In this sixth edition for the 2012 season we sat down with Brad Serini and discussed wrestling, playing with pain and growing up on a farm.
Editor: As a college standout, you started every single game at FIU during your career in Miami. Do you consider yourself somewhat of an ironman?
Brad Serini: (Laughing) No, I really never thought of myself as an ironman, but I never got injured during my college career or my pro career so far, so maybe I’m more of just someone who’s been lucky.
ED: Is there a key to staying healthy in such a rough sport as football?
BS: Yeah, I think the most important thing is not letting thoughts like that enter your mind and not going out there being afraid that you’re going to get hurt. You just have to go out and play and not think about it. Like a former coach always told me, you might feel the pain of an injury after the game, but what would hurt worse is the regret in knowing that you didn’t put everything into it because you were afraid of getting hurt.
ED: As someone who grew up on a farm in upstate New York, what was the transition like coming down to Florida?
BS: It was a big one. When I moved down here, I would have to bring an extra change of clothes to class because I would be sweating, so it was definitely a new experience. Miami was a lot bigger of a city than where I am from, but I love it down here. It’s been a lot of fun.
ED: So what was life like growing up on a farm?
BS: You know, surprisingly, it was a lot of fun. We had a large plot of land and we lived right near the woods, so we would go on a lot of four-wheeler rides and take the trucks off-roading. Skeet shooting in the backyard was also a big thing. My dad would try really hard to get me to work on the weekends, so yeah, it was really a rough life (laughs).
ED: In high school, you went to Nationals as a member of the wrestling team. How did that experience help you prepare for a career in football?
BS: Believe it or not, I didn’t start wrestling until junior year, but I picked it up pretty quickly and it helped me out tremendously. It really benefits you in regards to leverage, endurance and obviously strength. It’s funny, sometimes even on the football field you’ll see me crawling around just trying to grab somebody. I don’t think it ever really left me.
ED: Paul Griffin said he used to be a weight lifter in high school, so with you having wrestled, who would win if both of you were to compete in a friendly grapple?
BS: (Laughs) Well, obviously I’d have go to with me. But I think it’d be a good time.
ED: You’ve said your father was a big influence in your life. What exactly did he teach you that has made you a successful person on and off the field?
BS: Growing up in a small town, you learn a lot from your father. He told me at a young age that I can do whatever I wanted to do in life, as long as I worked hard. That was always motivation for me, because I never wanted to hear his voice after I didn’t try hard at something (laughs).
ED: I heard your grandfather is named after a United States president. Can you talk about that?
BS: (Laughs) When my great grandparents came over here from Italy, they named all of their kids after something that had to do with America. So, one was named Liberty, one was Jefferson, and then my grandfather was named Washington. He eventually just went by William, but his official name on his birth certificate is Washington. It’s kind of a funny story to tell.
ED: Your family owns a vineyard as well. How did they get involved in that?
BS: It runs in the family. They got bored one day (laughs). My uncle came up with the idea and it was something that my dad had always wanted to do. He did it, and now he’s got a whole farm up there in New York.
ED: So I’m sure you’ve sampled quite a few. Which one is your favorite?
BS: I like all red wines. It’s funny though, because there’s not one bottle of white wine at my house. If there is, it’s hidden somewhere or being kept somewhere as a gift for someone else. We only drink red wine at my house. I love it.
ED: Sounds like you’re quite the connoisseur of wine. What food goes especially good with some of your favorite wines?
BS: Oh man, that’s tough. I’m fat and I’m Italian, so there are a lot of choices. I love cheese-filled ravioli, so either that or gnocchi. I really like that a lot too.
ED: With the baseball season in full swing, are you looking forward to the start of the 2012 MLB season?
BS: I wouldn’t say I’m excited, but I’ll cheer for the Yankees since I’m from New York. Honestly, I don’t watch baseball on TV. It’s just too slow and I find it boring, but I will admit that I have had fun at Yankee games when I go in person. Something always exciting happens. Last time, a guy rolled down the netting that is up behind home plate and pretended he was unconscious. Then when the usher, the cops and the paramedics came to tend to him, he popped up and ran away. It was all a big prank.
ED: So if not baseball, what TV shows do you enjoy watching?
BS: It used to be The Sopranos before it ended. Right now, I’ve really been into Sons Of Anarchy and I like a few reality series such as Orange County Choppers and most of the pawn shop shows.
ED: Brad thanks for sitting down and chatting with us and good luck this Friday.