Joe Theismann, formerquarterback for the Washington Redskins and Toronto Argonauts, has spoken about the movie Concussion starring Will Smith:

"The movie is set in a time 20 or 30 years ago when the National Football League (NFL) was in denial about what concussions could be, or CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy)."

Theismann, who went on to become a sportscaster and actor, says he thinks Smith and Leonardo DiCaprio(for his role in The Revenant) will go head to head for the best actor award at the Oscars:

"Concussion is a great movie," he said.

Football rom-com

Meanwhile, he's playing a role on the small screen in Hallmark’s Love on the Sidelines, a story about a personal assistant (Emily Kinney, The Walking Dead) and the superstar quarterback (John Reardon) she goes to work for.

The football star suffers a career-threatening injury and finds he also has feelings for his assistant. As with all Hallmark love stories, romance ensues.

Theismann talks about his role asthe football star’s dad:

“It’s a little bit of déjà vu for me," he says, “because my 'son' has hurt himself and I went through it. So I try to work with him through a difficult time when he thinks his career might be over. He needs some encouragement so I am trying to help him."

It’s a really romantic comedy, a really fun, uplifting movie with the world of sports as sort of a theme through it but it’s more about a relationship between a young man and a young woman who knows absolutely nothing about football. So it’s fun.

I had a great time.”

Lived the life

Theismann, a member of the NFL Hall of Fame, is familiar with the ups and downs of the sport, as he did suffer a real-life injury on the field in 1985, and it did indeed end his football career. He retired after a fumble left him with a badly fractured leg.

“Well, it was a role that I knew.

I’ve lived that life," he said, adding that he has no regrets. When asked about his iconic status,Theismann says:

“I appreciate every day and every compliment from people and feel that I am a lucky and blessed person.

And I didn’t always feel that way. There was a time when I thought the world owed me something.

I found out that’s not really the case. I had a conversation with a friend of mine talking about success and I ask people how do you define success, and they say achieving goals and I said, ‘you know you aspire to achieve something in your life but it’s when you start giving something back, you achieve success.’”

Love on the Sidelines airs January 16th on The Hallmark Channel.

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