Pulitzer Prize Winner / New York Times Bestseller / Keynote Speaker

Jeffrey Marx

Art of Manliness

The Lies of Manhood and How to Teach Young Men Its Truths

Football is often seen as an incubator of rough and wild masculinity. But one former NFL lineman, turned church minister, turned high school football coach, sees football as a platform to teach young men how to be both tough and tender. My guest today on the podcast spent a season with this sage coach and walked away having learned what it really means to be a man, as well as built a stronger relationship with his father. His name is Jeffrey Marx and his Pulitzer Prize-winning book is Season of Life: A Football Star, a Boy, a Journey to Manhood.

Today on the show, Jeffrey talks about his relationship with retired NFL athlete and now minister and high school football coach Joe Ehrmann. Jeffrey begins by sharing what he learned from Joe and other NFL players about what it means to be a man during his stint as a ballboy for the Baltimore Colts in the 1970s. He then shares how Joe went from a party animal to an inner-city minister who focused on helping young men. We then discuss what Joe sees as the lies of masculinity in the popular culture and how they need to be replaced with strategic masculinity. 

We end our conversation talking about how coaching high school football ties into Joe’s ministry to men and how Joe’s philosophy on masculinity helped Jeffrey draw closer to his father.

Lots of great insights on this show, so be sure to take notes!

Show Highlights

  • The long career of Joe Ehrmann, from football star to coach
  • What Jeffrey Marx learned about manliness by being a Baltimore Colts ballboy
  • How the death of Joe’s brother affected his life
  • Why Joe focuses on young men in his inner city work
  • The 3 lies of false masculinity
  • The 2 tiers of true and strategic masculinity
  • How does Joe’s high school coaching career connect all these ideas?
  • The best context for teaching teenage boys the tenets of manhood
  • Why the head and the heart need to be connected in men
  • The weirdest thing Jeffrey has ever seen on a high school sports team
  • The origin and meaning of the word “coach”
  • How focusing on character also happens to create a good football team
  • How reporting on this story helped Jeffrey’s relationship with his own father
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