EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 5, 2012

Survey says: NFL players share some interesting opinions

By Hector Longo
hlongo@eagletribune.com

Just when you thought that you knew everything about the Patriots and Giants, we bring you the Hector Longo Super Bowl Survey.

It's a Thursday ritual, at least for the last five New England Super Bowl appearances, it has been.

We ask the tough questions, and pull no punches.

So here we go.

DANE FLETCHER

Patriots Linebacker

Ever really watch the Indy 500? Do you have a favorite driver?

"No, not a full one, anyway. Let's put it this way, Indy racing just isn't that big in Montana."

If I went to your hometown, where do I have to eat?

Bozeman, Mont. — "You have to go to Burger Bob's. The Cardiac Arrest Burger is unreal."

Outside of football, what is your top athletic achievement?

"I played Junior A level hockey in high school."

What was the toughest part of moving to New England?

"Missing my family and friends was the toughest. They are all in Montana."

Clam chowder, Manhattan red or New England white?

"White, there is no question."

KYLE LOVE

Patriots Defensive Lineman

Ever really watch the Indy 500? Do you have a favorite driver?

"Never watched it."

If I went to your hometown, where do I have to eat?

College Park, Ga. — "You have to go to Fogo de Chao. It's a Brazilian steak place. They keep bringing out all the cuts of meat to you. It's unbelievable."

What's the ideal Super Bowl city?

"Somewhere warm, Miami, Atlanta, Texas, wherever."

What is your top athletic achievement outside of football?

"Baseball my sophomore year. I hadn't played in a while, so I was rusty, In tryouts, I went out there against the varsity kids and got a hit. Then I took my lead and stole second. That made the coach angry, and he started cussing about how the fat football player stole a base. How could they let him? So I stole third, too. The next year he asked me to play, I said no thanks. I'm a football player."

What was the toughest part of moving to New England?

"The weather. Last year, it snowed so bad. At first, I thought, it'd be fun, interesting. I was sending pictures to everyone. After a while, enough was enough."

Clam chowder, Manhattan red or New England white?

"White, it's all I ever ate growing up."

BRANDON SPIKES

Patriots Linebacker

Ever really watch the Indy 500? Do you have a favorite driver?

"I have no interest in it at all."

If I went to your hometown, where do I have to eat?

Shelby, N.C. - "You have to go to Bridges Barbecue. You can get anything, but I'm in love with the hush puppies."

What's the ideal Super Bowl city?

"Dallas. It's a beautiful, new stadium."

What is your top athletic achievement outside of football?

"I played basketball and actually was offered a scholarship to play at Wake Forest. In a playoff game on the way to states, I pump-faked, drove and dunked on a kid. It was incredible. #PoWwWwW. I flushed it, one hand to Asheville."

What was the toughest part of moving to New England?

"Just the change of location. I spent a lot of time in Florida. Great weather, people are nice, smiling in a good mood, because of perfect weather."

Clam chowder, Manhattan red or New England white?

"Both are good, but have always preferred the red."

BENJARVUS GREEN-ELLIS

Patriots Running Back

Ever really watch the Indy 500? Do you have a favorite driver?

"I've seen races, never watched the 500."

If I went to your hometown, where do I have to eat?

New Orleans - "You must sample the beignets at Café© du Monde. It's an absolute must."

What's the ideal Super Bowl city?

"Anywhere in the great USA. I am just happy this one is indoors."

What is your top athletic achievement outside of football?

"We won 4x200 and 4x100 meter state track titles at St. Augustine High. As an individual, I ran a 10.6 100."

What was the toughest part of moving to New England?

"I didn't even know where New England was. It was tough dealing with different people from a different area."

Clam chowder, Manhattan red or New England white?

"I don't eat chowder. We eat gumbo, chicken, shrimp, whatever?"

NATE SOLDER

Patriots Offensive Tackle

Ever really watch the Indy 500? Do you have a favorite driver?

"I can't say I have."

If I went to your hometown, where do I have to eat?

Buena Vista, Col. — "Got to Pokey's for the deep-fried hamburger. I go mustard, pickles, lettuce and tomatoes."

What's the ideal Super Bowl city?

"Why not Buena Vista, it's a hopping place."

What is your top athletic achievement outside of football?

"In middle school, I won the round-robin badminton tournament in my physical education class. It was exhilarating."

What was the toughest part of moving to New England?

"Just dealing with the distance, moving away from family and friends."

Clam chowder, Manhattan red or New England white?

"I'm allergic to milk, so I hate to say this, but Manhattan red."

SHANE VEREEN

Patriots Running Back

Ever really watch the Indy 500? Do you have a favorite driver?

"I've watched some highlights but never sat through the whole thing. I like (Dale Earnhardt) Jr." Editor's note: Sorry Shane, but Dale Jr. races Sprint Cup."

If I went to your hometown, where do I have to eat?

Valencia, Calif. — "Go to Jimmy D's and get the breakfast burrito. It's eggs, cheese, chili, bacon or sausage, hash browns and 'Hoo!' It's good."

What's the ideal Super Bowl city?

"Someplace warm or indoors. Los Angeles Coliseum. We could do that."

What is your top athletic achievement outside of football?

"In track my junior year, I made the state championship meet in the 100. Only two juniors, (Detroit Lions RB) Jahvid Best and I, made the finals. He was fifth, I was sixth. I ran a 10.4, and we both went to play at Cal together."

What was the toughest part of moving to New England?

"Just getting used to a different way of life. Being here and grinding through a full season."

Clam chowder, Manhattan red or New England white?

"White, it's amazing at Skip Jacks (at Patriots Place). It's awesome."

NIKE KOUTOUVIDE

Patriots Linebacker

Ever really watch the Indy 500? Do you have a favorite driver?

"Never."

If I went to your hometown, where do I have to eat?

Plainville, Conn. — "Saints has the best hot dog in the business. Go with chili, cheese, onion, the whole deal." (Note: At this point, we asked Niko how a good Greek boy would push a hot dog of all things. He said, "I love Greek food, but I'm not sending you to Plainville to get Greek food.")

What's the ideal Super Bowl city?

"Miami would be great, but If I had my choice, we'd go to Athens, Greece."

What is your top athletic achievement outside of football?

"I got Plainfield High into the state championship in baseball with a walk-off base hit to beat Ansonia. I went with the pitch. It was outside and went with it."

What was the toughest part of moving to New England?

"None, I'm from New England."

Clam chowder, Manhattan red or New England white?

"White, I've grown up on it more than the Manhattan. I like the creamier chowder than the actual broth."

LINVAL JOSEPH

Giants Defensive Lineman

Ever really watch the Indy 500? Do you have a favorite driver?

"No, I don't care for racing at all."

If I went to your hometown, where do I have to eat?

U.S. Virgin Islands — "I'd send you downtown for some curry chicken and curry goat." (Note: I'll pass on the goat.)

What's the ideal Super Bowl city?

"Anywhere I could play in one. This is great because we're here. Next year, it would be great to go because it's Giants Stadium."

What is your top athletic achievement outside of football?

"Freshman year in high school, I had a 15-point, 10-rebound game at Sante Fe High in Florida."

What was the toughest part of moving to the New York area?

"The speed of everything is so much faster here than in Florida."

Clam chowder, Manhattan red or New England white?

"White, because that's how I was raised."

MITCH PETRUS

Giants Offensive Lineman

Ever really watch the Indy 500? Do you have a favorite driver?

"I've never watched it. Danica!"

If I ever went to your hometown, where do I have to eat?

Carlisle, Ark. — "Invader's. Have the buffet, fried chicken, fried potatoes, gravy. It's the best food in the South."

What's the ideal Super Bowl city?

"Hell, Little Rock. Let's keep it close to home."

What is your top athletic achievement outside of football?

"I played hoop in high school. I had a ton of big games, and it's too tough to remember them all."

What was the toughest part of moving to the New York area?

"Culture shock. People, lots of traffic. My hometown is 2,500 people to go from that to millions of people is tough."

Clam chowder, Manhattan red or New England white?

"Neither, we don't get many clams in Arkansas."