With football training camps opening soon, it is time to start thinking about the NFL. We met with Jets center Nick Mangold while he was in Manhattan at Nintendo World recently.
How does it feel to have LaDainian Tomlinson on your team?
Oh, it’s exciting! We have a great offense line, I believe; I think he’s a good person to have back there running. A good addition.
Is your uniform number, 74, lucky for you?
I don’t really think it’s lucky. It incorporates one of my lucky numbers, No. 4; but other than that, I usually prefer 55.
If you weren’t a football player, what would you be?
I’d probably be in the military because I’m very good at taking orders; but other than that, I always wanted to be an architect.
How does it feel to be an NFL player?
It was great. It took a lot of hard work. Our guys play hard and got us there. So it was a blast. A little unfortunate that we didn’t win it.
Who do you like hitting the most?
I guess it will have to be Vince Wilfork of New England. Just because we go against each other twice . It’s nice to be able to hit somebody familiar.
Is football your only hobby?
No, I think golf would be my other hobby. Golf and video games. One, I get to go outside; and the other, I get to be in some fantasy world.
Does pressure affect you?
I think it does, but you try not to show it.
What do you miss most about practicing on Long Island?
Being able to sit on a bridge and look at the city while you’re stuck in traffic.
Besides football, what is your other favorite sport?
Probably golf. I was never good at basketball. I do love baseball. I don’t get to play it as much anymore.
What athlete did you look up to as a kid?
Dan “Big Daddy” Wilkinson. He played for the Bengals and Ohio State. He was a force to be reckoned with.
How does it feel to be on a football field?
It’s a blast. Being able to go out there, run around and enjoy the outdoors is a fantastic time.
What is your favorite kind of food?
Spaghetti and meatballs. It’s the best comfort food there is.
If you could play the championship game again, how would you play it?
I’d like to be playing it at home instead of Indy, because I think our fans would be a lot better for us.