Will someone please tell me who these guys are who make up the Bloomington Extreme, which kicked off the historic first season of indoor football for a Bloomington franchise Saturday night in Peoria?
What better way to find out than to put together a quick, little survey?
They range in age from 19 to 31 (36 if you count stand-by player Doug Higgins) and come from all walks of life. They live in Bloomington, Normal, Chicago, Indianapolis and points in between. The majority are single and still students in college, but some have ventured into the work world.
By trade, there's a woodworker, a system analyst at State Farm Insurance, a law enforcement officer at Lake Springfield, a pharmaceutical salesman, a manager of a strength and conditioning center, an accountant, a banker and an architect, to name a few.
They attended colleges throughout the Midwest and hold degrees ranging from accounting, political science, finance, elementary education, sports psychology, sociology, graphic communications, mass communications, physical education, computer science, business to safety engineering.
Their hobbies range from playing video games to mountain biking, art, motorcycles, fishing, hunting, golf, cooking, Web design, weightlifting, remote car racing, drawing, writing and reading.
And what are their favorite things to read?
The majority listed the Bible, while others said To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Hobbit, Hamlet, The Invisible Man, How To Be An Effective Leader, Lord of the Ring, Bo Knows Bo and Playboy.
Their musical tastes, not surprisingly, swing from country to rap. And most admitted their favorite way to relax was kicking back and watching television or a movie.
When it comes to eating, smorgasbord would be the best way to define how the appetites are satisfied. The list of favorites includes ribs, chicken, steak, hamburger, fresh fish, lobster, shrimp, wings, pasta and pizza.
What do the guys fix best in the kitchen? Anything in the microwave was one response. Or any Lean Cuisine meal. How about Ramen noodles, or hamburger helper, macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, dirty rice and chicken, cheese chip dip?
And when it comes to snacks? Try Twizzlers, double stuffed Oreos, peanut butter, nachos, sunflower seeds, ice cream, cereal and watermelon.
All but one have played football in high school and college. And they have all experienced highs and lows during their respective careers.
Some of the highlights have included just playing the game to scoring game-winning touchdowns, winning championships or making big plays. The disappointments included losing championship games, not making all-conference teams, having a season cut short by injury or not getting drafted by a NFL team.
Interestingly, the biggest fear of the majority of the players is failure, followed closely by losing and quitting. More common fears include death itself or losing a loved one, tornadoes, spiders, snakes, heights and falling.
Their favorite pro players range from Walter Payton, Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Ray Lewis, Brian Urlacher, Mike Singletary, Brett Favre, Marvin Harrison, Bo Jackson, Ronnie Lott and Michael Vick to Randy Moss and Terrell Owens.
The biggest influences in their lives have been family members and parents. And the people they would most like to meet include deceased grandparents, President Bush, Michael Jordan, Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce, Vince Lombardi, Bill Gates, Hugh Hefner and Jesus.
Superstitions range from getting a haircut before the game to not shaving before a game, praying during the national anthem, wearing the same T-shirt and dirty socks during the game. Actually, the player who wears dirty socks claims it's not a superstition. He just doesn't like to do laundry.
It's also quite obvious from the survey that all the players share two other distinct characteristics - a love for football and lousy penmanship.
Bryan Bloodworth is the sports editor of The Pantagraph. He can be contacted at email@example.com
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