Geoff and Mitch Schwartz dropped by CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show on Tuesday to discuss their new book, “Eat My Schwartz: Our Story of NFL Football, Food, Family and Faith.” Geoff, who played college ball at Oregon, played for the Giants last season and is currently a free agent. Mitch, who played at Cal, spent the first four years of his career in Cleveland before signing with Kansas City in the offseason.
They are the first Jewish brothers to play in the NFL since 1923.
“I think it was a collection of ideas,” Geoff said, when asked whose idea it was to write a book. “My dad is the one who found out that fact about the first Jewish brothers to play in the NFL since 1923. So it started with that idea and then we just thought we’d share our story. We share the same agent. My dad was really involved. Eventually my brother wanted to get a cooking show of some sort, whether it’s traveling or whether it’s actually physically cooking. So this was a good start to share our story. People get to know who we are and then eventually maybe we’ll move into a TV show.”
Mitch and Geoff both love food, which should come as no surprise given that they are both offensive linemen.
“We’re both similar,” Mitch said. “We think about what our football responsibilities for the day are, and after those are out of the way, what are we going to do for the meals? So it’s not only what you’re going to eat. It’s also when you’re going to eat, and your day kind of revolves around (that).”
Geoff goes to the grocery store pretty almost daily during the offseason.
“It depends on what I want to make,” Geoff said. “I’ll eat the same breakfast. My dream breakfast would be to have bagel and lox everyday but I can’t do that. Not good for me. So I end up having eggs, bacon and some sort of sausage. Right now, I’m doing chorizo. I make a little scramble and put it down. But then I immediately think about, ‘Okay, when am I going to the grocery store? What am I making for dinner?’ That’s something to do in the offseason every day. Almost every day.”
Mitch phoned in from Kansas City for the interview, while Geoff joined Gottlieb in studio – in part because he’s unemployed. Well, sort of.
“There’s a weird contract quirk,” said Geoff, who was released by the Lions last week. “Some contracts are guaranteed, but if you’re a vested veteran – it’s three years and three games – your contract becomes guaranteed for the season Tuesday at 4 o’clock. The start of the work week in the NFL is Tuesday at 4 p.m. So your contract will become guaranteed for the entire season today at 4 o’clock. That’s why you see a lot of veterans get released at the end of camp and then get picked up after Week 1. That’s kind of the situation I’m in. I have some teams that have expressed interest, but they’re just waiting until after Week 1. That’s just the way it is. It’s kind of the name of the game. That’s why you see a lot of guys that come back after Week 1 or there’s injuries or there’s depth issues – things like that. So that’s kind of the boat I’m in. Free agent is a nice way to say unemployed, but I’m ready to go.”
Gottlieb also asked Mitch about his former team, Cleveland, which opens the season in Philadelphia. The Browns are a four-point underdog despite the fact that Carson Wentz has never thrown a pass in the NFL.
How is that possible?
“Well, I think there’s a couple points built in there for home field just right off the bat, so I think it’s a little closer than the four points will lead you to believe,” Mitch said. “Hue Jackson is a great offensive coach. I think everyone knows he’s had great success in Cincinnati the last couple years mentoring Andy Dalton and bringing that offense along. I think the offense will be good this year. The offensive line is pretty solid across the board. Joe Thomas is the best offensive lineman in football. I think the defense is the point that isn’t going to be quite as strong. I think that’s kind of the area that they’re going young especially and trying to build it up for the future. I think when you look at it and you look at the match-ups, that’s probably the area that’s a little bit lacking right now.”
Geoff and Mitch were also asked about their faith. That topic apparently comes up in locker rooms more often than one might think.
“Yeah, of course,” Geoff said. “I’ve had guys tell me I’m the first Jewish person they’ve met, which is surprising. I think people are fascinated. It’s never been an issue. I get a lot of questions. They’re very surprised to learn we’re sort of the same; we just have a different messiah. I find it kind of fascinating. The weirdest question I got was do I celebrate Thanksgiving. I was like, ‘It’s an American holiday. I do celebrate Thanksgiving.’ It was interesting. But generally (it’s) good. We’ve had good conversations. I’ve never really experienced any anti-Semitism. It’s been pretty good.”