With Matt Dunigan

Winston One on One CFL football player interviews on iTunes
February 04, 2018

My goal is to figure out the tips and tricks of professional football players and also to give you a glimpse into their personal and professional lives. In this episode, I talk to Matt Dunigan (@MattDuniganTSN). Matt is a man of many interests, he played football for 13 years, as well as, had a stint in major league baseball. After he retired, he wrote his own book, started his own cooking show called Road Grill, became a coach and is one of the hosts of TSN panel. His football career started in 1983 when he signed with the Edmonton Eskimos and played there for 4 years until being traded to the BC Lions. He played with the BC Lions for a year then jumped around the CFL for a bit eventually retiring in 1996.

Matt is remembered for his toughness and because of his success in the CFL he was voted as the 39th best player in CFL history and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. The downfall to his success in football came from the concussions that often come in the sport. In his career he had 16 concussions and is still dealing with the symptoms daily. Matt has gone on to tell his story to influence people to not go down the road that he did. In our interview, he talks about how he influenced his son, who is more athletic and a better football player than he had been. When his son started getting concussions though, Matt took him out of football. Matt tells me about the struggles of making that decision. We talk about what he has learned as a coach from his stint with the Stampeders and his favourite fan moment. But without further ado, I hope you enjoy.



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Show Notes
    • 3:49

      How he developed a strong opinion

    • 4:40

      His personal story about concussions

    • 17:14

      Matt’s opinion on tackle football and the new hitting protocols

    • 20:10

      How he recovered from his concussions

    • 23:07

      How Matt made the decision to retire

    • 24:10

      What are the critical skills that a quarterback must have to be successful?


    Why learning defence is important to a quarterback

  • 34:23

    Do Canadian quarterbacks have the talent to be a starter in the CFL?

  • 37:52

    As a Canadian quarterback, would you go to the states to increase your chances of playing professionally?

  • 40:22

    Can you tell me about a time when something didn’t work out for you and you were disappointed at the time but now your grateful it turned out that way?

  • 44:15

    What did you learn from your time as the coach for the Calgary Stampeders?

  • 45:48

    Rituals before a game

  • 48:06

    If you could put a message on a fortune cookie what would it say?

  • 48:46

    Can you tell me about your craziest or cutest fan moment?

  • 50:40

    Matt talks about his book, Goin’ Deep: The Life and Times of a CFL Quarterback

  • 51:25

    Matt talks about his family

  • 54:49

    Is it true quarterbacks get all the cute girls? Matt talks about how he met his wife

  • 57:11

    What player did you pretend to be on the playground?

  • 59:16

    Matt talks about how doing something that he loved improved him as a person?

  • 1:00:36

    Matt talks about his MLB experience

  • 1:05:12

    Matt talks about about hosting his own cooking show

  • 1:07:54

    Best purchase he’s made under $150?

  • 1:08:34

    What book have you gifted most often?

  • 1:09:34

    How did you prove to your coaches that you deserved a chance to play?

  • 1:10:41

    When you feel unfocused or have a loss of focus temporarily what do you do?

  • 1:11:33

    Who do you think about when you hear the word success?

  • 1:13:00

    Favourite memory as a player




Selected Links From the Episode

Connect with Matt Dunigan:


Goin’ Deep: The Life and Times of a CFL Quarterback, Jim Taylor and Matt Dunigan

The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science, Norman Doidge, M.D.

The Water Boy: From the Sidelines to the Owner’s Box: Inside the CFL, the XFL, and the NFL, Bob Ackles and Ian Mulgrew



People Mentioned

Maxie Lambright

Larry Beightol

Billy Brewer

Dan Marino

Jim Kelly

Tony Eason

Todd Blackledge

John Elway

Mike Reilly

Chris Jones

Charleston Hughes

Willie Jefferson

Don Matthews

James “Quick” Parker

Steve Goldman

Warren Moon

Brandon Bridge

Dave Naylor

Greg Vavra

Anthony Calvillo

Jim Barker

Tom Higgins

Ralph the Dog

Mike Kelly

Jim Taylor

Jesse Owens

Bo Levi Mitchell

Matt Nichols

Billy Kilmer

Sonny Jurgensen

Ken Stabler

Paul Warfield

Roger Staubach

Mike Curtis

Mike Barnett

Chris Knight

Road Grill

Mike McCarthy

John Candy

Bruce McNall

Wayne Gretzky

Raghib “Rocket” Ismail



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