NDAMUKONG SUH INTERVIEW ----April 2010
WHO CAN? NDAMUKONG!
Each season a new crop of rookies are drafted into the NFL: Sam Bradford, Eric Berry, Ryan Mathews, Dez Bryant and Javid Best, to name a few, but only a small fraction make such an impact that they are known by one name.
NDAMUKONG! The fiercest, meanest, baddest lineman in the NFL!
The NFL's top rookie defensive player, Detroit Lion defensive tackle, Ndamukong Suh, who leads all rookies in fines, personal fouls and intimidation.
If I had the chance to interview Suh, it would sound something like this.
You have a very difficult name to pronounce. I'm sure you have been asked this question thousands of times; what are some of the most humorous attempts to say your name
There are some crazy ones; "King Kong", "En-Dam-Kong", "Damn-U-Kong" amongst others.
Does anyone get it right the first time?
The correct pronunciation of your name is: en-DOM-ih-kin, correct?
That's right, en-DOM-ih-kin Soo.
Your mother is from Jamaica and your father is from Cameroon, how did you get your name?
I was named after my paternal great-grandfather who was a 7'3" policeman in Cameroon. Ndamukong means, "House of Spears."
House of Spears? Sounds like a place where Britney and Jamie-Lynn live?
Huh? Laughs No! My name has nothing to do with Britney Spears.
What other names have you been called?
I've been called, Suh Chef, Suh Locks, Big Suh, Suh-Nami, and A Boy Named Suh.
I take it, the person who called you, A Boy Named Suh never saw you in person, because if they did, they would never call you boy!
Laughs. There is nothing that says, "boy" about you! You're a 6'4" 305 pound dominating defensive lineman with a mean streak!
Thanks, I'll take that as a compliment!
Seriously, you look so mean and intimidating, that the guys you'd meet in a dark alley, they would be afraid of you!
Have you ever been called, Suh-Ners?
Never! Especially being a Cornhusker; the Oklahoma Sooners are our arch rival!
I've noticed and increasing amount of outstanding foreign / African sounding players, playing in the NFL, like Osi Umenyioria, Adewale Ogunleye and Oshiomogha Atogwe; it sounds like the United Nations of Football!
More like... "Out of Africa" is "Coming to America!"
We're divided into two groups: vowels and consonants; I am a consonant.
What? You're a consonant? But you're a defensive lineman. What do you mean?
Those guy's names begin with vowels, mine begins with an N, so, I am known as a consonant.
But, why are their names so hard to pronounce?
You don't know? ...The harder to pronounce the name, the better the player!
That makes sense. Nnamdi Asomugha, is an All-Pro defensive back for the Raiders, the Ndukwe brothers: Ikechuku and Chindem are standouts for the Chiefs and the Bengals, and the 6'4" 350 pound immovable Raven nose tackle, Haloti Ngata is on his way to the Pro Bowl.
Wait a minute, Ngata is not African, he's Tongan.
But he's still a force?
He sure is! I saw him play on Monday Night Football and he was a one man wrecking crew! He plays "Nata" defense.
Ngata, pronounced, "Na-ta".
That's right, Na-ta! Nata here, Nata there, or anywhere! Nata now, Nata ever!
I hear there is a funny story with a sports reporter from Nebraska, can you tell me about it?
It was my sophomore year, we had just finished beating Baylor, and this reporter comes running up to me and wants to interview me. The first thing he says, "how do you pronounce your name"?
I said, en-DOM-ih-kin.
Who can? He asked.
You can, but what is your name?
Can do what? The reporter asked.
Yes son, I know you can, but how do you pronounce your name?
I'm from the Hastings Tribune; I know you just dominated those Bears, but what is your name, son?
Sue? Sue? If anyone is mad, and is going to sue, it's the Baylor Bears, they just got beat by 24.
No sir, my name is Ndamudong Suh.
You can, and will sue? Who? asked the reporter.
Ah, never mind, just call me... Spears!
Speaking of United Nations, I looked at the 2009 Nebraska roster and it was harder to pronounce than understanding how the BCS works; Prince Amukamara, Quincy Enunwa, Curenski Gilleylen, and Adi Kunalic to name a few.
That's right, they can't pronounce us, can't beat us!
You have been fined, penalized and reprimanded by the NFL; do you think they are being fair with you?
I cannot comment on that, I might get fined; I just go out and do my job!
A lot of people are talking and viewing the hits you have dished out this season (YouTube views are in excess of 400,000): The "beheading" of Cleveland quarterback, Jake Delhomme in the pre-season, tackling Dallas running back, Marion Barber by the dreadlocks and the forearm shiver takedown of Bears quarterback, Jay Cutler. Many are saying you're a dirty player, but many have come to your defense saying that you play within the rules, it's just that you're a very aggressive player.
I'm a very competitive person; I try to play within the rules, but I play to win! And if that means I am more aggressive than the next guy, so be it. This isn't bowling, golf, or hopscotch, it's FOOTBALL! And football is a violent sport. If you are weak physically, or mentally, you'll be out of a job as quick as you can say.... R-e-l-e-a-s-e-d!
You got that right!
You said that you are a competitive person. What, or how can you translate that over to the Lions?
Give it your all, and be true to yourself.
Can you be a bit more specific?
It's a secret.
A secret? The past decade, the Lions have the WORST winning percentage of ANY professional team; anyone, anywhere; US or otherwise!
Yes, really! So help a franchise out what's the secret to your success?
Be who you are! In the immortal words of former Cardinals head coach, Dennis Green, "They are who we thought they were!"
Green was referring to the big, bad, Chicago Bears.
I'm a Lion. I should be playing like I am the fiercest, meanest, most dominating animal in the jungle!
So, you should play like an animal
Now you know the secret!
I don't understand?
You are what you are. If you're a Lion, play like a lion. If you're a Giant, play like a giant.
But what about the New Orleans Saints, they were the worst team in the NFL prior to last year, then, they won the Super Bowl.
The New Orleans club was too focused on sinning and not winning. After Hurricane Katrina hit, they're sins were washed away.
But I hear that Lions are on the endangered species list.
Not in Detroit!
What about past champions like, the Rams, Ravens, Buccaneers, Colts and Steelers? The Rams, ram. The Ravens fly. The Buccaneers pillage. The Colts run, and the Steelers steal!???
Steal? Huh? What about the Patriots, they won three Super Bowls!
Patriots are Americans. Have you ever witnessed Americans losing a war?
Not many people know, not only are you gifted physically, you're a great student; while at The University of Nebraska, you were an Academic All-American, where you earned a bachelor's degree in Construction Management from the College of Engineering.
Yes, that's correct.
So, you know how to build things?
Yeah, but I prefer to destroy things.?
Like the opposing quarterback?
I guess you could say that!
We'll Get 'Em Next Year!
Copyright 2010 Steve Kay