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OT finding time for movies, books

3/19/2004

Editor's note: Iowa offensive tackle Robert Gallery, last year's Outland Trophy winner and projected high first-round pick in April's NFL draft, will chronicle his pre-draft experiences for ESPN.com.

Life for me has been rather quiet of late. I have been doing what I'm sure most college football players do weeks before they get drafted; watch animated movies and catch up on reading.

Cartoon movies are absolutely hilarious to me. Although I'll watch just about any of them, by far my favorite is Shrek. May 21 is the big day. That's when Shrek 2 hits theaters. I am going to be all over Fandango the days before trying to pre-order my ticket. No matter where I am, I will be sure to make time to see it. Really now, what is better than a sarcastic, talking, sidekick donkey played by Eddie Murphy, and a huge, green, bitter Ogor that reminds you of Chris Farley doing the "fat guy in a little coat" routine from Tommy Boy? It's an instant classic.

Remember those cards that I told you I had to sign for my first card deal? Well Press Pass sent me about 2,100 of them. That may not sound like a whole lot, and maybe it isn't, but you try signing your name 2,100 times. I bet you get tired. Luckily, I figured out the trick. If I sign them while watching my movies, it goes by much quicker. So in case you were wondering if I personally sign all of them, the answer is yes.

During this downtime, I have also done some reading. I just finished Lawrence Taylor's book, and it was actually pretty good. He lead a very … how can I say this … a very interesting life, and I learned a lot of what not to do when I get in the league. But seriously I did really enjoy it, and if you are looking for a good sports book I would recommend it. I also have a couple of other books lying around that people have told me are interesting, that I should get to soon. It's funny how when I am not being tested on something, it makes it more enjoyable. Crazy how that works.

In between the constant repeats of Shrek and the hours of reading, I do still workout. I am back into my heavy lifting. I am also training to perfect certain skills and techniques that I know will be needed at the next level. We have our second Pro Day coming up (March 22). As I said before, I don't plan on being very involved but I will be around in the instance that some teams come out and want to see me in certain drills. Otherwise, it's about supporting my teammates and watching them show their skills to the attending scouts and coaches.

This Saturday (March 20), I will be making two appearances. During the day, I will be at the Big Boy Toy Show in Cedar Rapids, once again set up by my agency Priority Sports (they made me write that). For those who are not fortunate enough to be from the sunshine state of Iowa, this event is like a car show except with boats, trucks, and other all-terrain vehicles. It's a great time. I am going to be signing autographs and talking with fans, which I am really looking forward to.

That night I will be speaking to a group of kids at the Quad City Mallards Hockey Game. I have not always been a fan of the game but after recently attending a few, I am becoming one. The game is much better in person.

Next Thursday (March 25), I am heading to the mecca of sports -- Bristol, Conn. -- to shoot a commercial for ESPN's draft day package. I will finally be able to cross that off of my list of things to do before I die. While there, I hope to meet the guy who proposed to his girlfriend on that one SportsCenter commercial and tell him congratulations. But I must admit that this country boy is not looking forward to all that post-show traffic that I always see. And Linda Cohn should be happy to know that I have a word that rhymes with Gagne, so she can stop beating up the staff trying to come up with one on her own.

So that's about it. Life is kind of slow right now, which I like. I have gotten to relax a lot. I have been able to do some things that I had always wanted to do but never had the time. The next few weeks should be much of the same. I know I need to cherish this time because once I am drafted, a new life begins and my commitment to that will last until my playing days are over.

Well that's about it, we shall speak again next week. Until then, you can find me by my fireplace in my smoking jacket with my pipe, reading a great novel as Mozart plays in the background. I'm just playing, I don't really have a smoking jacket, or a fireplace for that matter, and of course I don't smoke. But I will go start another book.

Wouldn't that be a funny commercial though?