John Urschel, the Canisius High School graduate who plays offensive guard for the Baltimore Ravens, is profiled in a piece on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” that debuts on Tuesday night at 10.
Correspondent Bernard Goldberg chats with Urschel about his incredible brain power. During the offseason Urschel is pursuing a PhD in mathematics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has written some highly praised papers and as a hobby he plays chess against grandmaster players.
Urschel describes in the piece his love of math.
“I love how clean it is,” he says. “There’s a right answer and a wrong answer.”
A running joke throughout the segment is that Goldberg has very little idea what Urschel is talking about when he describes advanced math concepts. Urschel reads math books for relaxation when he’s in the Ravens’ locker room at M&T Bank Stadium. Goldberg interviews quarterback Joe Flacco, who jokes that Urschel sometimes gets the snap counts wrong on the field.
Unfortunately, Canisius does not get a shout-out in the segment. There is a chat with Urschel’s mother, Venita Parker, who raised him as a single mother in Buffalo. Urschel’s parents divorced when he was 3.
The Urschel profile, titled “Mind Games,” is produced by Beret Remak.