In the 14th edition of this season’s “In the Eye of the Storm” we spoke with former NFL and current Storm defensive back/renaissance man, Michael Hawthorne, about the outdoors, Russell Crowe, training regiments, and getting the best out of life. Editor: Welcome everyone into another edition of “In the Eye of the Storm”. We are here with the ‘Ball Hawk” Michael Hawthorne, and Michael, you have had a great deal of success over the last four games, with interceptions in each, so I am sure you are happy for that, but you are more than likely unhappy just missing out in Georgia against the Force. What are some of the things you all are looking towards correcting with Pittsburgh coming in? Michael Hawthorne: Our performances come down to focus and responsibility. We all know what our jobs and responsibilities are, and when the time comes, we need to be better at executing what we were taught. We know our alignment, assignments, and techniques; we just need to make sure we make more plays. We are having more plays made on us at the moment, but that can change. If you took out around four plays in each game, the difference would be that the Tampa Bay Storm would have 10 wins right now. ED: I have heard that analogy before speaking with Brian Zbydniewski, about there being just a couple plays making a clear difference in the game, swinging one way or the other. Do you get frustrated at the fact that it is just a couple of plays that take games away from you, or do you look at it positively and say to yourself, “we’re that close”? MH: I’ll always take a positive over a negative. It is a trend that we can turn into a learning experience. I cherish learning experiences, because without something happening, you will never learn. As far as being a play or two away? This is football. If you tip a ball, who knows who is coming down with it. It could be one block that you take off because you are tired, and your quarterback gets sacked. Or if it were me, as a defensive back, and I didn’t switch out when I was tired, and I got burned the next play. We need to make sure that these aren’t the ‘one or two play’ deciding factors in a game. This is where we need maximum effort and concentration. That’s not to say that any of the mishaps are on just one person. We are all moving parts of the machine called “The Tampa Bay Storm”, we just need to be accountable with one another. ED: We know that you are an outdoorsman. What are the things that intrigue you about the outdoors? MH: (Laughing) Where do I start? I love to fish. I love to hunt. I love to swim. I love to cook. I love to camp. I love to ride my motorcycle. Anything related to the outdoors. ED: (Jokingly) And sports? MH: Duh, no brainer. Anything related to being out in nature. When I am outside, I find that fabled inner peace. I don’t have to have a million-and-one people around me to enjoy the trees, or the shade, or the squirrels, or the birds. I can enjoy all of that stuff on my own, or with close friends, or my pops. I like sharing my views of these things with the people around me. A lot of people I know care only about the ‘city life’, going to clubs, bars, restaurants, what have you. The great part about all the things I like to do is that they are free! ED: That’s a lot of activities, and you work as a physical trainer, as well as playing here. How do you fit it all in? MH: I don’t like to say that I do it all, but I like to stay busy. Whether it is training individuals, or keeping myself in good condition. Whether it is speaking to a group of kids at a local school, or taking friends camping, breaking their norms and having them see my world for a little bit. There’s just so much I like to do. I like to write poetry, draw, and design. I like to talk and have in depth conversations with individuals. I tell everyone at my fitness club, Ml’Shae 26 Health and Fitness, the word “can’t” does not exist. I laugh at that word. I have always tried to fill my life completely. ED: On to the easy questions. Favorite movie and why? MH: Russell Crowe in Gladiator is the one that sticks out to me. I would say some more, but I love that movie, down to every aspect. Hannibal is another, because of the way Anthony Hopkins’ character thinks. In truth I could list about twenty that mean something to me, because I also fancy myself a movie connoisseur. Even still, Gladiator seems to be the one. If it is on TV, I still watch it even though I have seen it a hundred times. ED: And to wrap up, what is in the iPod? MH: Everything. I can take you from Cee-Lo Green, to Maroon 5, to Sheryl Crow, Adele, and Erykah Badu. You name it, I’ve got it. I even like the stuff the kids on American Idol do. Music talks to me in so many ways. ED: Part time ‘Ball Hawk’, full time Renaissance man. Michael thanks for joining us “In the Eye of the Storm”!