Unexpectedly running into one of my absolute favorite football players of all time, and two former players at lunch this past Sunday has made my year! Not only did I get a chance to meet three LSU players, but they were all true gentlemen and very friendly. They politely agreed to answer a few quick questions and even posed for some photos as well, what more could a gridirongirl ask for?
First off I ran into James Stampley, former LSU fullback, best known for breaking face masks during the LSU Alabama National Championship face off in 2011.
James agreed to answer a couple questions but was fairly rushed as he was currently in a business meeting and his partner had taken a trip to the bathroom. I only got to ask two questions besides reaffirming his position and status as an athlete, but I did manage to get a great photo and a hug from him.
James shared with me that he graduated in December of 2011 and did go to a training camp for the Philadelphia Eagles upon being invited, but I chose to ask a couple “silly” questions to get a little more info out of him. I asked him how he likes his chicken wings (since we were at Buffalo Wild Wings it seemed only fitting!) and he proudly claimed he was a fan of mild or medium, but spicy is not his forte. I also asked him what his favorite piece of LSU gear he owns is, and as it turns out it was the pair of purple sweat pants with yellow “LSU Football” accents that he was currently wearing. I also shyly asked if he was much of a hugger and instead of responding verbally he pulled me in for a bear hug before smiling for a photo with me and heading back to his lunch.
After meeting James I saw Jeremy Hill entering the restaurant and heading over to a table with three other young men. As it turns out he was joining two friends and his older brother, former LSU player Cornell Hill, for lunch and some NFL football before their “Walking Dead” premier party that night.
J. Hill and his friends all posed for a photo with me and my pal Ashley before Jeremy asked me to follow him on instagram, he in turn followed me back and we exchanged snapchat (a picture app on iphones and androids) information, promising to stay in touch for future interviews and LSU banter… which I fully intend to take him up on!!
Jeremy shared with me that he started playing football around the age of 7, and is majoring in sports administration. My first real question for him was “what would you like to do with that degree if you don’t go into pro football?” and he informed me that he would like to work as an administrator for a pro sports team if he doesn’t continue to play. We talked about NFL teams, he listed the Saints as one of his favorite teams and I shared with him that I am a Jaguars fan. After giving me a little grief about our 0-6 record so far this season, he jokingly offered me to switch over and be a Saints fan. Outside of sports and school we talked about his pastimes and favorites. As many Americans are, Jeremy Hill is addicted to shows such as Breaking Bad and Walking Dead, and lives with his older brother Cornell near campus, along with an adorable black pit bull named Shaq.
After a little chat about watching tv and studying for school, he asked what the tattoo on my finger meant, I described its meaning to him before asking if he had any (silly question I know, he is tatted up!) before he pulled up his sleeves revealing several tattoos on his arms.
After having a good talk with Jeremy and his friends and brother I asked for a photo of just me and Jeremy before requesting a couple of autographs and he happily ran to get a sharpie from his apartment and signed some cups and a newspaper article for me and a cup for Ashley.
One thing I learned after spending time chatting with the table of boys is that they eat about as many wings in one sitting as I do in a month, and they are all inspiring young men happy to participate with fans of all ages. Jeremy was very sweet about having to retake our photo three times because I didn’t like the way I looked in the first one, and the second came out dark and blurry. As we parted ways, he gave me a big hug and told me we would be friends forever, and to stay in touch and keep cheering for the tigahs.
Having the opportunity to speak with my favorite LSU player and one of my all-time favorite football players ever was a huge blessing and gave me great confidence in my interviewing skills and my ability to casually approach players in the future.
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Keep reading and spreading the word ladies, and geaux give someone a hug! As always, love that purple and continue living golden. Geaux Tigahs!