California attitude with a twist
|[Times photo: Toni L. Sandys]
Bucs quarterback Rob Johnson thinks the biggest misconception about him is that he is not competitive or doesn't care.
By ROGER MILLS, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published December 29, 2002
He is as Southern Californian as you can get. Here is Bucs quarterback Rob Johnson on New Year's resolutions, people's perception of him, his body, his parents, bad toes and plumbers clothing.
RM: What's the average time people stick with their New Year's resolution?
RJ: I would say about one month.
RM: That's a long time, I would say about a week.
RJ: I wouldn't know. I have never made a New Year's Resolution. Not once. Why do you have to wait until New Years. If you want to get something done, start... whenever. New Year's Eve, Thanksgiving... whenever.
RM: Why do people make them?
RJ: Because, it's a tradition. They hear something and then they say, "That's probably something I want to do." There's no commitment. If they really wanted to do it, they would have done it a lot sooner.
RM: Describe Southern California?
RJ: That's me. It's a lot like being from Tampa. It's a relaxed atmosphere. Water all around. Kind of cool. I think when people are around water, it's kind of soothing. It's an attitude. You start getting that laid back approach to life, not real fast paced. I'm not an L.A. person, that's too busy for me. I like my little beach town.
RM: Biggest misconception about you?
RJ: I think some people think because I'm laid back, I'm not competitive or I don't care as much. That's not true. I take it real seriously. My dad's a football coach and I work extremely hard during the offseason and I haven't had a lot of playing time. This is my eighth-year in the league and I have started a lot of spotlight games but I haven't had a lot of playing time.
RM: Are you or are you not a pretty boy?
RJ: I'm the furthest away from a pretty boy. If you look in my locker or see me in the locker every day, you'll know. I don't spend a lot of time looking at myself. When I go out, I'll comb my hair or something.
RM: Muscle and Fitness Magazine said you have the best physique in the Bucs locker room.
RJ: I would say Simeon (Rice) does. But I'm up there. I workout real hard. I eat well and in the offseason I probably work out three times a day. I definitely watch what I eat.
RM: So, what are you going to have to eat tonight?
RJ: I'll probably go home have a bowl of oatmeal and a can of tuna. Maybe some chicken, some broccoli.
RM: Cheesecake is out of the question?
RJ: I don't like too many sweets. But, I like pizza and I'll cheat from time to time, have a beer, or other forms of alcohol.
RM: What's your time in the 40?
RJ: I don't know, I haven't been timed in a long time. But I am one of the fastest guys on the team. I would put myself in the top 15 or maybe the top 10. These guys are fast.
RM: So you know for sure that there's Heaven and Hell, what would you do?
RJ: I would probably settle down. I'm not a big party guy but I would try to find a wife and raise some kids. It's something I would want to do anyway. It wouldn't change my life. I was raised the right way by my mom and dad, so it wouldn't change too much.
RM: Something you remember from Christmas.
RJ: We used to go skiing every Christmas and it's something I always remember. As a family I loved it. The best thing is that my dad was a teacher and my mom was a homemaker and we thought we had all the money in the world. That's the coolest thing.
RM: But you know now that teachers don't make any money.
RJ: Now I know. Back then, we were going on trips and never needed anything. We didn't know the house was mortgaged three times over. That was the best thing my parents ever did. I try to give them things all the time and they won't take it. They were in town for the Monday night game and we went to a movie and they paid for everyone. I wanted to pay, but they wouldn't let me. I guess I'll always be a little kid to them.
RM: Tell me, why do coaches make teams spend the night before home games in a hotel?
RJ: Because guys will go out and get in trouble.
RM: But you're grown men.
RJ: True, but probably to avoid someone getting into a car accident or getting arrested or something like that. But I suppose that could happen on a Friday night too. I guess it's superstition and tradition. In the preseason we don't do it and nothing happens. Guys are going to do what they want to do. If they want to go out, they'll go out.
RM: Can you tell me why snowmen are always fat?
RJ: I think because you have to pack the snow to make it stay, so he gets a little big. I suppose you could have a buffed snowman. Next time I'm making a snowman I'll keep that in mind.
RM: Bad toes?
RJ: Yeah, that bothers me. People who have opened toed shoes and ugly feet really bother me. Some people are going to have messed up toes, they can't help that, but they can cover them up. Keyshawn has bad toes. I think receivers in general have bad toes because they do all that starting and stopping and turning. Shaun King has good toes. I think he gets a pedicures.
RM: What about your feet?
RJ: They're all right. I have big feet. I wouldn't wear open-toed shoes when I go out at night though.
RM: Finish this sentence, people will be surprised to know I....
RJ: I leave tickets for games for friends who I know aren't going to show up.
RM: Like Elvis?
RJ: Not Elvis, but my friends. People who I wish would be there. It's my way of getting them there. I know that's probably weird. Like this week, I have left four and I know they're not going to show up.
RM: Brah, can you hook a brother up? Just kidding... Movie of the Year?
RJ: About a Boy, with Hugh Grant. It was a great story. I also liked Road to Perdition.
RM: Reality Series of the Year.
RJ: I love reality series. I love Temptation Island. But it should be on HBO so they can show a little bit more.
RM: Athlete of the Year.
RJ: Either Lance Armstrong or Pete Sampras. Sampras had a real bad record going into the US Open and was counted out and he won it. But, Lance Armstrong is unbelievable.
RM: Best Play of the Year.
RJ: Terrell Owens made a couple of great catches against the Cowboys. There was nothing in baseball or hockey. Nothing in college basketball either. But Michael Vick's overtime run was pretty sweet. Woody Dansler's return was pretty sweet too.
RM: Who would you have put on the cover of Time Magazine?
RJ: George Bush. He was thrown into the fire real quick and I don't think too many other presidents had to deal with what he had to deal with. Dick Chaney's not bad either. How about (General) Tommy Franks, he was actually in the mix.
RM: What do you think of people who down load music for free off the internet?
RJ: They've got more skill than I do. I tried it once and I through my MP3 player out the window. I'm not in the computer era. I missed the boat. I guess.
RM: Are you untidy?
RJ: If I own something I treat it with great respect. If I'm renting it, I trash it. Like my house in California, it's clean. My house here, it's clean. My locker? It's a mess.
RJ: I don't care.
RM: Why do all plumbers wear their pants that low?
RJ: Well, they're usually fat and it's the belt, it weighs them down.
RM: But even the skinny ones, their pants always falls.
RJ: They must teach them that in plumbing school and they're always bending over so that's what happens. It makes it worse. When girl plumbers do it though, it's cool.
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