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The young man and the sea

By ROGER MILLS

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 5, 2000


He is from Morristown, N.J. and played college ball at Pittsburgh, yet Bucs tight end Dave Moore is quite at home offshore in Tampa Bay. There he has time to ponder the life of a seaman, being stranded, prohibition, DUIs, Gwyneth Paltrow and his favorite television series characters:

* * *

RM: Why the fascination with fishing?

DM: It's hard to describe. It gets your mind off things. Everybody has their own stress relief and I like to go out on the water and fish, it's really as simple as that. I like it better than hunting because I can release them after I catch them. I have enough stress in my job that I don't need to go jump out of planes or bungee jump or anything like that. I get all the stress I need from playing football. It's something I can turn to to relax. Sometimes I don't even fish, I just go out on the water ... and chill.

* * *

RM: Give us an example of what's out there.

DM: I've been fishing the same spot for like five years and there's this same osprey that lives in the same dead tree that I have been seeing for years and years. I watch him come down and pick up a mullet and fly back up, every time. There are no cars, no people talking, no disturbances, nothing like that. Just me and the osprey.

* * *

RM: When you're out on your own, isn't a little dangerous?

DM: No not necessarily. I guess it could be dangerous. There have been situations where I have taken my boat out farther than I should have, where even my radio didn't work. That's not too smart. But in general, I'll stay inshore so that if anything happens I can swim to the nearest dock or beach.

* * *

RM: Okay, Mr. Robinson Crusoe, if you were shipwrecked on a deserted island, what's the one thing you would want?

DM: It would have to be a knife. You have to have some kind of tool and a knife would be perfect because you can do a lot of things with a knife. You can have food, you can build things.

* * *

RM: If you were on the island, who would want to be your Man Friday (aside from your family)?

DM: I've got a buddy that I fish with, Dave, he's a true Florida Cracker. Now, this guy, if he had no power, no nothing it wouldn't affect him at all. He can straight live off the land, he makes everything himself. I've met a few people like that since I've been down here. At least, I'll have somebody resourceful who can figure out things.

* * *

RM: The Ancient Mariner was cursed for life because he shot the Albatross, do you believe in those types of nautical superstitions?

DM: I've been fortunate that I have never been in a real bad situation but I can definitely say that the sea is nothing to underestimate. But, as far as the superstitions are concerned, you know what, a lot of fishing is following the birds because they tell you where the fish are. It's amazing, you can't see land and the birds come out of nowhere. Usually, when you see them, put your lines in the water because they're looking at something. Personally, I wouldn't mess with them.

* * *

RM: Would it have been difficult living during Prohibition?

DM: No. I drink beer but I'm not a guy who goes home and guzzles. My life doesn't revolve around that kind of thing. Statistically there's a pretty good argument for the basis of why it should be illegal, just for the number of people killed in car accidents alone. And how many families are broken up because of the abuse of alcohol. Everybody knows somebody who's an alcoholic. You can see, traditionally why it was made illegal. Now, it's something that's always been around but I'm sure I would feel different if my daughter was killed by a drunk driver.

* * *

RM: What's your take on George W. Bush's DUI 20 years ago?

DM: I think that candidates, when they decide to run, should have a press conference and say, "Okay, 20 years ago I got arrested for DUI, then I smoked pot with these guys in college ... get it all out of the way. You know what, somebody knew about this for a long time and just held it until five days before the election just to give a reasonable doubt in somebody's mind.

* * *

RM: Will it hurt him?

DM: It doesn't help him. In general any time you get any kind of negative feedback, it's not good. The fact that it was 20 years ago should be irrelevant but it isn't. Now, I'm an educated person, but a lot of people don't have an open mind. There are still a lot of prejudiced people, a lot of simple people, a lot of shallow people. You try to explain something like that to them and they are so closed-minded they don't want to hear it. Now, me, I've driven drunk in the past. It's not something I'm proud of, it's not something I do now, and fortunately I didn't kill anybody or get a DUI and I'm thankful for that but unfortunately he got caught.

* * *

RM: Make a call: Gwyneth Paltrow or Julia Roberts?

DM: Paltrow. There's something very, very plain about her. Something very innocent about her. She doesn't come across in a Hollywoodish way, more on the quiet side. She comes across with this innocence, she doesn't really dress crazy and seems very normal.

* * *

RM: Charlie's Angels: Old or new?

DM: The old ones. I'm a big Jaclyn Smith fan. She was my favorite. She's still pretty strong. When you think of Charlie's Angels you think of the older ladies. I guess the new ones have the special effects, the Matrix stuff. I think it'll be entertaining regardless and I would like to see it for the special effects. But, in my mind, when I think of Charlie's Angels I think of the older ladies.

* * *

RM: So, the only television show you watch is Friends, which of the male characters is the most pathetic?

DM: Ross. He's a whiner, he's always whining, always complaining. All of them have issues but Joey is too stupid to realize what's going on and Chandler tries to make everything funny, takes things in a sarcastic manner. But Ross, Ross has a tendency to mope around and whine too much.

* * *

RM: Which of the female stars is the most grounded?

DM: It would have to be Rachel. Rachel is probably the most like people in real life. Phoebe is in a land of her own and Monica is an extremist about everything. She's anal about everything.

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