My next interview is with Vincenzo Ruotolo, offensive guard from Italy. The largest area of curiosity in speaking with players for me was how American football came to be in their lives. For me, it was ingrained as a young child watching the Cleveland Browns lose every week, so I never had to sit down and really learn the game. It just happened from years of watching what not to do on the field. When talking with the players so far, I have been struck by how quickly the game has been picked up by each person and the incredible enthusiasm expressed by each player, with Vincenzo as no exception.
How did you come to play American football/what is your first memory of being exposed to it?
I started playing American Football in 2015, when I was 17, because one of my friends and current teammate convinced me to try some practices with our former team. Before then I didn’t know anything about that sport and that there were American football teams in Italy.
Did you play other sports growing up?
As a child , like all Italian kids , I tried to play soccer, but I wasn’t very good, and it’s the only other sport I have practiced besides American Football.
What is your favorite thing about playing American football?
My favorite things about American Football are the tactical aspect of the game and the fact that is a sport suitable for every type of person.
Do you follow the NFL? If so, do you have a favorite team/player(s)?
Yes I do ! I’m a Minnesota Vikings fan!
How did you become a Vikings fan?
I became a Vikings fan because the first time I saw the team logo I immediately liked it and then I started watching their games and I got hooked.
Do you have any pre-game rituals?
I don’t have any particular pre-game rituals; I just listen to some music before the game.
What do you say to other Italians to convince them to watch more American football?
I would say to them that it’s one of the most beautiful and spectacular sports in the world. What are you waiting for to start watching it!