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Life's Playbook: New Bronco Glasgow, two brothers, have good reason to celebrate Father's Day

Steve Glasgow to his kids: "The only things they could control are you work harder, work smarter and work longer. And that things are always unfair. Figure it out."

DENVER — There are fathers and there is Dr. Steven Glasgow.

He’s an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in knees. His wife Michele, the mother of his four children, is an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in shoulders.

The Glasgows have not one, not two but three sons playing in the NFL. The oldest, Graham, recently received a four-year, $44 million contract with the Broncos in return for becoming their new right guard. Ryan is in his fourth season as a defensive tackle for the Bengals. Jordan was just drafted as a linebacker/safety/special teams hybrid outside by the Colts.

As a dad, you might say Steve Glasgow hit the mother lode.

"It tells me that I married the correct woman," Steve said. "Genetics are genetics. Michelle is not only a lovely woman but very bright and very tall. 6-foot-1.

"Everything seemed to merge together quite well, and the boys were able to take advantage of that."

How so?

"What we really taught them was the only things they could control are that you could work harder, you can work smarter and work longer. And that things are always unfair. They’re never going to be fair. And you have to work your way around that and figure it out.

"That coaches aren’t always going to think you’re the greatest thing since sliced bread, or the next Wonder kid. And that you have to figure that out and make that work for you and they were able to do that."

The Glasgows are hoping to become the 14th family to have three brothers playing in the NFL at the same time. The Edmunds (Terrell, Tremaine and Trey) and the Watts (J.J., T.J.  and Derek) are current family trios in the NFL. (See chart below)

Credit: AP Images

RELATED: Broncos reach agreement with guard-center Graham Glasgow on four-year, $44 million deal

What makes the Glasgow sons unique among the few is they reached the NFL even though they left an-all Catholic boys’ high school (Marmion) in the Chicagoland area without a scholarship and walked on the University of Michigan football team. How many NFL brother trios were college walk-on trios?

"I was a late bloomer. I don’t know what to tell you," Graham Glasgow said in his Zoom interview with 9NEWS. The Glasgow feature will be played on our Broncos Country Father's Day edition at 6 p.m. Saturday on 9NEWS and again at 9:30 p.m. on Channel 20. "I was 6-foot-6, 315 going into college but it was not particularly good weight. It was something I worked at."

Credit: AP Photo/Darron Cummings
Michigan offensive lineman Graham Glasgow runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, in Indianapolis.

His father substantiated Graham’s self-assessment.

"The latest bloomer was Graham," Steve said. "He was always very frustrated in 7th, 8th grade, 9th grade, saying, ‘I work so hard, I’m working so well, I want to be a professional football player and I’d say don’t worry about it you just need to keep on working.

"And he’d say, ‘I’m a B team guy. How is this supposed to work out for me?’ And I said you’re going to mature later.

"Ryan was a little bit earlier than that and Jordy may have been the earliest of all of them. Jordan was considered the best athlete out of the three of them when they were younger."

Understand, the Glasgow boys didn’t reach the NFL because of demanding, pushy parents.

"We actually tried to move the kids away from football because of my wife’s concern about violence and things of that nature," Steve said.

Karate lessons, though, helped convince Graham Glasgow’s parents that football was a good way to channel the boys’ physical aggression.

"They didn’t encourage sports too much," Graham said. "I didn’t really play football growing up. It was mainly a hodgepodge of sports. I played a lot of basketball, soccer, roller hockey, basically anything except football. But once we got into high school and it turned out that’s what we were good at they really encouraged us from then on."

Credit: Photo courtesy: Glasgow family

Growing up in the Glasgow household meant family dinners. Dinners sometimes interrupted by the doc’s beepers.

"There were times for that when he was there and he’d be on call," Graham said. "But a lot of times we would be either waiting for him to get home – it would be like 8:30 or 9 o’clock before either him or my mom would get home. He’s always gone out there – him and my mom have always done a fantastic job providing for us and showing us what hard work can do. And what a good work ethic gets you."

Steve credits his parents, James and Carmella, for helping to raise their four children – Anna, the youngest, was a multi-sport athlete at Rosary High School, Marmion’s sister school in Aurora, Ill., and just finished up her second year at Indiana University. Surgeons hours being what they are, grandpa and G-Ma, often took care of dinner and ran errands.

The message and themes Steve and Michele delivered were not about football. But they applied.

"The message we’ve always given to them is while this football thing is nice, this is great, very happy for you," Steve said. "But that wasn’t the intent of what we were trying to do. What we were trying to do was to raise fine young men and a fine young woman. We wanted to raise good sons, daughters, moms, dads, brothers, sisters. That was the intent. They were even told on a regular basis now please don’t lose sight of what is truly important here which is the original intent of what we said."

There were home games at Michigan five years ago when all three boys ran out of the same tunnel at The Big House.

"Just immensely proud of their ability to do this the hard way," Steve said. "A preferred walk on at Michigan is not an easy road."

"That was really special," Graham said. "All three of us where there, that was something I was never able to do considering Jordan was always four years younger than me, four years behind me in school. With him being a redshirt freshman that year it was really awesome. That will be something my parents really treasure."

Credit: Photo courtesy: Glasgow family

RELATED: Broncos positional outlook: Offensive line

From college walk-ons to the NFL. Graham, Ryan and Jordan. Dad said much of the credit goes to the oldest brother. The Broncos, it seems, are getting a player who has been a leader since the crib.

"Graham is the guy who set the pace and set the standard," Steve said. "And Graham is the guy who convinced Ryan that Michigan was the place that he should be when I’m not even sure Graham knew whether he belonged there yet. But he made it happen. It was a difficult road. And it was difficult for all of them but being the first I think is a bit harder. You’re the guy that has to blaze the trail."

For this Father’s Day weekend, Graham Glasgow was asked what his dad means to him.

"My dad has always been my biggest supporter," Graham said. "He’s somebody who believed in me before I believed in myself. It’s really hard to put into words how much he means to me because he’s been everything for me. I love him. He’s the best dad that I could have ever asked for."

Those words were relayed to dad.

"Well, gentlemen, what a lovely Father’s Day gift you just presented me," Steve said.

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Credit: AP Photo/Michael Wyke
Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt, right, talks with his brother, Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt, left, before an NFL football game Monday, Dec. 25, 2017, in Houston.


NFL Brother Trios

Per the Pro Football Hall of Fame, here are 14 sets of three brothers who played in the NFL at the same time with period they were in league together. (Note, there are other NFL brother trios who did not play in NFL at the same time):

BALDINGER (Brian, Rich, Gary, 1986-92)  

BROWNER (Ross, Joey, Keith, 1984-87)

EDMUNDS (Trey, Terrell, Tremaine, 2018-present)

FULLER (Corey, Kyle, Kendall, 2015)

GEATHERS (Robert, Clifton, Kwame, 2013)

GLASGOW (Graham, Ryan, Jordan, present)

GRONKOWSKI (Dan, Chris, Rob, 2010-11)

KINDERDINE  (Hobby, Walt, Shine, 1924)

NESSER (Al, Frank, Fred, John, Phil, Ted, 1921)

OLSEN (Merlin, Phil, Orrin, 1976)

RICHARDSON (Willie, Gloster, Tom, 1969-70)

ROONEY (Bill, Joe, Cobb, 1924-28)

SAUL (Bill, Rich, Ron, 1970)

WATT (J.J., Derek, T.J., 2017-present)

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