Friday, July 06, 2007

Big Brother 8's "Former Pro Football Player" Contestant


I wouldn't consider myself a big fan of the Big Brother series. I'll usually watch a few episodes during the season just to keep up to speed in case someone asks me about it. However, when I heard that there was a "former professional football player" cast this season my interest level went up a bit.

I didn't think it would be anyone too famous, but was hopeful that it might be someone who was relatively recognizable. After the season premiere last night, I realized that I had no idea who this former pro football player was, and decided to hop online to see what team he had played for.

See, that's the problem with us sportsfans. If something involves sports we feel compelled to dissect it in a thousand different ways, and when we're done we're usually disappointed with the results(though, sometimes they're f@#king sweet!).

Anyway, pretty quickly I was able to track down that the contestant, Nick Starcevic(yes, I'm aware there's a TarHeel football player by the same name), played college ball for the University of Minnesota-Crookston. He was actually a pretty good player for UMN, and was the leading tackler in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

It looked to me like Starcevic's last season for UMN was '04(he wasn't on the roster in '05), so if he was drafted it would have been during the '05 NFL draft. Well, looking at ESPN's '05 Draft Player Tracker you can see that he's not even listed there. Hmmm, that's interesting.

So, I do a few more searches, and can't find any mention of him playing football in the NFL. Then in one of my searches I get directed to the website for the Eurobowl. More specifically, I get to this(.pdf team roster for the Seinajoki Crocodiles). What do you know, Nick Starcevic is up near the top. He's also listed as an "All-Time Crocodile". Yes, that photo up there is of him in his Crocodile gear.

So after all of that, I started thinking. Sure, he does get paid to play American style football, so in that sense he is a professional. However, shouldn't there be some sort criteria that you must meet before being able to call yourself a "pro football player"? Maybe it's just me, but when I hear that I think of the NFL, then either the AFL or CFL. Very quickly I came up with just a few possible conditons that one must meet before calling themselves a "pro football player".

Receive compensation from an NFL team for practicing or playing. The NFL is at the top of the pro football world. If you can get into one of the 32 camps, workout with the team and get paid for it, then I think you should be able to call yourself a pro football player.

Make the roster for an AFL or CFL team. These two leagues aren't quite as competitive so the bar is set a little higher. Just trying out or going through camp isn't enough. You actually have to make the team.

Those are just two quick ones that I thought of off the top of my head. Anybody else have others they wish to contribute?

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree . . . it is very weak to be labeled a "Former Professional Football Player" when he only played in a 2nd rate European football league. If he had at least played in NFL Europe, then it would more credible. His old European team is not even listed among the teams in this league on their web-site any more.

Anonymous said...

Maybe my memory is a little foggy, but didn't this moron say something on the episode like, "I just hope no one recognizes me."

Uh.... yeah, I don't think you have anything to worry about.

He could have walked in with his Croc jersey on and no one would know who the fuck he was.

BDoc said...

Haha, now that you mention it I think he did say something like that.

Anonymous said...

If you get paid to play your a professional. In fact I would say playing in a top European football league tougher than playing Arena football which is not even real football.

The leagues in Europe can only have a few American imports per team and it takes top flight player to get signed and play on a top level team in Europe. Much like basketball.

He was a pro football player and most can only dream about being good enough to get paid for it.

Anonymous said...

There are some great players playing oversees in European leagues. Some have NFL experience so yes it takes a heck of a American player to play professional football in a top level league in Europe.

The best league in Europe is the Austrian League. Germany is next and then Finland, Italy, France the next best leagues.

Nick was a professional player doesn't matter where, fact is he got paid to play, who doesn't dream of being a professinal athlete. He played his college football at U-Minnesota-Crookston

Anonymous said...

His former team was and still is in the Finnish top league. cool!

Tom said...

That's just plain ridiculous. I guess I can say I'm a professional runner since I win money at races now and then. I'll admit that playing a sport in college is better than nothing but there's a big difference between competing in Div. I and Div III (or whatever UM-Crookston is). I suspect that if you want to play football in a Div III school, you can.

BDoc said...

Thanks for all of the comments so far. I really appreciate them.

I decided to check out the EFL a bit more, and came across this:

"Under the governance of EFAF, comparable with UEFA in football(soccer), the best American Football teams in Europe participate in an annual competition."

Apparently, the EFL is decently popular. Perhaps with NFL Europe shutting down it will see an increase in popularity. Though, I still would have never thought of the EFL when hearing "former pro football player".

Anonymous said...

Zach played for the San Diego Chargers.

BDoc said...

Zach? We're talking about Nick(Starcevic).

Anonymous said...

Nice research, I think you are going to get a lot of hits. On the show this guy is not touting that he was NFL; CBS is just trying to market him. The only true pro football player in reality TV was Gary Hogeboom on survivor.

Anonymous said...

Actually Christian Okoye was on Pirate Master. He played for the KC Chiefs

Dan Seifring said...

You got further than I did. I got more on the Tar Heel then this guy. I have no problem saying he was a pro, if he got a check. But saying he was an NFL player is too much.

BDoc said...

Yes, Okoye was on Pirate Master, though I have no idea what happened on that show.

While they never presented Starcevic as an NFL player, I still believe that the phrase "former pro football player" hints at either the NFL, CFL or AFL(NFL Europe is done). Though, that's probably closeminded on my part.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's Nick toting himself as a "pro", it's CBS..... Cut the guy some slack!

Anonymous said...

He is a former pro football player. Doesn't matter what league. He got paid to play the game..Not many people are good enough to do that. By the way his college was a D2 level football program.

keyboard said...

calling yourself a "former pro football player" but not saying where you played it or what league is in my opinion misleading because most people will assume that it was the NFL. yes, the CFL, arena football and european football leagues pay their players, but does the average person in america even think of those leagues and players when they think of "pro" football? i don't think so. nick starcevic played football in europe but by not mentioning this, he is making himself out to be a bigger deal than he really is. same as if a guy said he played pro baseball but leaves out the part that it was in the single A league.
i guess having an inflated ego is one of the qualifications for being on a reality tv show.

Anonymous said...

Most of this thread is assinine! If someone is a teacher, do you discredit it because they teach Kindergarten? If someone is a pizza delivery person, do you question it if they don't work for Domino's. However you make a living is what you are! This convo would be the same if anyone in the UK questioned an American soccer player as being a "pro".

Anonymous said...

Cocky Americans! Do you realize that there are actually basketball teams in Europe and even Asia! I guess none of those players would be considered as professional ball players either. Don't forget about Japanese baseball, apparently they aren't professionals either.

Anonymous said...

He's a teacher in real life. don't you guys watch the show. he says so on youtube

bigbody said...

ok if you get paid to play you are a professional because the fact is if he would not have played college and got paid to play a sport and wanted to go to college he could not cause he would be considered a professional look at the case in jeremy bloom the skier he has sponsers to ski but lost his college eligibilty. also every one knows what happen when you ASSume you make a ASS out of your self!!!!!

BDoc said...

Seriously, I appreciate all of the comments and discussion. It's great to read what everyone thinks. I still stand by that "pro" football conjures thoughts of the NFL or even AFL, but not a league down in Australia or N.Z.

Anonymous said...

Was wondering what did they (CBS)or he (Nick) mean by ex pro football player, now I know thanks to your blog. They should have said European Football ex pro player, then people might not have wondered, cause for the past 3 episodes I could not for the life of me ever remember a player on the American Pro Football league named Nick, thats why almost no one would ever recognize the guy.

Anonymous said...

I bet he could still kick Evil Dickheads ass, Actually I wish he would...

BDoc said...

I'm glad that my blog has helped you guys and gals track down exactly what CBS(and Nick) meant when they listed him as a "former pro football player".

I also find it very interesting to see the difference in opinions from one commenter to the next. So keep posting up your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Great comments guys. I'm not sure if you have seen all the episodes like I have. I know, I don't have anything better to do until football starts. Nick actually has never said himself he was a pro football player. When it comes up in conversation with others, he said he played college ball. It is CBS who is giving him that title of former "Pro Football Player". I think we have to cut him some slack.

Sonia said...

Big Brother!!!! yeah its a great, great, great show forever. Have you all watch this show. If nay then you should watch this at least once!!!

shinya said...

I really like to watch reality tv shows and Big Brother TV Show is one of them. I really enjoy this show.

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