by FKO! Cub Reporter Danny Wojciehowski
I interviewed NY Giant Danny Clark in the Giants running back meeting room,on Friday October 17, 2008! It was so cool to see some of the notes that players like Brandon Jacobs and Derrick Ward made.
Danny Clark wears the number 55 because of Otis Wilson. He has been wearing the number since he started playing football. He is the starting outside linebacker for the New York Giants. He joined the team in April after being on several other teams.
When I asked Danny Clark how he got started playing and he said it was a "funny story." Even at a young age he knew he wanted to be a pro football player. He said he played football a lot in his front yard with his friends. That is where his dream started.
"One day when I was playing with my friends they said they had to leave to go play Real football. I then asked to be signed up,"he explained.
Danny Clark was born in Blue Island, Illinois and he played college football at Illinois. He was originally supposed to play quarterback in college, but then he was switched to free safety and then later outside linebacker.
Danny Clark has played for many pro teams, so I asked him what it was like to switch from team-team and to have a new playbook almost every year.
"I will finish my career with the New York Giants. Football is football no matter what team you are on. I am an ultimate team guy and I can easily find my place on a team regardless of the team status," he said
He developed like terms from team to team, meaning that some of the plays were the same and that most of it was similar.
I also asked him what it felt like to play some of he teams you were on in the past.
"It is great. You always have something extra against a rival team, he said.
This year he will not play any of his former teams. But, last year he played 3 former teams... and won all 3. He still has friends on the other teams, and they still text each other before a game to wish each other luck!
He loves being in the New York area. He says NY is huge and it is a "land of opportunity." He thinks it is great that everyone is "hungry to do something."
I mentioned the recent loss against the Cleveland Browns. This is a game they should have easily won, but didn't. I asked him how a team overcomes that kind of loss.
"It may sound cliche, but you just have to put it behind you. Of course you lower your head, but you have to pick it back up.
It is not about how you perform in a loss, it is about how you perform after the loss," he stated.
I thought that it was a neat way to look at it.
A major issue in the NFL is the new hitting regulations. These include: no hitting the quarterback head on, no falling on the quarterback, and they are now fining for accidental penalties. Recently, Brandon Jacobs was fined about $5,000 for a 5 yard facemask. Facemasks can be 5, 10, and 15 yard penalties. 5 meaning unintentional, and 15 meaning that you're trying to rip the guy's head off.
Many players think these rules are wrong. Most players (except for the quarterback) believe these are bad rules. When you step on the field to play football you are going to get hit. Danny Clark says he agrees with these statements.
"They have to draw the line somewhere. You are taught to hit a certain way and being penalized for it is wrong, he explained.
Danny Clark was a pleasure to interview. I told him him how nervous I was about doing the interview and he gave me a few tips on being less nervous. He majored in communications and I could tell he was used to the media. He said he was naturally shy.
"I recommend finding a spot on the wall and focus on that. Also,looking eye to eye to the person and have natural conversation instead of just asking questions," he advised.
Danny Clark and Mathias Kiwanuka (I interviewed Mathias two years ago) are great people.I have always loved the Giants, but meeting them made it more of a reason that they are my favorite team.I always look for Mathias Kiwanuka while watching the games now. I look forward to watching Danny Clark play. It is very different watching a game after you have met a player or two. The Giants are currently 5-1.