In one of the most demanding game shows on reality television, retired NFL tight end Marcus Pollard and his wife, Amani, are one of three teams who have survived 11 grueling legs in a race around the world.
That’s right! The 14-year NFL veteran and his wife appeared on the Emmy Award-winning reality television show, CBS’ The Amazing Race! During the race, Marcus and Amani were known as “Team NFL” since Marcus spent 14 years in the league.
In the first four legs of the race, Team NFL finished in the middle of the pack. Professional snowboarders Andy Finch and Tommy Czeschin came in first place in three of the first four legs.
The Pollards and their competitors went to Thailand for the fifth leg of the race. This leg brought back a lot of memories for Marcus from his football traveling days as teams had to ride a long overnight bus ride from Thailand to Bangkok. Eventually, the Pollards outran the seven teams in this leg and arrived in first place at the pit stop, where host Phil Keoghan awarded them with a trip to Bali, Indonesia.
However, the Pollards' fortune fell in the next leg of the race.
The seven remaining teams made their way to Malawi for the sixth leg of the race. Throughout this leg, the Pollards constantly reminded themselves about their special-needs daughter as motivation while they struggled through the leg's challenges.
The final task of the sixth leg required teams to carry heavy bed boards to the pit stop. Team NFL was the last to arrive with Keoghan patiently waiting for them. The Pollards were expecting to receive the word that they were eliminated. After a leg with high emotions for the Pollards, who kept thinking about their daughter, were pleased to hear that Keoghan surprised them by letting them know that the sixth leg of the race was one of three predetermined non-elimination legs.
This meant Team NFL was received new life, but also received an extra task that only they must complete at some point in the next leg of the race. Teams who get spared elimination on The Amazing Race must complete a “speed bump.”
Team NFL survived their speed bump leg and the following leg by coming in fourth place in each of those two legs. As a former player, Marcus made many football analogies to keep him and his wife motivated.
The team bounced back to the top in the ninth leg of the race after completing tasks in Denmark, Germany and Belgium. The Pollards arrived to the pit stop in first place for the second time in the race and received a trip to Panama. However, Keoghan told team NFL and the four other teams that instead of waiting 12 hours for the next leg to begin, he presented them with the first clue for the 10th leg as soon as they arrived at the pit stop.
The Pollards barely managed to survive as the next leg, showing up fourth at the pit stop in the tenth leg of the race.
This past Sunday, Team NFL and three other teams completed tasks in Belgium, the Netherlands and Panama as they tried to put themselves in position to be one of three teams to compete in the finale for $1 million. Marcus constantly referred to this leg as the conference championship match.
After dressing up as two characters from The Adventures of Tintin, receiving a tattoo that hinted where they need to go next and solving a riddle in learning whom they need to find, the Pollards were one of three teams to successfully complete the tasks and became one of three teams to compete in the final leg for $1,000,000 as they showed up in third place at the pit stop.
Next Sunday will be the 'Super Bowl' of The Amazing Race as the Pollards will be going up against dating couple Jeremy Cline and Sandy Draghi and engaged couple Ernie Halvorsen and Cindy Chiang.
The three teams will all travel to Atlanta and complete their final set of tasks to help them get closer to $1 million.
Marcus Pollard played for the Indianapolis Colts from 1995-'04, the Detroit Lions from '05-'06, the Seattle Seahawks in '07 and the Atlanta Falcons from '08-'09. In his 14 years in the league, Pollard caught 349 passes for 4,280 receiving yards and 40 touchdowns.