The New York Times’ John Branch on the 2nd most personal of pregame rituals (beating off to photos of Art Donovan ranks slightly ahead)
Offensive lineman Rich Seubert of the Giants usually finds a garbage can, either in the locker room or the adjacent bathroom. Guard Chris Snee does it on the field just before running to the huddle the first time. And receiver Plaxico Burress knows the feeling.
œI don™t really feel like I have to throw up until I take the field, Burress said. œI™m standing on the sideline, and I™m cool, I™m cool, I™m cool. Then you get the butterflies and you feel like you™ve got to …
Tastes run from the mellow to the maniacal. Quarterback Tim Hasselbeck said he had a Boston College teammate who wore headphones and once shook uncontrollably, tears on his cheeks. When he got up to use the restroom, he left his headphones behind. Another player was too curious to let the opportunity pass.
œHe was like, man, I want to know what the heck he™s listening to, that he™s so excited for this game, Hasselbeck said. œMy buddy goes over and puts them on. ˜He™s listening to John Denver, œRocky Mountain High. This guy™s crazy.™ It all depends on the guy and what really gets him going.
Snee, a third-year offensive guard, said he gets sick on the field moments before the first offensive series. He tries to be discreet, hiding behind a teammate or covering his head with a towel.
œI™ve done that, honestly, ever since my first game in college, Snee said. œThe excitement, anticipation. I™ve done it literally every time before the first series.
It is almost routine. He does not think about it or force himself to do it. It just happens.
œIt™s just a relief, and out I go, Snee said. œSometimes if I™m running late onto the field, that™s why.
Such talk was news to new teammates. Cornerback R. W. McQuarters is entering his ninth season in the N.F.L., his first with the Giants. He has heard of players getting sick before games, but has never known a teammate to do so.
Told he now has two, his eyebrows raised. œThey do it every game? he asked. œWow.