The Sideline Report with Kale Pick
Let’s get right to this week’s Sideline Report with Kansas quarterback Kale Pick.
The Sideline Report with Kale Pick
Jesse Newell: What’s the best part about growing up in Dodge City?
Kale Pick: That’s a tough one. Probably the relaxed environment. It’s kind of laid-back. That’s a tough question.
JN: What’s the worst part about growing up in Dodge City?
KP: It’s so boring. There’s nothing to do in southwest Kansas besides sports games.
JN: What do you guys do for fun out there?
KP: Well, Friday nights during the season, we go out and play whatever sport we’re playing: baseball, basketball or football. … We usually just hang out, watch TV, watch football games, especially on Saturday nights. We’d watch a lot of sports.
JN: Is there an exciting restaurant? Is Sonic the hangout or anything like that?
KP: Yeah, I didn’t go down to Sonic too much where they hang out. I guess we did a lot of pingpong when we were hanging out. We all got pretty good at playing pingpong and pool. We’re all pretty competitive.
JN: How good are you at that?
KP: Not too bad. Actually, I’m pretty good. I think the one guy that beat me on the team — during the Insight Bowl they had two pingpong tables — Alonso Rojas beat me. I think that was the only player that beat me.
JN: Are you going to avenge that loss then?
KP: Oh yeah. When we get up to the next bowl game, we’ll find a pingpong table.
JN: He seems like the kind of guy that would talk trash after beating you. Is that true?
KP: Oh definitely. All weekend, he was talking trash to me. He wouldn’t let it go, and he kept challenging me. I was like, ‘I’ve got to practice a little more before I play you next.’
JN: A lot of people are going to call you a gunslinger from Dodge City. Is that good or bad? Do you like that or not?
KP: Yeah, I like it. I’m kind of used to it. In high school, everybody was calling me ‘The Gunslinger’ in newspapers and the news. ‘The Gunslinger from Dodge.’ I’m kind of used to it. It doesn’t bother me.
JN: So it’s a legit nickname? You don’t mind it?
[Ed. note — This is the mascot from a minor league football team in Los Angeles. Pretty cool.]
KP: No, I don’t mind it.
JN: I’ve got to ask you this too. Kale Pick. Do you feel like that’s a horrible name for a quarterback?
KP: I’m used to it, to be honest with you. (smiles) My freshman year in high school was the first time it was brought up in an interview, and I honestly didn’t know what to say. Then, some other reporters from articles were saying, ‘Kale picks apart the defense,’ so that kind of stuck around nice. So it’s not too bad now. It could go both ways.
JN: I just wondered, because there’s a guy in the Major Leagues, Grant Balfour, who’s a pitcher.
KP: (laughs) Oh really.
JN: So is Kale Pick better than that you think? Or about the same?
KP: Nah, they’re about the same. The same area.
JN: Your father played at Iowa State. Tell me about that.
KP: I don’t know much about it, but he played under Mack Brown when he was at Iowa State (as an assistant coach). He played fullback. That’s about all I know.
JN: Were you raised an Iowa State fan? Who did you cheer for, or who did you watch?
KP: I wasn’t a big team fan, but I had to say a team, I’d say Nebraska because I have an uncle that lives in Manhattan, and I always give him crap because he’s a K-State fan. I was probably a Nebraska fan growing up.
JN: Who’s your favorite player from Nebraska growing up?
KP: Eric Crouch.
JN: Did you aspire to be like him? You guys are kind of the same type of quarterback.
KP: Not really. I just kind of liked Eric Crouch for some reason. He always made big plays. I also liked Michael Bishop from K-State, but I wasn’t a K-State fan, so I couldn’t say that.
JN: So you couldn’t say it out loud, but deep inside, you were?
JN: I said that you were kind of a comparison to Eric Crouch, and obviously you’ve run a lot in the first few games of the season. Do you get frustrated when people talk like you can’t throw the football?
KP: Not really. I’m just kind of waiting until we start throwing the ball. I’m not really frustrated about it. I just can’t wait until we start throwing the ball. It makes me more anxious.
JN: For a while this season, you were 10th in the Big 12 in rushing yards. What did you think about that?
KP: Wasn’t expecting it. From the beginning of preseason, I couldn’t have told you I was going to be in the top 10 in rushing yards. It just kind of happened.
JN: A lot of teams have the Wildcat formation. Do you think you might get in here, kind of sneak in some crazy formation here?
KP: I don’t know. After the UTEP game, Todd (Reesing) just came up to me and said, ‘You are ridiculous. We need the Wildcat offense for you.’ I just kind of thought about it then. He kept saying it, and I was like, ‘Well, I don’t know.’ It’s up to the coaches.
JN: If Todd went to the coaches and suggested that, you wouldn’t be against it, right?
KP: Oh no. I wouldn’t be against it.
JN: So you running the Wildcat is a good idea, you think?
KP: That’s up to the coaches.
JN: I know it’s up to the coaches, but …
KP: It would be fun.
JN: You could see yourself as a Wildcat-type quarterback.
KP: Yeah, maybe.
JN: I’ve seen that you want to be a college coach. Tell me why.
KP: I just love football, love the game of football. I always have growing up. I was always watching football games. I learned from my dad. He taught me a lot. I’ve just always been a student of the game and love the game.
JN: Tell me about the first KU game you saw.
KP: I think it might have been KU and Baylor during the Orange Bowl year.
JN: What do you remember about it?
KP: It had a rain delay and it was really boring. KU came out of the rain delay and just crushed Baylor. It was good, but the rain delay was super boring.
JN: So the boring part didn’t translate over in your head. That’s a good thing for KU.
KP: Yeah, really good thing. Actually, I was pretty impressed. They came out and just lit it up.
JN: Ever cried at a movie?
KP: Yep, I cried at the movie, ‘The Guardian.’
JN: What was so sad about it?
KP: Just how they were so close of friends and the guy ends up dying and the guy slips out of his fingers when he’s holding him from the helicopter. That’s pretty sad.
JN: Was there at least a girl around to see you cry and see how sensitive you were?
KP: Um, I don’t think so. (smiles) I think there was just guys. Actually, once I think about it, we went to ‘Marley and Me’ at the Insight Bowl last year, and I think there were about five guys off our football team that cried at that movie.
JN: OK, you don’t have to disclose all of them, but is there anybody you want to single out to say, ‘Wow, they cried at the movie, “Marley and Me”‘?
KP: I’ll tell you, Justin Springer was there. Big tough guy. I didn’t think this guy had any emotion at all.
He comes out of the movie and goes, ‘Wow, that was a really sad movie.’ I just kind of looked at him and was like, ‘You’re supposed to be this big, bad linebacker. You’re just sitting there, you almost had a tear-jerker in this movie.’
JN: But did you cry at ‘Marley and Me’?
KP: I might have shed a few tears.
KP: But I looked over, and everybody else (makes sniffing noise) was sniffing, and I was just like, ‘Our whole football team’s about to cry over this dog.’ (laughs)
JN: Unexpected at the least?
JN: What’s something that would surprise me about you?
KP: A lot of people think it’s surprising that I like to play pingpong. A lot, in my free time, I like to play golf. We also did that in Dodge a lot. We played golf a lot.
JN: What’s your handicap?
KP: Oh, I couldn’t tell you.
JN: What do you typically shoot then?
KP: Right now it’s not good. I haven’t played in a while since we started football. Um, about nine holes, I’d probably shoot a 42.
JN: That’s good compared to me. I don’t think I’ve broke 100.
KP: Really? Yeah, usually, I don’t play 18 holes, but nine holes I usually shoot a 42, 43.
JN: What TV show are you embarrassed that you watch?
KP: That ’70s Show. I don’t know why, but every night — my roommate is Duane Zlatnik — every night we come (home), there’s nothing to watch except SportsCenter. So every night we watch That ’70s Show with Ashton Kutcher and all those people. It’s kind of a different show.
JN: Do you relate to any of the characters then, or are any of them like you?
KP: No, I don’t think so. Ashton Kutcher’s pretty funny in it, but that’s about it.
JN: What movie do you quote lines from the most?
KP: There’s a lot of movies I quote lines from. I love watching movies. ‘Dumb and Dumber’ is a pretty good one. I’m trying to think. There’s a lot.
JN: I love ‘Dumb and Dumber.’
KP: Yeah, ‘Dumb and Dumber’ is one of my all-time favorites.
JN: What is your favorite line from ‘Dumb and Dumber’? Or your favorite scene?
KP: Probably when they’re riding to Colorado and they end up freezing together after the guy urinates on the other guy and they freeze together. And his nostrils are all full of frozen snot. That’s pretty funny.
JN: That’s a classic man. It’s totally a classic.
JN: What pregame food do you like most?
KP: Probably the mashed potatoes. I like the mashed potatoes. Chicken. That’s usually what we have. We actually almost have the same pregame meal every week.
JN: So pretty good, though?
KP: Yeah, really good. I like it all.
JN: Makes you run fast at least, right?
KP: (laughs) I guess.
JN: Who has the best nickname on the team?
KP: Duane Zlatnik’s is ‘Dewey.’ I don’t know how he got that one, but it’s ‘Dewey.’ I think Tanner Hawkinson looks like Will Ferrell, so I call him ‘Will Ferrell’ every once in a while.
JN: What’s the funniest part about living with Duane, then?
KP: He’s just a real small-town … he’s just like a little kid walking around our house. He always tries to wrestle me or gives me crap all the time. He was a big wrestler in high school, so he always tries to have me wrestle him.
JN: What’s your strategy? Is it to face him head-up or run away?
KP: Every once in a while, I’ll try to shoot for his legs, try to get him down, and then once I get him down, just run away. Try to get away from him. He has a pretty strong grip, so I don’t want to get too close to him.