked about you a little bit and people were like was Keaton Mitchell alive when dad made the big play in the white Nashville and al del Greco and all that and I googled it and I’m like, no no no Anthony’s making babies right around maybe March April May after the Superbowl right. So like I said front start at the beginning here of the birth of your son and where you are because like you’re a raven player. I was writing Purple Rain when your son was conceived like literally was Spring of a one.
Anthony Mitchell 04:57
Right right. My oldest was here. He’s a he’s a heck of a ballplayer too, he just having the injury, but right now with his wrist, he just had to get his wrist surgery on his wrist, but he should come back. I think he got kicked to you with football. But, man, it was just one of those deals to where, you know, he came in afterwards. And him and his brother just always competed growing up, and it’s crazy. It’s just, you know, being a single dad. I had them since they was late elementary school became a single parent and just continue to work. I never, I never made it feel like a job school. Because if you got guys in the NFL, make a mistake. So as kids, so they just fell in love with the sport because it never felt like a job.
Nestor Aparicio 05:49
For you give everybody a sense of your real life, what’s an old football player played a couple years in the league and, you know, maybe a borderline pension in regard to the league and being a former player and having a ring, right? I mean, and having a memory that we all remember, I mean, like, you’re a part of one of the really awesome things in my life and our life. And all these years later, I’ve been on the radio 32 years, I’ve owned the station 25 years now. It’s crazy, right? And what happened to you, you’re an Atlanta guy, you went to a small school in the south, give everybody a sense of your life upon exiting the NFL and becoming a single parent. Because I, I mean, we could do a whole book on the challenges between the last time we saw you and now your boy in the league as to how this happens. Because everybody’s trying to raise a good kid, everybody’s trying to have a good life. And not everybody got to play in the league and have that, but then you got to go have a real life and have a job and make a life for yourself after it’s over. Because you didn’t make any real money.
Anthony Mitchell 06:51
Right? Right. Right. So for me, it was one of those deals to where, you know, I sacrifice everything became about my boys and, and so just making sure they’re in the right spot in the right situation, because, you know, bring it up to boys. And sometimes it can be hard, and they could veer off to the wrong direction. But I have two good ones. And I started training, I had a track team, I started coaching parking wreck. And so both of my boys ran from my track team, you know, of course, you know, both of them fast. He got some records into 60. And some of the indoor meetings and, you know, he, his teams end up being ranked well for the teams to go to Nationals all the time. But, you know, it just came to where, when you become a single parent, you got to you got to sacrifice for your kid, and, and all it all became about him, just for me playing football and being away from so much from traveling, and going to camps and offseason workouts when I was when I was playing regardless, if I was a single parent at night, when I was playing. I said when I finished football, it’s gonna be all about my kids. And that’s what I did. It was all about my kids. And so it totally went off to college, and I’m talking about high school, it still was all about them. So at the end of the day, you know, we’re just watching them grow up and saying, Keep doing what you’re doing. Yeah, just get a taste of what you could do, man. I just got a taste of what he could do. Well, tell
Nestor Aparicio 08:15
me about the fun of getting them into college and going into college games and being a guy who played at that level where I mean God if your kids didn’t make the NFL at work, you know, I mean when they put I have a dear friend of mine whose son played hockey and played at a high level but didn’t make it into the NHL. That’s no crime you played with a lot of guys in play in the league have a hell of a ballplayer so that your boy right? So, but like getting to this level, and having a Sunday, having one day where things go right now there might be 10 years of things that could go right for him. Right? I mean, you know what that pathway could be for anyone? He might be Terrell Davis Right? Let me look literally we don’t know you believe he could be that right? And but to see this on one day on Sunday, run me through your day on Sunday because I was a single parent I was a parent at 15. I raised my son in front of I mean everybody but it’s ever listen to me knows about me raising my son. I can’t imagine my son one day in the NFL and certainly for what you’ve done in your life to witness this and the first questions was your dad ran and where were you on Sunday?
Anthony Mitchell 09:24
You know, because he came off with a little nagging injury and saw like, hey, go play that much. I’m, I sit at home this day. I think he was gonna play that much. So I was at home scrambling because I got Pyramind and it was like it’d be shown on pyramide CBS it wasn’t on. So I’m calling people at the NFL Network. Because I was I refuse to get to YouTube. I just I got every stream. And so my brother compensate look, it’s on this. Download this I was able to download it on my phone in mirror image on my big screen. So my brother came over to me he was sitting there watching the game. And, and I sent that reporter a screenshot of my conversation in a family, the fantasy league. And my best friend used to come with my my college homecoming. He used to come home to he used to come stay with me two days early, before home come so you can watch my son play, watch my son’s play. And he like he’s a dog. He can play running back. He’s an act. He’s legit. And so when when we’re doing a fantasy draft, he drafted him right before I did. And so when, when he when he drafted him after the first two carries of the game, I text everybody to my fantasy group. I said he can break a long one today. I called it after his second carry. I say because me watching him. And it’s for the most part. This is the NFL, we’re up to this point. When he had to case like that. He usually go for a 50 or 80. Otter some a but he had to carry like that he usually he usually break a decent, right. And so when he had his two carries, I take everywhere my body and my fantasy group say and he might bring them on one a day, fellas. So enough, I’m sitting there watching it streaming it. I got a friend that went to screw up childhood friend grew up in Tennessee. He was watching it live. So soon as he broke he called me. I haven’t seen our two plays behind me. I like
Nestor Aparicio 11:39
I said waking up my phone, and I hung up on it. Because you’re watching it on your phone was streaming it right.
Anthony Mitchell 11:45
Right. Right. Right. But when he called me I had to I had a phone I don’t use streaming it. So my my original phone was working. But the thing is when he called me I haven’t seen a play because it was two plays behind. And so he called me soon as a half because he watched it live. I’m streaming it streaming is slower than live. I like make it on my phone. And let me tell
Nestor Aparicio 12:08
you what man I live downtown. This view that you see behind me. I lived outside the stadium. And and I’d watch a baseball game with the window open. And I would hear the home run before the pitcher got rid of the ball. Spoiler boiler, so you knew something good happened? Or did he tell you?
Anthony Mitchell 12:29
I knew some good heat? Yep, I knew some good what’s going to happen? Because when I hung up when I said to something that happened that my brother and I say a key thing to do. So that was Vince, he just called me going crazy. So he scattered. The first one he got like when he was reading through it. And then the next one, he went to the assay. That’s the one he was talking about. So yeah, it was a little spoiler alert for me. But it still was exciting to see when it happened. Run
Nestor Aparicio 12:53
me through the last two years because I mean, you come in for reunions and whatnot. And I’m sure you’ve been in the suites and meeting fans and saying I’m Anthony. Here’s my Super Bowl ring and you’ve had a couple opportunities to do that. But your life the last couple years has been Atlanta, East Carolina moving you know, kids in college track back all the stuff that you do. What’s the new life for you? And I’m reason I’m asking is that picture I have with Stacy Keibler Mike Flynn’s in that picture, Mike Flynn’s family, his parents were with me all during those games, because I used to sit the stands in the family section, you know, in the late 90s turn of the century Jersey up in the state before Twitter before any of that, and his parents were in every game, every airport, every bar, every hotel, every pre you know, like all of that and there is a life for all of that that like I don’t know what you thought about stage parenting your boy if he plays 568 years in the NFL, or maybe only five weeks, you never know. Right? Like well, you you’ve dreamed the video of him playing in the league probably in the way for you were the last two years what’s happened to get him to this point because, you know, prospects are a dime a dozen sophomore junior year of college. Right? Like it really takes a very good set of circumstances. undrafted for this to be able to happen, right?
Anthony Mitchell 14:21
Yeah, like, you know, he’s he’s a sacrifice, you know, me and my wife. I’m, I’m newly married going on four years now. But so she sacrifice with me now and we’ll be in East Carolina, North Carolina one week, then we’d be down in Alabama with my other son and neck. I mean, it makes day so we sometimes they play Thursday, Saturday, we bet both games but for Keaton, I mean, he he just sacrificed and I mean, he don’t party much you don’t you don’t drink you know, if you do, he’s gonna have one or two, you know, but at the end of the day, he know how to take care his body. He know how to rest and you know, so But he’d spent doing this. And the thing is, he’d be overlooked because his size he’d been overlooked. At high school, his junior year, he had 51 touchdowns rushing, rushing, rushing, rushing, you have 49 in the regular season. I mean, you know, I think 46 Right the season then went to the playoffs, he had to win the state championship game that sealed the deal. And then his his senior year he had, I want to say 45, touch rushing touchdowns. And so he is a chip on his shoulder, to where now I’m telling you on the biggest stage, do not lose that chip on your shoulder. Continue to have it in it now. I text him right before the game. I said. If you get your opportunity, I always tell him when he went into high school, he was a freshman, I thought he was the best back in high school, but he retired that junior senior, I don’t care if you get one carry, make that cue to best carry out everybody on the day. And so he know how to capitalize on the opportunity, because he don’t know when he will have another opportunity after that one kid. So in his mind, he always know make the best out of the one carrier you get. And it will it will promote you to get more cares. Just like his freshman year in college. He went in they had him forth on the depth chart. And they played UCF. He had six carries to work on the other three running backs had 1516 he led he led the team in rushing with 66 yards on six games. And I tell him capitalize on each opportunity. If you can’t capitalize on one opportunity. You can’t complain about the rest of the opportunity you didn’t get capitalize on that one and let everything else fall in place.
Nestor Aparicio 16:39
Anthony Mitchell given us a great and we call these wise conversations. There’s certainly some wisdom here. He wants played for the Ravens his boys now playing for the Ravens was a part of my life. 25 years ago, you know the barn I’m out doing this crab cake tour. Now we sit in the basement and have crabs and when you think of your career, and if your boy asked you for wisdom, and I’m sure I mean come on, you guys are father and son together every day, I don’t think it’s it’s a movie scene where it’s like dad taught me what it’s like to play in the NFL. But if he were to ask you for the wisdom that you’ve gained, and you could say it in a minute or two or five, what what is the wisdom you gain that has helped him that’s powered him.
Anthony Mitchell 17:25
Love what you do, man, I tell him love what you do, and believe in yourself. Because it was a point to where I didn’t have the confidence in myself because of being a free agent and not getting the opportunity. And that everybody else get that. So I tell him regardless, know who you are, and believe in yourself. And don’t let anyone steal your fat. Because that’s what a lot of guys fail. When you get an opportunity to play in the NFL. They came to get you because of what you did in the past. So continue to do what you do. Don’t stare off of that. Like when he got hurt with the shoulder and a preseason. I asked him, What would you think it? He said I was trying to show him tough. I said, No, they didn’t come get you because he was tough. They came against you because you are a game breaker because of the way you run again, don’t reinvent who you are now. They who they came against you and I tell him all the time, continue to do what you always done. And let everything else fall in place control control, which you can control. And they let everything else be what it’s gonna be. And that’s what he’s he’s learning to do believe in himself. Because I think he got the skill. I think he get the pro mindset to be very, very good and asleep. And
Nestor Aparicio 18:41
that’s hard. And from you. You were never fast as tall as biggest school any of that and you made it I mean, you make it you made an impact. You just didn’t hang on the end of a roster for a minute or two and you play in the league. And he was clearly going to be that guy too. And you knew that from the beginning because he was small. He you know, all of that. Right? That. And then undrafted he was gonna have to do it that way. And I think that’s so hard. And look, one of the reasons I knew you people say how did you know Spencer PhilaU and Mike Flynn and you know, the guys on the barge Scott who hung around forever before we got a chance to play. And I’m like, Man, those were the guys sort of like me, and those were the guys who were in the locker room first. Last. They were normal guys. They weren’t pampered. They didn’t have a lot of money. They were happy to be there. They wanted to show that they were there early and they wanted to be nice to reporters because they didn’t. They wanted to be recognized as I’m trying harder, and then you got your chance. And then I come and say you come to the bar tomorrow. I didn’t have to say hi, my name is Nestor. I knew who you were. But the hardest part for all of you was you weren’t rod Woodson you weren’t a first rate you know, you were always gonna have to wait for an injury wait for an opportunity. Wait for a blowout. Wait, you know, wait for that chance and for your boy. I mean, injuries and all that we’re halfway through the season. I mean, his impact didn’t come until November the fifth Right? Like that’s the hardest thing in the world is sitting waiting your turn in life, right? Yeah,
Anthony Mitchell 20:07
I tell him to always stay ready. So you had to get ready. You had to get ready and where
Nestor Aparicio 20:12
you are right, counsel? You’re taking all that Billick right? I mean all of that Marvin, right? You got all of it? Yeah.
Anthony Mitchell 20:21
We have some great coaches. I’ve been I played up on the spring coaching. I played under some special players and just being able to take somebody’s knowledge and important to my boys. It’s a blessing man. It’s a blessing but marks itself you know, I tell people all the time this I don’t know what type of players you have of today’s game. But to have a ROB listen that I don’t know if people know that we got to play off that we got the Tennessee game he made me take every rep he didn’t take a rep at practice he in and I’m doing specialties I’m taking his ribs I don’t like rod give me one let me get a break he said no. He said because we only as strong as our backups
Nestor Aparicio 21:01
and rods like to play dude I’m good.
Anthony Mitchell 21:05
And honestly, he sat on the sidelines and watch me every single snap better
Nestor Aparicio 21:11
guy in the world and Rob Woodson like I tell like that No disrespect to Ray or ed or any of the people I really like like I like Joe Flacco a lot I like Todd he that is my that goes through the Marvin I go through these great Jack Del Rio all these people I like in football and and because Rod was better than everybody else. And I would never know it or
Anthony Mitchell 21:35
you would and I think it was a special group. It was a special man I have with Chris McAllister. I love Dwayne Starks the quarry Karason man course still we still communicate to this date came hearing. I mean court
Nestor Aparicio 21:50
hearings county audit clears he got you want to clear? Yeah, he
Anthony Mitchell 21:55
made me made court hairs made him and some stuff from Tennessee to Georgia together. I mean it that group was special man, it was a bond off the field. We go to TGI Fridays, every Friday and just sit down and eat and just talk and we bonded in a way to where we knew which everybody was going to do before they did it. I mean we had each other back and so that’s why I think that when you get a defense like that, a secondary like that especially and Rob was a special guy you know, he led the pack you know he was influenced to all of us you know being a savvy vet he loves and I just hope you know my son get that taste of of a friendship a player ship of teammates as he come along, you know, because we didn’t hate on each other we wanted everybody to eat is enough to go out there so you know I loved reading organization I love for my son being in it.
Nestor Aparicio 22:48
Well last thing for you and I’ll just say this Lamar Beckham you know, Linda balm Stanley these really good mark Andrews I don’t leave anybody out. I mean, hell, Aguilar and Bateman first round draft picks to write like so. But your boy coming in and right now, where JK has been hurt. Gus is great because he’s in a you know, Gus, Gus, just a second half back the way they’ve designed it. And seven and two Lamar. I’ve been talking to Luke about this. You know, for weeks since Dobbins got hurt. I said, Man, they miss Mark Ingram from that 19 role, because he blocked well, he saw well, he ran well. And I remember how special Ray Rice was for Joe Flacco. And for that offensive being that I see your boy and I see a little bit of Ray Rice in that way. And the past protection and being tomorrow’s guy with that sleight of hand either take it or take take it and go and having guys two guys that fast. The caster ask Lamar on the sideline when your boy was running, he said Which one of you two is faster? I’d like for the Steelers defense to have to try to figure that out of the Jaguars defense after so, man, your boy is in a weird position that he could have been a first round draft and then and not been in a good scenario. He’s now in a scenario where he can win a championship 10 weeks from now. And because he’s around guys that are mean Lamar special. I know there’s no question about that. Right? Right,
Anthony Mitchell 24:20
right. So after round four, five, after round four, I didn’t want him to get drafted anymore. The eagle the eagle appears with a kid’s name called but the business and understanding the NFL after round four. I didn’t want to get drafted anymore. I did I mean it hurt him that he does need to get called. But I knew that you could get picked in a bad situation that’s around four.
Nestor Aparicio 24:47
Did you tell him
Anthony Mitchell 24:49
Yeah, I think that’s a key it’s a blessing in disguise man I say trust the process. I say because I say you’re a free agent. That’s the route for anyway. You Turnblad as if you get kicked in a bad situation, then you
Nestor Aparicio 25:05
a and Amen. There’s a lot of bad situations in this league. And there’s a lot of opportunity that comes with bad situations too, though. Right?
Anthony Mitchell 25:15
Right. I mean, it’s, you know, it’s, it goes hand in hand, you know, you got to take the good with the bad, but that was
Nestor Aparicio 25:20
one of the hard parts for you. You wouldn’t go on to some crappy team you might have played you might have stunk you might never get given a chance you might have gotten hurt, the team might have stunk, you know, like anything could happen. They’re waiting your turn, and Baltimore turned out to be a blessing for you that you had that experience. Right. It
Anthony Mitchell 25:37
was man, and I appreciate everything. And and I love it. Like I tell people, everybody acts, who you’re talking to ravens, not even before my son get picked up on it. They always been since I left. And you know, it’s just one of those deals to where the organization treat you. Well, the fans treat you great. And I just love the city.
Nestor Aparicio 25:58
To hear from you. crabcake. I mean, now you’re I know, because a lot of times I get together, I’m like, I’ll come to Atlanta, I was at the airport, we will go to the varsity will do and like, and then I don’t see you, you’re gonna be here. Like, I mean, I think a lot. I mean, your boys made an impact here. And it’s very, very clear. They believed in Him to give him an opportunity. And, you know, here we go, right. This is this is what you wish
Anthony Mitchell 26:20
for. Getting my ticket for Sunday now.
Nestor Aparicio 26:25
And Thursday to stay around. Yes,
Anthony Mitchell 26:27
I’d be I’d be the next two games. So yeah, well, good
Nestor Aparicio 26:30
man may tell him you get to sleep on the couch. So you know.
Anthony Mitchell 26:35
All right. Yeah, making breakfast. Hey,
Nestor Aparicio 26:37
man, always good to see you. Thanks for making time. I mean, your stories are. They’re beautiful. They’re beautiful. It’s beautiful thing to see this man. Really?
Anthony Mitchell 26:44
Nestor Aparicio 26:45
I pull it for your boy. He is now the father Keaton Mitchell. He’s no longer Super Bowl champion and star of the divisional round game back into 2001 his pictures hanging on the wall in our office because he’s pictures on the back of Purple Rain one. If you see some guy that looks like 42 out there. It’s probably Anthony Mitchell. Get on up here and support your boy. We don’t want you to watch this Sunday, fellas. You don’t mean to YouTube TV. Anthony Mitchell’s out of here on Nesta. We are wn st am 50 70,000 Baltimore. What a great great wise conversation. Good story. Join us for crabcake down in Lexington market on Friday.