September 1, 2005

10 Questions with Kevin Boothe

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In the return of 10 Questions, Sun Senior Writer Per Ostman tackles some dummies with All-Ivy lineman Kevin Boothe.

1. So, are you really 327 pounds?
Yeah, that’s what I am right now. Actually, I’m probably more like 320.
Only 320?
Haha, yeah, only 320.
Well, you’ve still got dinner tonight.
Yeah, then we’ll be back up there to 327. It’s funny, really. People look at me and they say, “oh, you’re not 320 pounds. You’re more like 290 or something.”
You’re definitely more “Miami Shaq” than “L.A. Shaq.”
Yeah, yeah. Exactly.
Okay, so you’re 327, but you’re an “athletic” 327. Do you think of yourself less as a stand-up-and-push guy and more of a complete “quickness and technique” kind of player?
Yes, definitely. I think what people don’t know about linemen is that you have to have tremendous feet to play this game. Just being big alone doesn’t get the job done.
It helps though, doesn’t it?
Yeah, having size is definitely an advantage. but you’ve got to be able to move the weight.

2. The death of 49ers tackle Thomas Herrion has thrown the issue of weight in the NFL into the media forefront. The prevailing belief is that his cardiac arrest was in part due to his weight. With tragedies such as this occurring with increasing frequency, the sense is that the NFL may be getting “too big.” Do you agree with this?
I guess I can see both sides of the argument, you know, and it seems like everyone’s getting bigger, but I think that’s in general, not just in football. I think that’s happening everywhere in society. In the general public, I think everyone’s getting bigger. Kind of an evolutionary thing, if that makes sense. But I think it’s something to address, not something to ignore. I think the overall issue isn’t as big as people are making it out to be.
What kinds of things do you do to maintain and manage your weight?
We have a great strength coach, Coach Howley, and we’re usually with him four times a week during the offseason. A group of us, myself included, actually spent the majority of the summer up here working out with Coach Howley directly.
You’ve been scouted as a pro prospect going forward. Do you feel any pressure to weigh over 300 pounds, to maintain that weight, or to get even bigger than you are now?
No, not at all. I’ve had teams come in to look at me and not one of them said that we need you to get bigger or be a certain weight or anything like that. They just want to see you perform on the field, so I don’t really think about my weight, funny as that sounds. But no, no one has ever told me to gain weight and I don’t feel any pressure. If anything, they’d probably want you to lose 10 or 15 pounds.
Do you worry about the long term effects of weighing over 300 pounds, with regards to the stresses on your joints and your cardiovascular system?
I think it’s always in the back of your mind. But, I think that’s something that I’ll address once I’m done playing. You definitely wouldn’t be able to just have a normal life weighing this much. So, you definitely want to cut that weight down almost immediately after you’re done playing.

3. You’re in the Hotel School and you weigh 320 pounds (before dinner). Does this mean that you’re a good cook?
Man, I’ll tell you a little story. First day of cooking lab, I think it was my sophomore year, we were in the kitchen and I almost cut my finger off.
Wow. So this was potentially a Ronnie Lott situation?
Actually, it wasn’t that bad. I mean, it was through the fingernail and it stung a little bit. My parents and all my friends still give me grief about it.
Remind me not to eat at your house anytime soon.
Nah, nah, it was alright. I think I’ve actually improved a lot. I can do a few things in the kitchen. What’s your favorite dish to make?
Oh, man. To make…hmmm. Well, I guess I’m not really making it, but my girlfriend actually freezes up a lot of spaghetti sauce for me that she makes.
This is cheating! You’d fail cooking for this.
This is cheating, yeah, because all I have to do is boil the spaghetti. But it’s really good. I think I’m gonna have some of that for dinner tonight. But something that I make from scratch? I think I can make a pretty good omelet.
Omelets? Oh yeah. Do you do like eight eggs?
Yeah, yeah. You gotta have a big omelet.
I love the big omelet. You need all kinds of stuff in there, your peppers, your mushrooms, your onions, some kind of meat –
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Some kind of meat and cheese. You gotta have the cheese.
Nice. Very nice.

4. Growing up in Florida, were you more of a Spurrier fan, or a Bowden fan?
I did grow up close to the University of Miami, but I think I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the Ol’Ballcoach.
How successful do you think Steve Spurrier can be in his first year at South Carolina?
It’ll be tough in the SEC, really tough. But I think he can do it. Maybe not right away, but they’ll be right at the top in a couple of years.
Who’s your favorite college football team right now?
You mean besides Cornell?
See that’s the thing. Do you find it difficult now that you’re a college football player to maintain the same allegiances you had when you were a kid?
Growing up, I was always watching Florida and the Hurricanes and things like that. But honestly, now that I’m playing and I go to Cornell, it’s like I’m impartial with every game I watch other than ours. You wouldn’t think I’d be like that, but I watch games now just for the football, just for the game, because I enjoy it.

5. Let’s move on to the NFL then. Are you a Dolphins fan?
Believe it or not, I grew up 15 minutes from Dolphins Stadium, and I never liked them.
Why not? Marino not your guy?
I think it was something like the fact that they were right there, you know? And right when I started getting into football, when I was about five or six, believe it or not I was a Niners fan. I was a front-running kid growing up.
Montana was better anyway.
Yeah, right when I started watching football, you know? Rice and Montana. All those championships.
Who’s beating the Patriots this year?
Aww man. My girlfriend’s from Boston, so that’s all I’ve heard since October – Patriots and Red Sox, Patriots and Red Sox.
Good for her.
But honestly, I won’t believe they’re out of it until I see zeros on the clock and they’re completely eliminated. That’s how good they’ve gotten. I fully expect the Patriots to win.
Even with losing both coordinators and all the personnel turnover?
No question. I fully expect them to be there at the end. If not, I guess the Colts, maybe.
Yeah, but Peyton Manning plays all important games with his hands affixed firmly around his neck.
Even in college man, he could never beat Florida. And then, after he leaves, they win the National Championship.

6. The NFL is the only major sport without guaranteed contracts. Teams have the ability to rip up contracts and cut players almost indiscriminately. Now, I’m not saying that you should start doing crunches in your driveway, but don’t you agree with Terrell Owens, even just a little bit?
I think he’s got the right argument, but he’s going about it the wrong way. I agree, to an extent, with what he’s saying, but I don’t think that’s the best way to handle the situation.
You mean you don’t do pushups in your driveway?
That’s pretty cool, though. I liked that. To me, that was amusing. I come home and turn on the TV, and I’m seeing helicopters. I’m like, “what is going on? Is this OJ, part II?” And all of a sudden I see Terrell Owens doing curls in his driveway.

7. You play on turf in Schoellkopf. Wouldn’t you rather play on grass?
Definitely. But at certain times with the Ithaca climate, grass might not be the best thing. On a perfe
ct day, I’d definitely take grass.
We don’t have any perfect days in Ithaca.
My point exactly. Like today. Put me on the turf. Games though, games are fun in the mud. But not practice.

8. What’s the hottest women’s team at Cornell?
Man, I’ve got a girlfriend…
You CAN’T do that. Okay? People have tried to pull that in the past, and I won’t allow it.
But I have a girlfriend, man! You’re going to get me in trouble!
I know. That’s what I’m here for. Never talk to the media.
But I don’t pay attention. I don’t know the players, man … You’ve got to put in there how long it’s taking me to answer.
Don’t worry, I will.
This is really hard. I don’t want people to get mad at me.
It’s not like I’m asking you what the ugliest team is. I’m asking what the hottest team is, so you’re not going to insult anyone if you don’t mention them. In theory.
Man, this is tough. Hey, Ryan, maybe you can answer this – what’s the hottest Cornell women’s team? What sport?
Ryan Rourke, men’s basketball: Umm…
Kevin Boothe: Can I ask him? Can I bring in the bullpen?
RR: I’ll go with…hmm…soccer and volleyball?
KB: Don’t look at me, man.
RR: Okay, soccer. I’m going with soccer.
Soccer, huh? Good choice.
RR: Yeah, because I don’t see the equestrian team at all, so I don’t know what they look like.
I know where you’re going with this, and I like it.
RR: Oh, wait a minute. I’m gonna have to take back what I said. I’m taking back soccer.
Wait, you’re taking soccer off the board?
RR: Yeah, I’m going to go with field hockey.
KB: [Laughing hysterically]
Did I miss something? I’ve been away for a year. Is there a specific player that I need to be focusing on here?
RR: I mean, every team’s got their cuties, but overall it’s field hockey. I’m taking the mean average here.
Are you in AEM?
RR: Yeah.
I’ve got to interview a field hockey player next week.

9. If you could have dinner with any three people, alive or dead, who would be there and why?
This is deep, man.
We try to ask the hard-hitting questions here at the Daily Sun.
Okay, it would be Jesus. And Martin Luther King, Jr. The third would have to be my brother, just so I wouldn’t be so nervous.
What are you serving?
Whatever they want. What do you serve Jesus?
Whatever he wants.

10. If you make it to the NFL, you’re going to be better than Jay Fiedler, right?
Man, they gave that guy SO much hell down in South Florida. I felt bad for him. I mean, he’s had a long career. If I can be better than Jay Fiedler, I’ll be alright.

Per Ostman is a Sun Senior Writer. 10 Questions will appear every week this semester.

Archived article by Per Ostman
Sun Senior Writer