Boomer Esiason is the spokesperson for Life Insurance Awareness Month
For 14 years, Julius “Boomer” Esiason set the gridiron on fire as a quarterback for the NFL, playing for the Cincinnati Bengals, New York Jets and Arizona Cardinals. Now he puts his talents to work in broadcasting, as a TV sports commentator and as cohost of the top rated “Boomer and Carton in the Morning” radio show. He opens up about his past and the reason he’s passionate about life insurance.
LIFE INSURANCE AWARENESS MONTH
10 Questions for Boomer Esiason
Football and life insurance … it seems like a stretch between the two. Why did you decide to be the spokesperson for Life Insurance Awareness Month this September?
Most people don’t know that I lost my mother to cancer when I was just 7. I was handed a tough life lesson at a very early age. I thought it would be good for other families to learn from what I experienced.
How did your mother’s death impact your family?
No one is ever prepared to lose a parent. It really just turns your life upside down and changes things forever. My dad never expected to be working and raising me and my two sisters as a single parent.
How would things have been different if your mother had had life insurance?
My dad worked extremely hard, and made a three-hour round-trip commute every day from our home on Long Island to New York City. But the truth is, money was always tight. That meant neighbors and relatives helped us out with things my mother would have taken care of. As kids, we also had to grow up fast and take on more responsibility. If there had been life insurance, we could have hired the help my father needed to keep the household running as my mother had.
What did it take to make it all the way to the NFL?
I relied heavily on my dad’s support. He was there for every practice, every game. And while talent certainly comes into play, it just takes a lot of plain old hard work—day in and day out, week in and week out—to reach the top of your game. I also was fortunate to have tremendous coaches who helped me refine my game at each level.
You experienced the lack of life insurance firsthand. When did you decide to get your own policy?
I’ve had life insurance since the start of my career, when I was first drafted. I have a beautiful family that I love—my wife, Cheryl, daughter, Sydney, and son, Gunnar—that I’ve protected with life insurance. It’s my responsibility to make sure that if something happens to me, my family will be taken care of financially. I also want to make sure Gunnar, who has cystic fibrosis, never has to worry—that he has a financial landing area if I were to die.
You had a stellar 14-year career on the field. Was it hard to transition to the studio?
Change is always hard, but I felt I had accomplished what I wanted to during my time in the NFL, and I was ready for a new challenge. You might not believe it, but there are times when I feel the TV and radio shows demand more of me than those Sunday afternoon games. Plus, my work really extends past the broadcasting I do. I put a tremendous amount of time and effort into raising funds to help find a cure for cystic fibrosis through the Boomer Esiason Foundation. We’ve just reached the $100 million mark for fundraising—that’s something I’m extremely proud of!
Congratulations! How’s Gunnar doing?
Great! He just graduated from Boston College, which is an amazing feat and speaks volumes to how far research has come. Twenty years ago, someone with cystic fibrosis wasn’t expected to live past their high-school years. We’ve been blessed as a family.
What advice do you have for parents who think they either can’t afford life insurance or think that it’s something they can get later?
I learned at 7 that no one is guaranteed a tomorrow, so I’d probably look them in the eye and say, “Just imagine if something happened to you and you hadn’t done the planning. The people you leave behind will feel the brunt of your mistakes.”
We know football holds a special place in your heart, but tell us, what’s your second favorite sport—either to watch or play?
Hockey, for sure! I still love to play it and am a huge Rangers fan—love going to those games.
Any parting advice?
I think life insurance is a very important subject to talk about—and not just for those with families. Young people today don’t understand why they need it, so I’ve made a point of talking about it with my daughter, Sydney. She’s 21 and single, but I feel it’s important for her to understand these types of issues and to start taking personal responsibility for her finances and her future. Sitting down and having that conversation is something that all parents can do as their children get older.
Related Blog Post: Real Life Story: Boomer Esiason
For more information on Life Insurance Awareness Month, or to get a quote on a life insurance plan for you and your family, please contact the professional and experienced independent insurance agents at Mountain Lakes Insurance by calling 770-926-9444 or contact us online. Also, see our website for more information on life insurance.