Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Niko "the party guy" Suavve, or Niko "the Superhero"?

Koutouvides, whose handsome looks earned him thenickname “Niko Suave,” admits to a hard-partying past anda loose tongue on the football field. But he plans to lastlonger than three years in the NFL, and not to remind peo-ple of Bosworth.

“I did my partying in my younger days at Purdue. That was just getting into college and having fun,” Koutouvides,23, told CSM shortly after Seattle drafted him in the fourthround (116th overall) in April’s draft. “The talking trash,when I get into the game I’m having fun. Words are flying,I’m getting competitive, and that’s how I play.”

Seattle and head coach Mike Holmgren liked that fire from Koutouvides, who said the Seahawks saw past his reputation.“Seattle probably saw hardworking, determined, phys-ical kid, who can come in here and make an impact on theteam,” said Koutouvides, who is 6’2” and 238 pounds and is competing for the starting middle linebacker position onHolmgren’s defense. He is also expected to contribute on special teams.

Koutouvides said he’s ready to work hard,and ready to erase any doubts about his reputation. He has no intention of mirroring the controversial exploits ofBosworth, who might be known more for starring in the film“Stone Cold” than for playing in the NFL. In fact, when given the option of wearing Bosworth’s old number, 55,Koutouvides promptly declined. He wore 34 at Purdue, butwill wear 53 in Seattle.“It was either that or 55, and I didn’t want the Bosworthcurse,” Koutouvides said, laughing.The best way to avoid “the curse” is to work hard onthe field, not play hard off it, he realizes. And hard work,Koutouvides said, runs in his family.

Stelios and Niki Koutouvides own and operate TheStonewell Restaurant in Farmington. He said his parents area paragon of hard work, and he cited them as the biggestinfluence on his life.“Being the owner of a restaurant is very intense. They work 80 hours a week. They’d give the shirts off their back to me and my brothers. To see how hard they work influ-enced me to work just as hard,” Koutouvides said.He was the sixth middle linebacker selected overalland recently signed a three-year contract worth$1,225,000. With the contract ironed out, the rookie can now focus on adjusting to NFL football.

"Players are faster, stronger,tougher, and smarter than at the collegiate level", -Koutouvides


At 10:48 AM, Blogger albaNY Hawker said...

The Bosworth Curse...I love it!

Not to be a pest, but mix in a few line breaks between paragraphs so it's easier to read.


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