Blog

Burning Questions

28 August 10:13 am

Have you ever wondered what your favorite Fire players are like off the pitch? Well, we aim to please here at Always on the Inside. Each week we are going to sit down with a different player to get answers to those pesky Burning Questions.

In this edition we sat down with forward Chris Rolfe. After returning to the Fire in April for his second stint with the Men in Red, Chris has made an immediate impact, scoring five goals and adding one assist in 13 games. An Ohio native, Chris was a standout at the University of Dayton before he was drafted in the third round of the 2005 MLS SuperDraft by the Fire. Chris took the time to answer our Burning Questions about armrest etiquette, the best bowl cut on the team and what he enjoys most about Chicago.
 
Always on the Inside: What is the origin of your goal celebration?
 
Chris Rolfe:
I’m from Dayton, Ohio. The Wright Brothers are from Dayton; first in flight and all, so I’m representing the hometown.
 
AOTI: Best part about being back in Chicago?
 
CR: The summer. The summer is great, with the beaches and all of the other things to do.
 

AOTI: The team had a rare weekend off. What’d you do?
 
CR: I went back to Ohio to see my family. I also caught the Dayton vs. Ohio State soccer game, which they won 3-2.
 
AOTI: What was the last movie you watched in theaters? When you're in a theater, which armrests are yours?
 
CR: It was "Dark Knight Rises" at the IMAX. We didn't go on opening day, we waited until we could get into the IMAX. If I'm sitting in the middle of Corben [Bone] and Steven [Kinney] than both armrests are mine. If I'm sitting by a stranger, I'm pretty good at sitting with my arms crossed. I'm kind of a smaller gentleman, so I can manage without using the armrests. I'll let my friend use it; I want them to be comfortable.
 
AOTI: If you could live in one TV show, which one would it be?
 
CR: "Friday Night Lights." I don't know who I'd be but Matt Saracen is a great guy, taking care of his grandma like that. Landry's a good guy too. Would I be in Coach Taylor's family? I don't think so but he's a good coach.

AOTI: You have previously stated, "I'm just a kid." Do you use this excuse often and who had a better bowl cut as a kid, yourself or Hunter Jumper?
 
CR: I’m sure I’ve said it before when I was younger. That’s my way to get out of situations that I get myself into. And I had the better bowl cut; mine for sure. Look how sharp mine is. It so straight. My hair is straighter than his, and I've got a nicer face.

AOTI: What is the last book you read in its entirety?
 
CR:Wild at Heart,” by John Eldridge. It’s more of a spiritual book, talking about society and the need for real men in society. I’ve read it like four times.
 
AOTI: You're a country music fan. Who is your favorite country artist and what's the best concert you've ever seen?
 
CR: Right now it's Jason Aldean. I've lived a great life; I've gone to a lot of great concerts. I'm going to go old school and say Garth Brooks, with back to back concerts at the Staples Center.
 
AOTI: Do you have any bad habits that you just can’t break?
 
CR: I tend to still chew on my nails once in a while. That’s about it.

21 August 3:32 pm

In this edition we sat down with midfielder Michael Videira. A Milford, Mass. native, Michael was a three-time MAC Hermann trophy semifinalist and helped the Duke Blue Devils reach the College Cup in his freshman year. Michael took the time to dispel the rumor that he is an expert sailor and answer our Burning Questions about the difference between Bostonians and Chicagoans, his favorite movies and what bugs him the most.

AOTI: Your bio lists one of your interests as boating. What is your favorite type of boating and what’s the best part about being on the water?

MV: Where did that come from? I guess sailing. I’ve only gone a couple of times. During pre-season Kwame [Watson-Siriboe] said that I was interested in boating because I had just gotten back from a trip to the British Virgin Islands. It must’ve been Kwame. I lived on a boat for like 10 days so I learned how to sail. I like boating; everyone likes going on a boat. I still get seasickness, which is really unfortunate for liking to go on boats all the time. 

AOTI: What are your top three favorite movies?

MV:  It varies every week. I usually like comedies anyways, so it's usually just the next comedy that's coming out. I'm really excited to see "The Campaign." I haven’t seen that one yet. I'm also a fan of dry humor, I like some Wes Anderson films. I've yet to see "Moonrise Kingdom," but I heard it's pretty good, which is something else I'd like to see. Those'll probably be my two favorites as soon as I see them. 

I like Wes Anderson films; I think they're hilarious, and I think Bill Murray is one of the funniest actors or comedians there are. "Caddyshack" won me over; it's up there for sure.

AOTI: You were drafted by the New England Revolution in 2008 but elected to go abroad and play for Hamilton Academical of the Scottish Premier League. What was the most unexpected thing about living in Scotland?

MV: I know people complain about the weather in the UK in general but it was ridiculous. It started raining in August and pretty much didn't stop until spring. It was cold and rainy everyday but it was expected. People say London has bad weather but they have no idea until they go up to Glasgow. At the same time, people make the best of it. To be honest, they have such great attitudes, everyone there is nice and friendly. Which is nice; I guess you have to make up for it one way or another. And they usually drink a lot more probably because of it. 

AOTI: You hail from Milford, Mass. What's the biggest difference between Bostonians and Chicagoans?

MV: I guess Chicagoans, when they first meet a complete stranger, they’re still polite and nice to you where as in Boston, people kind of mind their own. So even here, if you’re meeting a group of friends out patio somewhere, they’re all really friendly where as Boston people keep to themselves. And of course the East Coast stigma is that everyone is pretty mean out there supposedly. I actually have to agree with that now that I moved to Chicago. I’ve noticed that when I go home people aren’t as nice; aren’t as friendly.

AOTI:  What's your biggest pet peeve?

MV: I have a couple. I don’t like leaving lights on. That’s a big one. I don’t like when people leave the lights on. And I don't like pink sporting hats. A pink Red Sox hat is my biggest pet peeve of all time. Just different colored sporting hats for a certain team; I just think they should just be the colors represented. 

AOTI: Three things you'd need on a deserted island?

MV: I would bring my iPod with probably a lot of Motown and country music. I'd definitely have to bring some sort of soccer ball or basketball, but if I'm by myself, I'd need one with a paddle or one that you could flip it into the cup, something to entertain myself. And probably just a catalog of movies. I'd just bring "Castaway" and base my life off of what Tom Hanks did in that movie. He made it out. 

Check out previous "Burning Questions" segments below...

Burning Questions with Jay  Nolly
Burning Questions with Hunter Jumper

 

14 August 2:00 pm

Have you ever wondered what your favorite Fire players are like off the pitch? Well, we aim to please here at Always on the Inside. Each week we are going to sit down with a different player to get answers to those pesky Burning Questions.
 
In this edition we sat down with the easygoing Jay Nolly. A Littleton, Colo. native with a great head of hair, Jay had an incredible four-year goalkeeping career with the storied Indiana University soccer program, where he led the Hoosiers to back-to-back NCAA Division I National Championships in 2003 and 2004. Jay took some time to answer our Burning Questions about playing for legendary coach Jerry Yeagley, his love for the outdoors and why “Superman” just might be an appropriate nickname for the laid-back ‘keeper.

 
Always on the Inside: You’ve been living in Chicago for almost a year now. How are you liking it? Do you have a spot that you frequent enough to have a standing order?
 

Jay Nolly: My spot is actually Starbucks in the morning. There’s a little shop next to where I live. Me and my wife know all the girls that work there; we talk to them all the time. I usually have a 35 minute drive with traffic in the morning, so it’s nice to have a cup of coffee on the way. They see me walk in the door and they have it ready. I’m simple; I just get a tall, mild coffee with cream. The just know. They’re like, “Same thing? Tall?” And I’ll just say, “Yup.”
 
There’s a another place we go to once in a while; it’s called DMK, the burger bar. Whenever we go there I’ll have an Allagash White, so they’ll just ask, “Another Allagash?”
 
AOTI: You’re one of the few guys on the team that does not reside in the city. What’s the best part about living out in the ‘burbs?
 
JN: It’s easier for me and my wife. We both grew up in the suburbs. Neither of us have ever really lived in a big city; even in Vancouver we lived in the suburbs. You know, just having grocery stores and restaurants around, there’s less traffic, better parking, it was just less stress for us. We’re pretty easy going people.
 
AOTI: Do you have any pets?
 
JN: We have a dog, a Yorkshire Terrier named Hercules.
 
AOTI: You have been described as an avid fly fisherman. Have you found any good fishing holes in Illinois?
 
JN: I’ve been fishing a little bit; it’s back to my Midwest roots which is Bass fishing. I was on the IU Bass Fishing Team. I’ve gotten to Bass fish a little bit more. I’ve set up some things to meet friends once the salmon start running in the river to go fly fishing in Michigan City or down lower.  
 
AOTI: Best fishing movie?
JN: It’s got to be “A River Runs Through It.” Great actors, great place.
 
AOTI: Do you like other outdoor sports or activities in addition to fishing?

JN: Pretty much everything outdoors, I love. When I was younger we did a lot of camping, white water rafting, canoeing. I have my own one-man pontoon boat that me and a couple buddies have taken fly fishing out on the river. But I pretty much just love the outdoors. I grew up with two older brothers and we were pretty much in the mountains all the time.
 
AOTI: What was it like winning back-to-back national championships with Indiana University?
 
JN: It’s unreal. That’s just one of those things, you’re playing for a school, you’re in college. I was younger but the history that the school has to keep that tradition going, especially cause it was Jerry Yeagley’s last year and then it was Mike Freitag’s first year my last two year. It was sending Coach Yeagley out on a great note because he’s probably the iconic figure for college soccer. It’s something that I feel is so fresh even though it was eight, nine years ago.
 
AOTI: What was it like to play for Jerry Yeagley?
 
JN: It’s unreal. He respects every player and all he really asks of you is to give an honest effort. He doesn’t like people to cut corners. I think that’s why the school has done so well over the years is that they just get honest players that work hard.
 
I’d play for Yeagley over and over again. It’s just the person that he is; he still calls his players. I got a call from him last week and I’ve been out of college for nine years. He still reaches out to players; that level of respect that he has for people that he’s coached is just unreal.
 
AOTI: There are currently five people in the front office who also went to IU, so we have a few Hoosier-themed questions for you. First off, which pizza place do you prefer: Mother Bear’s, Mad Mushroom or Avers?

JN: Can I say Pizza Express? The Big Ten. It was a large pizza, ten breadsticks and two Cokes; that was the go to. It was $10 or $11. That was the best when you got cheese and ranch dipping sauces. That was the go to for us, we only did Pizza Express.
 
The soccer team was kind of sponsored by it but the cups were the best cups to have; they had IU Soccer on them. If you put ice and anything in them, they were just the best cups. We had like 35 of them at our house. I don’t know what it was about the cups, it was just one of those things.
 
AOTI: Best Bloomington bar: Killroy’s-Sports or Nick’s?
 
JN: That one’s tough because I knew some of the guys that worked at Nick’s and I have a jersey that’s hanging up in Nick’s. That’s the classic place. For happy hour and a college lifestyle it was Killroy’s. But now if I were to go back, it’d be Nick’s for sure.
 
AOTI: Favorite Indiana movie: “Hoosiers” or “Breaking Away”?
 
JN: “Breaking Away.” One, because I’ve jumped off those same quarries that they went to. And Little 500 is just awesome. “Hoosiers” is such a classic but I would say “Breaking Away.”
 
AOTI: Switching gears now, while you were in Vancouver you saved a young pitch invader. First, how does it feel to be a hero and second, how often do you deter pitch invaders?
 
JN: I’ve had people run across the field before but that was the first time that someone was actually close. It was just a little kid and he was running out and laughing. I think he got away from his brother or something, and just started running onto the field. Luckily the ball was on the other half. The only thing I thought about was to get him off real quick, so I picked him up and turned around but no one was there to hand him to, so I had to run over to the side. Luckily the ball never came down to our end but they kept on playing; nobody stopped the game. So it feels good to feel like a hero, to save a life.
 
AOTI: Who would you consider your celebrity doppelganger? We want to get your thoughts first because we have someone in mind.
 
JN: When I was younger, people thought I looked like Heath Ledger from “10 Things I Hate About You” because of my nose and smile or something.
 
AOTI: We think Dean Cain.
 
JN: I’ve heard that. And also the other guy that played Superman later. Brandon Roth. In Vancouver the weight trainers called me Superman; they said I looked like him but only when he was Superman. I don’t know, usually when I show up to training I have my hair done and I look presentable, so they would just always call me Superman, cause that’s just what I look like, I guess.

Follow "Superman" on twitter: @jaynolly

09 August 12:47 pm

Have you ever wondered what your favorite Fire players are like off the pitch? Well, we aim to please here at Always on the Inside. Each week we are going to sit down with a different player to get answers to those pesky Burning Questions.

It seemed appropriate to focus the first installment on a rookie, so we sat down with defender Hunter Jumper. A native of Plano, Texas, Hunter was selected 28th overall in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of Virginia. Hunter was kind enough to answer our Burning Questions regarding talking trash, which Olympic sport he would take on, his celebrity crush and how to get the ladies, Hunter Jumper style. 

Always on the Inside: We just endured a brutally hot July. How is your farmer’s tan coming along?

Hunter Jumper: It’s actually quite absurd because we’ve been training in sleeveless shirts. If I wear a tank top or anything else, I still have a white spot on my chest. My arms are super tan and my body is just pale, Alaskan white, so it’s quite the farmer’s tan.

AOTI: The UVA Men’s Soccer schedule was recently released. Your Cavaliers face six teams for which some of your current teammates featured (Georgetown, Duke, UNC, VCU, Wake Forest and Virginia Tech). Are you planning on talking trash?

HJ: I’m not a big trash talker but I’ve been getting into it with Gargs quite a bit because our season opener is against Georgetown. It’s definitely going to be a fun season and it’ll definitely be fun to give the ACC guys a lot of trash because I think we have a really good team this year, so I probably will talk a good amount of trash.

AOTI: What word or phrase do you use way too often?

HJ: I say “no chance” a lot. If something happens or someone asks me a question, I’ll say, “No chance!” Other than that I say “y’all” religiously.

AOTI: For which Olympic sport (besides soccer) do you think you would be a medal contender?

HJ: I’ve always been a good ping pong player until I played Pat, so that put me in my place and was a humbling experience. I’m not a big swimmer. Maybe I’d compete in some sort of equestrian event. I could own a horse like Mitt Romney and have a horse dance around.

AOTI: Current celebrity crush?

HJ: For body I’ll go with Jessica Biel. I just watched the movie “Dark Knight Rises” and I just fell in love with Anne Hathaway. I think it was the role she played; she was awesome. Probably her because I live my life, about thirty percent of who I am is the last movie I saw.

AOTI: The team recently had two days off. How do you like to spend your free time?

HJ: I like to catch up on sleep because we have to wake up pretty early every day. On Tuesday me, Sean [Johnson], Austin [Berry], [Dan] Gargan and Orr [Barouch] all went and did hot yoga. It was my first experience with hot yoga. There were mirrors so that everybody could see everybody and I was shocked by how athletic these people were. We walked in and they were doing handstands and like one-armed stuff and I thought, ‘What did we get into?’

We found out that we ended up in an advanced level class and were only supposed to do beginner’s stretching. We got into the wrong class and it was the hardest thing ever. I fell like three times. But I’d absolutely do it again. We get a free month, so why not?

AOTI: There are a number of bro-mances on the team. Who is your best bud and what is your favorite thing to do together?

HJ: I get along really well with most of the guys so I can’t single anyone out. Obviously I’m with my roommates Austin and Tony [Walls] (right) a lot so most of the time we just go and watch movies and stuff together.

AOTI: You are Texan, born and bred. Have you had a chance to check out any of the barbeque places in Chicago and how do they compare?

HJ:  I haven’t had any barbeque here and I don’t really want to try it. My expectations are so high I’ll just let it be.

AOTI: You’re at a discotheque celebrating a Fire victory. Are you more likely to be in the middle of the dance floor or off to the side, surveying the scene?

HJ: It just depends. If I take my ADD medicine I’ll be more alert and I’ll probably be in the middle but if I don’t I’ll probably be on the outside. It just depends on what kind of day and how much energy I have.

AOTI: What’s your patented lady killer move?

HJ: I let girls talk most of the time. It’s pretty easy because most girls have tons of things to say. You can’t hear that well so most of the time I just nod and smile.

AOTI: What’s the theme song for the “Hunter Jumper: Rookie Year” reality show?

HJ:  I’m a big fan of Avicii so probably “Blessed” by Avicii.

AOTI: What is the best part about being a Fire rookie?

HJ: Carrying stuff, getting picked on, literally everything that you can imagine a rookie has to go to through, we have to do. 

Find out more Lady Killer moves from Hunter by following him on Twitter @HunterJumper_.