Mayne Street with Jared Allen
Kenny gets some validation from the Minnesota Vikings DE
KM: This is the last Mayne Street column. I don't want you to see that it's gone next issue and think it's because you sucked.
JA: Okay. My feelings won't be hurt.
KM: When most guys are introduced during games, they brag about their schools -- like, "The Ohio State University." But you say "culinary school."
JA: Yes, yes. "The Culinary Academy." It pisses off the people where I went to school, Idaho State, because I think they want some pub. Another time I said the name of a made-up preschool. Later on I got a piece of fan mail that said, "Oh, I also went to that preschool." I thought, "There's no way. I made that up, you liar."
KM: So this season hasn't gone as well as last
JA: We suck.
KM: Wise athletes know they'll go through down periods. After last year's success, have you been able to get philosophical about this season?
JA: Well, there's the old cliché that we can find some positives in it. We'll have to see how we come back next season to see what we learned. And honestly, now that the pressure's off, we can just go out and actually enjoy playing this game. And we get a longer vacation.
KM: Was the Metrodome roof collapse a metaphor for the Vikings' season?
JA: I hadn't thought of that, but yes. We did implode. It's also a metaphor for not building a dome that's held up with air in cities with lots of snow.
KM: Did you help clear snow at TCF Bank Stadium?
JA: Absolutely. They were offering $10 an hour.
KM: You worried about a potential 2011 lockout?
JA: No. I could use some time off. And I'm sure everything will get resolved. Everybody's just posturing.
KM: Are you the union rep for the team?
JA: I am the alternate rep. The "If something happens to somebody else, I'll step in and do something" rep.
KM: Next meeting, you should go "You can't handle the truth!" berserk on the labor committee.
JA: I want to go into the negotiations and, like "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," hold the floor for 86 days. Or hours.
KM: I have to say, the 18-game season is ludicrous.
JA: I want to see a study on how many years we lose off our life from 16 games. Then we'll be able to get into the player safety issue. A couple games back, one of our cornerbacks got a penalty for a helmet-to-helmet hit. Meanwhile I was getting tripped and hit in the face as I pass-rushed. I said something to the ref, and he said, "As a defensive player, you're not considered defenseless."
KM: Well ... at least it's a credit to your manhood.
JA: They say it's about player safety. Really, it's about the safety of players who earn them a lot of money.
KM: You're an avid hunter. What's your weapon?
JA: I'm a big bow hunter, but I do like a rifle. I also use a muzzleloader, which is a musketlike gun.
KM: You have a musket? When you use it, do you put on a costume and act like you're in the 1700s?
JA: Yes. My hunting partners and I will stand in a firing line and shoot at the animals, and then wait for them to return fire. They don't typically do it.
KM: Do you think animals realize, Oh, here come those maniacs with their pickups and muskets. They're going to shoot at us. Or are they oblivious?
JA: They're smarter than you think. It seems like you'll see them every day, and then when hunting season comes around, they vanish. But if you cover yourself with deer urine, it seems to fool them pretty well.
KM: I once hit a deer with my car. Is that hunting?
JA: Certainly. You just had a different weapon of choice.
KM: So ends my last column. But The Mag will use me for bigger in-person projects.
JA: They finally recognized your talents. You're more of a hands-on person. I've been saying that for years.
ESPN The Magazine: January 10, 2011
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