So it’s no wonder then that he turned to a career in therapy.
Phil McGraw — you know him as TV’s Dr. Phil — was actually a good football player in his day. He was a linebacker and running back at Shawnee Mission North High School in Overland Park, Kansas, where his team went 9-0 his senior season in 1967. McGraw as good enough to ge ta scholarship to Tulsa University, where he specialized on defense.
That’s where in 1968 McGraw was involved in the Golden Hurricane’s infamous 100-3 loss to the Houston Cougars.
DR. PHIL: “I played for Tulsa, and I was there the year we got beat by the University of Houston 100-6.”
DAVE: “Whoa. A hundred to six.”
DR. PHIL: “Serious, look it up.”
DAVE: “We will look it up. What position did you play?”
DR. PHIL: “Well I was a middle linebacker, a tight end, listen, at halftime I was looking out the earhole of my helmet.”
DAVE: So you helped out on that defensive effort.”
DR. PHIL: “Boy, I shut ’em down. No one breaks a hundred on me.”
DAVE: “Did you get money as a college player?”
DR. PHIL: “Yes. Yes. It;s astounding to me that people pretend that that kind of thing doesn’t go on.”
Video here, if you want to wade through a bunch of commercials.
McGraw went on to contend that the big reason for Tulsa’s shellacking by Houston was that most of the team had come down with the Hong Kong Flu.
But McGraw’s college football career lasted only one season.
He severely injured his head and neck while trying to tackle a running back. The injury was so bad he suffered temporary blindness. Forced out of football, he moved back with his parents in Wichita Falls, TX, and transferred to Midwestern State University.
It was football that sparked his interest in psychology. It happened back when he was playing in junior high school. Said McGraw: “We were bad-ass. We had the black jerseys, the black helmets, and here these kids come wearing rolled-up blue jeans and loafers for football shoes. “They beat us like they were clapping for a barn dance. At that point I really got interested in why some people, with all the advantages in the world, don’t do well, and those with no advantages can be absolute champions.”