top of page

Slingin It with QB Velocity #9 with Former Cornell and NFL Running Back Ed Marinaro

In this episode of Slingin It with QB Velocity we had a chance to sit down and talk to Ed Marinaro who played in the NFL for six seasons for the Vikings, Jets, and Seahawks. He is also known for his role as Coach Marty in the hit TV show Blue Mountain State.

Ed Marinaro was an amazing college athlete playing running back for Cornell. He was the first rusher to reach over 4,000 yards in a career and led the nation in rushing in 1971. He was a runner up for the Heisman Trophy and then was selected in the second round by the Minnesota Vikings.

In the interview we got to talk about how he got into the film industry, how it was being in Blue Mountain State, what was it like almost winning the Heisman, and how the NFL is different now from when he played.

Make sure to listen to the podcast on YouTube, Apple, Spotify or anywhere else you listen to podcasts at.

How did you get involved with the show business?

“I needed a job, you know. OK, so it was probably after my 4th year with the Vikings. I played out my option with the Vikings and just as a little side note, I was one of the first players in history to really have legitimate free agency. They declared the Roselle rule unconstitutional in 1976, actually 1975. I had played four years with the Vikings and at that time he really had no option. You were playing through that team. And then the courts declared the Rozelle rule, which was, that's why they call it unconstitutional.

So, there's a handful of players that got to pretty much leave the team. I played four years in Minnesota the last year with the Vikings, I took a 10% pay cut. Ironically, that was the year I was third in the NFC and 16th in the NFL in receiving started 15 games and almost went to the Super Bowl. So that was when I played for 10% less than I did the year before. So anyway, they declared the Roselle rule. Roselle was the commissioner, they declared unconstitutional. And that year there were probably 10 players who left their team and got to go to any team that would sign them.

When I went to The Jets, John Riggins, who was a great running back Hall of Fame running back from The Jets, he went to Washington, Calvin Hill from the Dallas Cowboys to the Cleveland Browns and I went to the Jets so. You know that was that was end him telling this story? Because Joe Namath has been a friend of mine since I was in college. We met at the College Football Hall of Fame dinner in 1972. I was a senior. I was pretty hot stuff, and someone came over and introduced me to him. And you know we became friends. He's older, a little older than I am. He's just a great guy and we've been friends since I was 21 years old.

And then I go to the Jets, and it was orchestrated a little bit by his attorney Jimmy Walsh getting me from Minnesota to The Jets and then again, we've been friends when I was in Minnesota after the season in Minnesota. And you know, fortunately for me, I had played in two Super Bowls and The Jets really sucked so. He goes down to Fort Lauderdale to his place down there and soon as my season was over, I boom get a plane and fly down to Fort Lauderdale and we would have some fun.

Couple weeks of fishing and golf and drinking and you know chasing chicks and all that stuff. It was pretty cool, trust me. And so, we've been friends ever since then. That was my kind of introduction into Hollywood because I went out there with him just to hang out and I met some people.

My first kind of introduction was. I met a lot of people out there and one of them was an agent who I met, who called me later to see if I would come out and do a screen test. To replace Lee Majors in the $6 million man and you might not remove show, but it was very popular show, and he was threatening to leave the show. So, they were looking for somebody to replace him, and you know, anyway, I went out there. I didn't get the role, because he came back to the show but it kind of got my interest in Hollywood and show business and acting.

So that was between my last year in Minnesota and my first year with the Jets. I lived in Los Angeles and gotten Workshop Acting Workshop and studied acting. And you know, pretty much that was something I knew I wanted to do when my career was over. Yeah, obviously, it worked out pretty well.”

What was your overall experience being Coach Marty Daniels on Blue Mountain State?

“Well, you know it was interesting at best during this stage in my life. You know, I don't want talk about my age. Obviously, I was the youngest person on the cast, [laugh] oldest person. I didn't know what it would lead to. I mean it was a fun role. I read it and you know I said wow, this is crazy. I said I had no idea. That you know what it would become.

And you know we shot it up in Montreal, Canada. Which was outstanding, it was like it was so cool. It was just a great place that I got to go to. I brought my wife and my son up there and my son was little like 10 years old or whatever. You know we did it with no real expectations because it was kind of a, you know, it's kind of a I didn't know where you would be categorizing this thing, it was crazy. Drug use man it was nuts, but it was kind of fun.

I was able to draw on my personal experience as a football guy. You know the real and again you guys grew up on social media. You got up the streaming networks you got. But you know the thing that's made Blue Mountain State the cult classic was it was on Netflix. Yeah, you know, because we were on for three years and it was sort of appointment TV, I guess Tuesday night 9:30 and if you didn't TiVo it or whatever used to do back then, you know you missed it and you try to watch it again. And then you know, after the show was cancelled, we did a movie that was, I don't even know how they did.

But I think if we still have very avid rabbit fans, and you know I could tell that. It was just the new internet social media. It was a whole different world for me personally, but it's sort of the ability to go on a streaming network and have you show on there where normally if the show is cancelled and go to like some graveyard and you never see again. Blue Mountain State you know got picked up by Netflix and was on, I think four years and it introduced to show do a whole different generation of kids.

You know, and then you know my son being wanted to me when I was doing the show, he was nine years old, right? He couldn’t even watch it. I wouldn't let him on set you know; it was like scary. But then it you know it became this this cult hit. And kids were binge watching it, which you know, you could never do before.

But now I see these college kids all the time who come up to me. There like oh I watch Season 2 last night. You know they watched the whole thing. I can't imagine doing that. I can't imagine staying awake that long, going to watch a whole new season. So, it really, we benefited from. You know this is new technology if you will. Netflix and we're on Amazon Prime right now. So, I guess it's kind of exciting because I'm you know I've been, you know, like you guys, your part of my fan base now, whether you like it or not, you know.

At my stage in my life to have You know. 25-year-old guys, you know, go freaking nuts when they see me and you know, come up to me and one pictures taking me. You know it's there. It's a trip which is fun. You know, it's like. You know I've had a second sort of career; you know. It Is really fun; you know it's draining because everybody wants me to sort of get drunk with them and stuff so. But it's really been fun. It's really fun. You know with all due respect I don't think there are many actors in Hollywood who are my age who have a fan base is young as you guys so it's kind of cool thing you know.

You don't even remember I did Hill Street Blues, which was probably the most to this day, is considered one of the great Dramas in TV history. Yeah, it was, and it won like 25 Emmys or something stupid like that and so that was kind of cool. And you know it's been a great run. You know I can confirm. I'm very happy and You know, I don't feel like I'm done even though I."