Much like those mammoth defensive linemen he once faced, interviews come with the territory for Mark Schlereth. And eight years removed from playing …
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Much like those mammoth defensive linemen he once faced,
interviews come with the territory for Mark Schlereth.
And eight years removed from playing pro football, the former
Denver Broncos offensive lineman has a lot to talk about.
Consider some of what Schlereth — known as “Stink” to many — has
going on his life:
The three-time Super Bowl champion is a respected NFL analyst
for ESPN and a frequent guest on sports talk radio.
He’s made recurring appearances on the soap opera “Guiding
Light” as “Roc Hoover.”
He’s created a pilot for a reality TV show centering around his
family’s life. “We’ve put together something that I think is really
special,” he said. That family includes an actress daughter and a
pro baseball player son.
He maintains a fitness regimen that has the former 280-plus
pounder looking lean — think linebacker, not lineman. He’s even
written magazine articles about fitness.
And there’s that chili of his that can be found in local
Indeed, the Lone Tree resident’s mainstream popularity is many
times what it was when he was a Pro Bowl selection for the Broncos,
1998, and Redskins, 1991.
Recently, Schlereth, 42, took some time with Colorado Community
Newspapers, in between bites of cereal and then on his way to pick
up his youngest daughter from high school.
CCN: Better name: “Stink” or “Roc Hoover”?
Schlereth: I’m gonna go with “Stink,” because that name was
given to me. I invented “Roc Hoover.” I made it up on the radio one
day when I was put on the spot. I had already agreed to go on
“Guiding Light.” [The guys on the radio] asked, “What are you going
to call yourself?” The first name was easy. I liked the name “Roc”
— it has some toughness to it. Why “Hoover” came out, I have no
idea. “Guiding Light” [personnel] were listening and said that was
what we were going to use.
“Stink” actually comes from rotten fish heads in Alaska. They
cut off the heads and bury them for four or five weeks and then eat
them. I was “Stinkhead,” then it got shortened.
CCN: Being originally from [Anchorage] Alaska, were you
oblivious to the cold during those January playoff games in
Washington, D.C., and Denver?
Schlereth: Cold is cold. You just have to deal with it. Growing
up in Alaska doesn’t make me impervious to the cold. But I would
much rather play a game in the cold than in the heat. When you
play, you expend so much energy, you don’t think about how cold you
CCN: What is the best thing about the Denver Metro area?
Schlereth: I like the weather here, all the sunshine we get. My
wife and I, all through the year, we walk our dogs every single
CCN: Who was the best player you blocked for not named
Schlereth: Terrell Davis. It was really unfortunate he blew out
his knee and was never the same.
CCN: Why chili?
Schlereth: The story behind the [“Stinkin’ Good Green Chile] is
that when I was playing with the Broncos, I was having knee issues.
My partner [in the chili business, David Bloom] stopped by and
asked if I needed help with doing yard work. He actually brought
some of his green chili and asked if I wanted to try it. It was so
good. I said, “You ought to bottle this stuff and sell it.” That
was maybe 1999.
For the next eight years, every time he’d make a batch, he’d
bring it over. Through some trial and error, we got the recipe
together. It’s [Bloom’s] recipe. I’m just the guy that encouraged
CCN: You weren’t a high draft pick out of college [10th-round
pick out of Idaho] and you endured numerous surgeries  during
your football career. What was the key to overcoming these
Schlereth: Eating a lot of green chile [with a laugh]. Since the
time I was 12, all I wanted was to be a football player. When you
have those aspirations, sometimes there are bumps in the road. I
was willing to put up with that stuff.
I showed up at other [players’ pre-draft workouts] and begged
teams to let me work out. I would show up and introduce myself and
say, “Just give me an opportunity.” That’s how I ended up getting
I always played with a chip on my shoulder. I think that’s what
motivates Tom Brady — he was a sixth-round pick. I think most guys
that can overcome astronomical odds have a chip on their shoulder
CCN: You’ve slimmed down a lot since your playing days. What are
your workouts like now?
Schlereth: The key to that is not eating. It’s not rocket
science. You’ve got to watch what you eat. I do a lot of cardio on
an elliptical trainer.
To me, fitness is more of a lifestyle. I treat it like saving
money. You’ve got to save off the top. I’ve got to get up and get
something done. If I can get my exercise done in the morning, I’ll
sacrifice an extra 45 minutes of sleep.
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