one-on-one with Dave Dickenson

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How the devil are you?

I'm good. How are you?

Good, getting pumped about regular-season CFL action.


It's a Saturday night and you aren't playing. What would you do?

I'm the dinner and a movie type. It's a little tougher now that we have the baby. That's really our thing.

Pick five words that best describe you.

Competitive, honest, intelligent, scrappy and successful.

What were you like in high school?

I was on the fringes. I was a nerdy guy who played sports. I didn't really get into the popular crowd. I was a little fiery and I liked to get my own way. If I didn't, I would take my ball and go home.

How did a self-proclaimed nerd become a starting quarterback?

I was pretty decent at sports but I didn't look the part. I wore pretty thick glasses and was at the top of the class in grades. I didn't think I would have a career in sports so I focused on academics. I really didn't enjoy school. I stayed at it, matured a little bit and got lucky.

Who is the last person you punched and why?

The last fight I got in was when I was 12 years old. I realized I won't win most of those. Calgary people should know my brother because he coaches there (special teams co-ordinator Craig Dickenson) but we haven't fought since we were 10 or 11.

What's your most unpleasant characteristic?

I'm probably a little spoiled. I always get my way and if I don't get it, I fuss. My wife says I'm spoiled, so that would probably be it.

What's the best advice you ever received?

There's been a bunch. Don't let anyone tell you it can't be done and stay with it. I took a lot of advice over the years from pretty good people. One of the guys I learned the most from in football was Doug Flutie down in San Diego.

What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever bought?

Probably exercise equipment because I don't use it. I have an exercise bike sitting in my basement. It's just collecting dust. We have the exercise ball and the ab cruncher. Those things are in the storage closet with the rest of the useless stuff.

What was your first car?

I had a Plymouth K-Car. I believe Dave Sapunjis had the same type of vehicle. I was driving it when I showed up there in 1996. It had a leak in the engine. If you stopped at a light too long, the smoke would start rolling out. The only thing to stop that was to keep moving. It was a classic.

If you could be any other athlete, who would you be?

Greg Norman. I really like him and golf would be a nice test. I like the way he plays, not worrying about the negative, only thinking about the positive. He's certainly snakebitten. I would love to play professional golf. That would be outstanding.

What's your cellphone ringtone?

It's no specific song. It's an annoying sound, like many of them are. I have it set so when my wife phones, it has a specific ring. Then I can prepare for her.

Who's the most famous person in your cellphone book?

Drew Brees. He's the only guy I still stay in constant contact with in the NFL. He's such a good guy you would think he's from Montana or Canada. He and I really meshed so we talk about once a month.

You probably call him more now that he signed that big free-agent deal?

He screwed up my off-season golf trip. We were supposed to meet in San Diego and he not only got hurt but switched teams. He said New Orleans has some nice courses as well so we might make that the vacation spot next year.

What TV series do you want on DVD?

Definitely Seinfeld. We quote from that show every day in the locker-room. Watching that American Idol guy Taylor Hicks, we talked about Elaine and her dancing. We watch that show a couple times a day even now.

What's your favourite unhealthy food?

Anything with chocolate. I'm not a huge ice cream guy. I like brownies and I go through a few of those if they are available.

If you weren't playing football, what would you be doing?

I started out thinking I would be the team doctor. Now, I would like to explore the financial world, possibly the oil and gas sector. People seem to be making a whole bunch of money in that. That's the area I'm looking at when I'm done and settling down in Calgary.

Do you collect your own memorabilia?

I don't as much as my wife does. I think I have 50 football cards with me on them. Most of them are rookie NFL cards. I like to collect pictures of guys I played with. I like to get a picture of each class of quarterbacks I'm with. I have one of Jeff Garcia, me and Doug in San Diego. We were in full uniforms and Jeff was with San Francisco but we are all wearing our Calgary Stampeders hats. I like to keep stuff from people I know personally. My wife framed up all four of my NFL jerseys.

What was the best year of your life?

Since I can't remember too long ago from getting too many hits to the head, I would probably say 2005, the year my daughter Avery was born. It's tough because we just lost the Grey Cup in 2004 but she gave me a reason to stay motivated.

Could you be convinced to karaoke?

Oh yeah. It takes a lot of alcohol and a group of guys. I won't get up there all by myself. The last time I sang we did Kool and the Gang's Celebration. We pretty much brought the house down.

cool, he will breack like a board this season