Under America’s quarantine lockdown, I began to learn Italian in my free time. When I started working with Guelfi, I was also in the depths of my fall quarter at school, so sadly my Italian lessons tapered. In speaking with the players, I am not verbally conversing, but rather messaging via social media in a mix of English and Google-translated Italian, which is what I did to begin talking to Niccolò Crifò, defensive tackle. What I have found so far through my interactions with players is the Dallas Cowboys are a popular favorite, and for good reason with their history. Although, they do not carry the title of “America’s Team” so much these days, but with a legacy like that, it is no surprise they are popular overseas as well. Niccolò’s favorite player, Bobby Wagner, is a crucial part of Seattle’s defense and has been selected to six Pro Bowls and will be integral to Seattle’s playoff push. Take a look at how Niccolò got started with football and learn how he gets ready for game day.

How did you discover American football and come to play it?
I discovered American football at the age of 15 thanks to my father who told me about it after seeing a training session at the Guelph field. If I think of a first memory, the first game played against Legio XIII Rome where I made my first tackle immediately comes to mind.

Did you play any other sports growing up before playing American football?
Like most of all kids, I practiced soccer, but I also went towards other sports such as swimming, horse riding and karate

What is your favorite thing about American football?
Obviously my favorite thing about football is physical contact but I love that besides that it takes a lot of head to be a dominant player on the pitch.

Do you have a favorite NFL team or player, and if so, why?
My favorite NFL team is the Dallas Cowboys as it is the first professional team I have seen play, although I support the Cowboys my favorite player is Bobby Wagner as I think he is the best middle linebacker in the NFL at the moment.

Do you have any pregame rituals?
I don’t think it can be called a ritual but before every game I always listen to 5 songs the night before and 5 on the day of the game