Bucs defensive end Simeon Rice was back with his teammates Wednesday after extensive tests on his heart. He shared his thoughts with Times staff writer Roger Mills:
Were you scared to have to get the paddles?
Shock treatment is an everyday thing, especially when you read the newspapers. But putting yourself under an apparatus that does that to you and going through that situation because they wanted my heart back in rhythm. They said that strokes can happen. Other things can happen. Well, whatever."
What was the sedation like?
It's always a good feeling, free drugs. You get on that level. That Ricky Williams thing.
What was going through your mind while you were undergoing tests in L.A.?
(Enjoying L.A. was) going through my mind, like any man would. L.A. is a beautiful place. I can stay here a while and really milk this thing. But I like to play football. Right when I got done, I came back, not a problem."
There have been previous bouts?
It's happened every year with the exception of last year. It even happened before the Super Bowl game, and it calmed down. The occurrence for myself is quite frequent, year to year.
What was your first day back like?
I came out all right. I didn't split any atoms. I didn't do anything that I thought would leave a lasting impression on my mind. It's a beginning of something new, a whole new year. It's football. It's still fun for me. The telltale sign of where I'm going to be physically is that I'm as good as I ever was.
Are you going to tone down the training a bit?
During the summer sessions, (I'll) pick and choose some days, maybe lay up a little bit more. Maybe walk on the beach a little bit more. That might be nice. But I just don't live that way. I haven't even started picking up golf clubs yet. The first time I did, I put them down. I'm just a high-energy individual. It's always going to be like that until things things wear down.
Have the past experiences diluted your fear of a major problem?
Virgin things make me a little skeptical. I'm talking about things you've never had before. I look at myself like a smoker who smokes when he's 90 years old. Some people can get away with it. I feel like I'm one of them just because of my past.