Wednesday, August 12, 2009
UFL Interview: California Redwood Quarterback and 2007 AFL Rookie of the Year Brett Dietz Talks to INSIC About his New Job
As everyone from Cincinnati already knows, the Queen City has only produced three cool things in the last 20 years: Nick Lachey, the 1990 Reds and the movie Airborne.
INSIC was ready to add future UFL star Brett Dietz to that list, but then we found out he's not actually from Cincinnati (damnit). Dietz is a Covington Catholic High School graduate who was raised in N. Kentucky.
As a matter of fact, when asked what he was doing on UFL draft night (June 19) here is what Dietz sent us in an email, "When June 19th hit my family was down visiting from northern Kentucky (I would say but I would never claim Ohio as my own)."
For those of you who have never heard of the UFL or who don't know who Brett Dietz is, check out this post from August 7.
Brett Dietz Review
Quick rehash for everyone that was too lazy to click on the above link: After Covington Catholic, Dietz went to Hanover College, where he outclassed everyone, played four sports, cured cancer and was named the school's athlete of the decade (Hanover is a D-3 football program. We think Dietz is on the right in the picture below).
After a highly successful college career, Dietz didn't get many pro looks, mainly because no D-3 quarterbacks ever do. So he did what any sane person would do: He went to Finland.
Dietz latched on with the Turku Trojans and proceeded to win a Finnish championship with them (Of course, the skeptics right now are thinking, 'beating Madden '10 is more way more difficult then winning a Finnish championship).
Dietz thought the same thing, so he left Finland and latched on with the Cincinnati Marshals of the NIFL. After taking the Marshals to the playoffs, he took the next step to AFL2 and the Louisville Fire. Blah, blah, blah, we know what you're thinking, "when does he get famous."
AFL CAREER: AFL=ARENA FOOTBALL LEAGUE
Lets cut to the chase. Dietz was on Tampa Bay's practice squad in 2007 when the two starting quarterbacks went down with injuries.
The young flamethrower was thrust into the spotlight and he only responded by winning every regular season game he played in while taking home Arena Football's rookie of the year award.
For those of you that are AFL ignorant, the Arena League is where Arizona Cardinal's Quarterback Kurt Warner got his start, playing for the Iowa Barnstormers.
Dietz was tearing up the AFL when the league, like everyone else in America, ran out of money. Just as he was becoming a household name in the Tampa area, the AFL closed up shop.
That was seven months ago.
Enter the UFL. The newest football league in the country will kickoff in October with FOUR former NFL head coaches leading each of the four teams.
With all games this fall scheduled to be on national TV, the league suddenly has more legitimacy then the adoption papers of Madonna's children.
However, it wasn't always like that, rumors of the UFL's existence swirled for months. Much like Bigfoot and a good Lindsay Lohan movie, no one had any proof that it actually existed.
So this is where the interview kicks off (Pictured below, a kid in a wheelchair gives Brett Dietz a t-shirt... or is it the other way around?)
Interview with Brett Dietz
INSIC: Rumors of the UFL started back in December. How did you first hear about the UFL?
BD: I heard some rumors about the league from former Buccaneer Frank Murphy while we were training in Tampa, FL. Then I followed the news just like everyone else did, on the internet.
The most amazing thing about Dietz's answers is that he knows AP style writing (interview was done via email, so he wrote everything). He's a better writer then half the bloggers on the internet.
INSIC: June 19 (Draft Day) comes. Did you expect to be drafted? Did someone call you on draft night? Or did you see your name in the media and just think, 'wow, I guess I'm playing for ?
BD: I actually thought the draft was on the 20th so I wasn't expecting anything. I got a text message from an unknown number at about 10pm saying that I was drafted, but I didn't know by who. Then I got word that you could follow the draft on Twitter, so I had to sign up for Twitter and try to follow it but they only released a few former NFL names. Ultimately I thought it was a marketing ploy by Twitter to get more people to sign up. I got duped into being a Twitterer. (Dietz's twitter page)
This is hands down the best answer to any question ever. It needs no summary.
INSIC: This league has the NFL's fingerprints all over it. The coaches, some of the players. Would you say that one of the benefits of playing in the UFL is that you're being seen and working under high caliber coaches like ?
BD: Definitely. It instantly gives the league more credibility when you bring in former NFL coaches. I think this will only help the league thrive and I look forward to playing for Coach Green and absorbing all of his wisdom.
Again, we can't help it, but here's a link to the best coaching meltdown of all time, courtesy of then Cardinals coach Dennis Green, Mr. "They are who we thought they were."
INSIC: How does your wife feel about everything? Are you going to stay in or are the two of you packing up and moving to San Francisco?
BD: The wifey is excited about the situation, but she is going to stay in Florida. We are actually going to train in Arizona with Las Vegas in Casa Grande, AZ. Then we will fly to all the games. That will be an adjustment not living and practicing in the same city that you are playing for.
All UFL bloggers take note. California and Las Vegas will be training together in Arizona. Oh and we aren't going to mention the wifey's name because we don't want any crazy fans stalking Mrs. Dietz.
INSIC: What has been the biggest shock in your football career so far (could be the good type of shock or the bad type of shock): playing in Finland, winning the AFL award, getting drafted by an upstart football league that's quickly gaining respect? Playing on the same team as John Breech for two seasons?
BD: The biggest shock of my career was on September 4th, 2000, it was a Wednesday. That was the first and only time John Breech ever punted the ball further than me. Needless to say I never let it happen again. But other than that I would have to say the 2007 season and winning rookie of the year.
Dietz is a funny guy. INSIC founder John Breech was recruited to punt at Hanover, Dietz was recruited to play quarterback. Who in the name of Ray Effing Guy knew that Dietz was also an All-American punter. This story ends when Breech gives up on life, transfers to Miami (OH) and hopelessly watches as Dietz punts his last two seasons at Hanover... on top of his quarterbacking duties.
INSIC (Note, this question was asked 48 hours before the team nickname was announced as the Redwoods): Any tidbits you can give the readers. Do you know the team's nickname yet? Do you know anything about Shane Boyd (Former U. of Kentucky QB that Dietz will be competing with)? Do you feel like you can definitely be the starter for San Francisco (now the California Redwoods)? Have you heard anything about them thinking about signing ?
BD: I don't have a lot of details to give you. I know I'm going to be ready to compete when training camp rolls around. I have a lot of experience in pro football and I'm going to use that to my advantage. I heard rumors that we are going to be the Rockfish, which I like a lot better than some of the other names I've heard around the league. I can rock the Rockfish.
Dietz, we're sorry for erroneously reporting that the team might be called the rockfish, but we are a blog, so erroneously reporting something is what we do best.
INSIC: Any clue on salary right now?
BD: As far as I know everyone is going to get 35k, with some type of playing bonuses.
Further research has revealed that starting quarterbacks may end up making between $65,000-$75,000 a season, Dietz obviously does not know if he will be the starter yet.
INSIC: The AFL was canceled back in December, what in the hell did you do to stay in shape for the last seven months. You obviously had to look sharp in workouts to get drafted, whats your secret, I think everyone in America would like to know?
BD: It has a lot to do with dedication and staying focused. I've been training for football for most of my life so it is not something that you can just turn off and all of a sudden not have the desire to train and throw the football. Ask Brett Favre. It also frustrated me that I was at the peak of my career and it was of no fault of the players that the league was canceled.
We swore three months ago that this blog would never mention Brett Favre again, thanks a lot Dietz, you just cost us 12 more readers and we only have 23.
INSIC: Is there a hope that this experience can be parlayed into an NFL job? Especially since you're playing for NFL guys (Your , Mike Kruczek, was once the for the Cardinals, so he knows an NFL arm when he sees it)?
BD: Of course I hope it turns into an opportunity with the NFL. Every athlete wants a shot to prove themselves and I've never had a shot in the NFL, so I'm going to work hard and do everything I can do to make sure that I do get my shot. The UFL is a great avenue to do it.
INSIC: We'll end on this one. You haven't played outside in four years, is there going to be any adjustment for you as you head from the friendly confines of arena to the crisp cool air of outdoor football?
BD: My experiences in Arena are only going to help me going back to the outdoor game. Arena allowed me to quicken my release and taught me to anticipate more and rely on my insticts. I know I'm going to use these skills to my advantage in the UFL.
There you have it people. Dietz and the California Redwoods start practice on September 10. INSIC's UFL fantasy draft will be the following week and our petition to get the UFL on bookmaker.com should be up and operating by the end of the month.
Pictured above is Brett Dietz modeling the uniform of his new team. Actually that's a black mannequin. We were going to buy Brett Dietz jersey's for everyone in Cincinnati, but lime green? Really? The team is called the Redwoods, there couldn't be just one sliver of red in there somewhere? Anywhere?