Thursday, October 7, 2010 Interview - Stone Cold Football


There are some big tackles in American football – is that the main difference between the games?

“One of the differences is the physicality because the NFL is very hard hitting. It’s the name of the game. Hands down it’s the most physical sport and that’s why the guys need the pads. The season has just started and we’ve already had a lot of big guys – stars of the game – go down with knee injuries while there has been a couple of neck injuries too. People like to see big hits.”

So what did you make of our footballers’ tackling?

I was quite impressed with the size of the guys when they came out of the tunnel – they’re way bigger than they used to be. What I liked about your game was that players were still laying everything on the line even in the build up to the World Cup. It’s a different game but there is no fear on that soccer field. Those guys are bad ass!”

How passionate are American football fans?

“They get right behind the teams, big time. It’s quite hardcore but it’s a different kind of environment in terms of songs. I tried watching the World Cup but boy, that vuvuzela was a big reason I didn’t watch as much as I thought I would. It was still great competition and played at great intensity but man those horns were a total turn off for me.”

How unpredictable is it – do the same teams challenge for top honours year after year?

“It’s a very unpredictable game. Kansas City opened up on San Diego recently and are a totally different animal than last year. I think they're going to turn some heads under Todd Haley. San Diego lost their opening game but they usually lose a couple and further down the road will probably make the play-offs. The Jets were talking a lot of trash and then the Ravens smashed them. Some of the teams that made the play-offs last year like the Indianapolis Colts already have a loss so you just never know what’s going to happen and that is one of the best things about the sport.”

Over here, some fans have issues with their owners - does American football still belong to the supporters?
“It’s still a fans game but there’s talk of a lockout (owners could opt out of an agreement with the players union, which could lead them to preventing players from playing) next year. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s something to do with contract issues or television negotiations. I’m just hearing it and that would be devastating to the sport because it is a fans game and if there is a lockout I don’t think it will be a good thing.”

Do you get to watch a lot of it?

“On Saturday I watch college football all day and on Sunday I watch pro football all day. When the last game is over I go into withdrawals and then when the Super Bowl is over I really go into withdrawals. But I’m almost kind of glad when it’s over because then I can drag my ass into gear and get things going on weekends! When it’s football season I’m not worth anything.”

So who do you support?
“I follow different coaches and programmes every year. So this season it'll be interesting to see Brian Kelly and Notre Dame do, while Rich Rodriguez needs to have a big year at Michigan. Last year I was really cheering for Alabama to win a national title and they did. I’m from Texas so I’ve been pulling for the Houston Texans all year long too. I grew up south of Houston so I’m looking for big things from them.”

Do you have any prima donna-type players over there?

“There are a couple of diva wide receivers but I won’t name anybody in particular, if you follow the game at all you can see who I mean. I don’t mind players that want attention but I want people to turn into leaders and be a positive influence on their team. You can rack up all the individual records you want but as long as you’re working butt off for the team I don’t have a problem with the diva attitude. If you’re a detriment to the team then I’m not into that at all.”

It must get boring with all the stops in play?

“That’s just American football and it's the game that we grew up with. It’s a totally different animal from your football. It bothers me when they stop the momentum of the game to look at calls when it’s really apparent as to what the call should have been in the first place.”

By the way, we’re big fans of Marie Avgeropoulos, the girl that plays your daughter in Hunt to Kill. She’s well fit...“Well she is a beautiful young lady and I thought that she did a great job playing my daughter”

"Hunt to Kill" is out on DVD, 11 October.

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