By Ethan Kye (with Mickey Martino)
So, after my interview with Marcus Dunhill, I decided to arrange a visit with another fellow rookie, by the name of Mickey Martino. Let me tell you, this man has more hopes and dreams of being in the SFL
than i could have ever imagined. He has made his voice heard on many occasions and has been the victim of a few playful jabs and here he still is, striding forwards like the true pro that he plans to be. So anyway, it’s not about me, let’s get on with this interview and see what Mickey has to say.
EK: So Mickey, tell us a little about where you’re from, like your hometown and your high school? What was it like growing up for you? How were your years in high school?
MM: I grew up in NYC, more specifically Queens. High School was a rough time, since I didn’t know where I wanted to go in my life and it was difficult to motivate myself for anything. Football gave me a good outlet and kept me in shape. I loved it there and I’ll always consider NYC my home, regardless of where I go. I did always feel like I was just missing something there though, that i hope to find in the SFL.
EK: So tell me, what college are you coming out of? What was their program like? What did you learn while you were there?
MM: I went to Syracuse because I wanted to stay close to home. The program there wasn’t bad, but there is a reason we weren’t seen in the bowl games yearly. I think the biggest lesson I learned is that I am gonna get knocked down a lot, but the only thing stopping me from getting back up is myself.
EK: So, like myself and many others in the SFL Draft, your name is in the mix for the first round. What made you decide to join the draft? What are your goals once you are drafted to a team?
MM: I found the SFL after watching the Championship Game last season, and while at first it just seemed like a neat little thing to fool around in, the community has definitely pushed me to become more involved and shown me that this isn’t just a game. I think my first goal will be to get acquainted with my teammates and how I have to develop as a player. I plan on bugging some of my team’s fellow wide receivers (or defensive backs) about what direction I should go, so I am constantly a positive spot on the team. My personal stats don’t mean much if the team as a whole isn’t doing great, so I don’t have any big plans for myself for the season. It’s just not a concern of mine.
EK: What are your expectations in a team locker room? What happens when you lose a game ? What would we expect from you? Are you a leader or a follower?
MM: I expect that wherever I go, the guys in the locker rooms are gonna be my friends. I can’t be on bad terms with anyone I am working with. It’s hard to say how I’ll react until I am in the moment, but I think the first loss will hurt the most because then I have to wonder what I did wrong. What mistakes I made and what do i need to do to improve? I know my teammates will support me through, so I am sure i will get quickly adjusted the longer I spend in the league. Like I said before, I don’t know how i will be until I am in the moment, but I think going into an established locker room as a rookie, I won’t be leading at first. If I develop into that role then so be it, but I won’t force myself into a premature leadership role.
EK: What would you tell the new wave of rookies that have come in recently and to the ones that will be joining us after this season?
MM: Enjoy the process! The league is meant to be fun in the end and there’s only so much you can control, so don’t worry about it. The community is great and you only help yourself by interacting with everyone and don’t be afraid to bother every GM out there. It’s your job to advertise yourself to them and prove your worth a spot on their roster.
EK: How do you feel about your fellow rookies? what would you say you have learned from them and who would you give a shout out to?
MM: This rookie class is an amazing group and they’re why I am so worried about where I will end up. Everyone’s busting their *** ( edited) butt just as hard as me to get taken as high as possible, and they deserve it. While we’re all technically competing, trying to to get noticed by the teams, it doesn’t feel that way. I’d like to give a shout out to Hunter Jones, Marcus Dunhill and Keith Swearingen. They were some of the first fellow rookies I really talked too when I first joined and they are good guys. I hope to see them all get taken early and tear the league up.
EK: What are your current feelings about the up and coming draft? Are you nervous, excited, and if I dare say, worried?
MM: Despite what I said for the future rookies, I would say I am definitely more anxious over the entire process than I expected. I am sure I will end up on a great team with great teammates, but the waiting is getting to me. While I love the mock drafts and the big board, constantly getting rated, compared to my peers, is a bit overwhelming and i constantly doubt how much I might be valued by potential teams because even though my rankings are pretty good, you just don’t know what the GM’s will go for.
EK: Well Mickey, thanks for taking the time to talk to me and letting me show the league the type of person you are. I really appreciate it and hope to you get drafted and play like a legend.
MM: No Problem Ethan! Thanks for interviewing me!