“Survivor Nicaragua,” which begins Wednesday, is not a celebrity “Survivor” — but there is one celeb in the bunch of bug-eating contestants: former Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins coach Jimmy Johnson.
Johnson has tried out for the show on several occasions and been rejected due to health issues. He credits “Survivor” with saving his life because it was during medical tests for his tryout that he discovered he had heart problems. With those problems behind him, now he just hopes he can “kick its (Survivor’s) ass and win.”
Not that just anybody can compete on “Survivor.” When asked which of his former Super Bowl-champion Dallas Cowboy players, might have been most able to succeed on the show, he said: “It would be difficult for any of my players to have success on ‘Survivor’ because they are so use to the normal comforts and necessities like beds, food, and water.”
He went on to say that he thinks all of his former players would have wanted out early. He did say that if any of them would have had a chance, it would have been Troy Aikman, because “he was a country boy.”
Johnson found it even funnier when asked how any of his buddies on FOX NFL Sunday might fare. “They are all really spoiled, especially Terry Bradshaw,” Johnson said with a laugh. “Plus he would never eat bugs… maybe some possum.”
Now it’s time to just watch and see how this former NFL coach navigates the immunity, the alliances, and the possum eating. Johnson told me that coaching did help him formulate a strategy in “Survivor.”
“But in the game,” he added, “coaches and leaders are voted off early.”
On what he missed the most during the show: “A soft bed and a cold beer!”
At least now, he can sit in his soft bed and drink a cold beer Wednesday night as he watches himself along with the other 19 castaways vying for the $1 million.
– Tiffany Shine