University of Nebraska football and St. Louis Rams fans are no doubt familiar with NFL defensive end Adam Carriker, now playing with the Washington Redskins. Originally selected by the Rams in the first round (13th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft, Carriker, despite the fact that the dude can flat-out play, was ultimately traded to the Redskins for a case of Walmart-brand diet cola and a pair of used gym shorts. We caught up with him recently to talk about the differences between St. Louis and Washington, why there’s no reason to have a dome in St. Louis, the rationale for the horrific St. Louis-style pizza (IMO's), his periodic beard, and his helmet-swinging ex-teammate and longtime friend Richie Incognito.
BroBible: What’s the biggest difference between playing for the Rams and the Redskins?
Carriker: The fans here. You go to the stadium and it’s sold out. It’s like a college atmosphere. We have our own band. I don’t know if any other team even has that.
BroBible: Ever wonder why on earth St. Louis has a dome? It’s a crime against nature. Like a breast reduction.
Carriker: I did, but to be honest with you it was kind of nice. You didn’t have to worry about whether it would be hot or cold. But it’s a great question. Teams like Green Bay -- they’re the ones that need a dome.
BroBible: But you can’t argue that playing football outdoors is much more natural.
Carriker: Yeah. It’s the way the game is supposed to be played. It’s raining outside or snowing or whatever it is. That’s more what the game is intended to be.
BroBible: Did you ever have the unfortunate pleasure of having IMO’s St. Louis-style pizza when you were there and wonder ‘why does this exist?’
Carriker: I think I did one time during my rookie year and I don’t think I ever did again. But a lot of people like it and I don’t get it.
BroBible: So we notice you are wearing a beard and according to the American Mustache Institute, it’s written in the Dead Sea Scrolls that “each time a mustache is shaved, an angel in heaven dies and falls to earth.” So does that change your perspective when you consider shaving?
Carriker: Well if I believed it at all I might.
BroBible: Biblical reference. It’s also referenced in Leviticus and The Book of Mormon.
Carriker: Where in Leviticus?
BroBible: I will show it to you. I promise. Anyhow, moving on. When you were in St. Louis, did you recognize the Arch as the world’s largest mustache?
Carriker: No, I didn’t. I just saw it as the Arch. I mean I know a guy flew and airplane through it and then got in trouble. I just took it for granted.
BroBible: But getting back to your beard, I am curious, do you feel it gives you an edge on your opponents? Especially the clean-shaven mortals?
Carriker: Absolutely. It’s the intimidation factor. I’ve got a little food in there. Maybe it smells a little and my breath smells bad too. But absolutely.
BroBible: Speaking of bad smells. You’ve played for a couple of NFL organizations. Who’s the smelliest teammate you ever had?
Carriker: There was a guy who used to always smell in St. Louis and I couldn’t stand it when he would stand next to me. He was a D-lineman and I can’t remember his name. It’s killing me but I couldn’t get near him. I would be like, “oh my God this is bad.”
BroBible: So who’s the opponent you’d most like to absolutely crush?
Carriker: The only guy who pops into my mind is Richie Incognito of the Dolphins because we went against each other every day at Nebraska, every day in St. Louis, and we probably have played against each other a few thousand snaps. It’s more that he used to beat the crap out of me, I used to beat the crap out of him. It’d like to get the last one in on him.
BroBible: And Richie is a pretty even-keeled guy. He never pops off. He’s never had any problems. In St. Louis he was very mild-mannered.
Carriker: Absolutely. He’s a very well spoken, well behaved young man.
BroBible: Craziest thing you’ve ever seen Richie do?
Carriker: You want a top 10? Well, we had this crazy team brawl in St. Louis. Corey Chavious and Steven Jackson got in a fight. So the whole team gets in a fight. And Richie rips off this guy's helmet and is swinging it at everybody. Just trying to decapitate people.
This interview was conducted with the assistance of Brian Tinsman, who works in the front office for the Washington Redskins and owner Dan Snyder as the team’s associated writer and chief team blogger.