Reality television, you either love it or hate it. Case Western Reserve University football alumnus Tom Courtad, (CWR '00, GRS '03), lived it this past December and he and the rest of the world will be able to watch it this Monday, March 6th on Spike TV at 10:00 pm.
Courtad, 28, will make his television debut on the cable network’s new reality series called Pros Vs Joes, which features regular guys going head-to-head against former sports greats.
"Once I got picked for the show a friend of mine, who was on the reality show Big Brother Season 2, gave me a bunch of pointers of what to look for and how to handle certain situations reality producers put you in," explained Courtad.
"I also know someone who was The Bachelor and from talking with him about things he encountered on his show, I was able to prepare myself mentally for my try at reality TV," continued Courtad.
The Aurora, OH native, who now resides in Camarillo, CA with wife Dana, was no regular Joe at Case. Courtad excelled both on and off the field. To this day, the former All-American middle linebacker holds all three tackle records (Game: 30, Season: 191, Career: 521) and was also a 1998 Academic All-American.
"I loved playing football at Case," said Courtad. "My favorite memory was the last game of my career against Chicago. I broke the single game tackle record and walked off the field knowing I left everything I had on it."
Courtad’s one hour of fame will come in the show’s premiere, which boasts the biggest named athletes in all ten episodes they taped. He tried to cover future National Football League Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice, broke out the golf clubs in a closest to the pin contests with former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon, and even tried to take down professional wrestler Bill Goldberg.
"Bill was a great guy and probably the celebrity I enjoyed the most," said Courtad. "He pulled out all his WWF moves on me and actually jacked me in the face at one point in our match. I took him down to the mat, but did not get him on his back, so the referee did not give me credit."
"Rice actually broke the rules in one event and I called him on it," Courtad continued. "I’m hoping they don’t cut this out, so the world can see the Hall of Famer breaking the rules to make himself look better."
The former Spartan actually had the lead (vs. Joes) going into the final round (the winner wins $20,000), but as we all know, linebackers are not necessarily known for their strong arm and accuracy and this local Aurora High School graduate agrees.
"My arm is horrible, I was cracked on by my fellow college football buddies all the time on how weak it was," remembered Courtad. "So when I finally found out that the last event was throwing a football through targets I knew the outcome wasn’t going to be pretty for me."
Courtad, who received his undergraduate degree in Nutrition from Case in 2000 and his masters in Nutrition in 2003, currently works for Performance Fitness Concepts. He created and implemented PFC’s corporate nutrition program and is currently director of corporate nutrition. Courtad’s main account is at Amgen in Thousand Oaks, CA, where he helps over 10,000 employees’ improve their overall health on a daily basis.
"In the end, the opportunity to compete and succeed against some of America’s finest athletes was priceless and it’s a memory that I will cherish for the rest of my life," said Courtad. "Hopefully I will get called back in future seasons to beat up on more Pros."
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