Fear the Beard: Interview with Bernard Pierce
On the 4th of January, the Gridiron Gentlemen interviewed Baltimore Ravens running back, number 30, Bernard Pierce, over the phone. Amongst an evening filled with technological snares, the line was bad and the sound quality was, shall we say, not up to our standard. So in a manner somewhat befitting the Gentlemen, the interview has been lovingly transcribed (whilst sitting next to a roaring fire, wearing tweed and supping a fine tawny port, of course) and is posted below.
If you wish to know more before, or even after, reading our interview, why not visit www.bernardpierce30.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.
The following abbreviations shall be used, Gents for the Girdirion Gentlemen and BP30 for Bernard. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin….
Gents: Hi I am Duncan, part of the Gridiron Gentlemen and tonight we are lucky to have Bernard Pierce, could you just introduce yourself, though I am sure everyone knows you are, we are trying to encourage newer listeners and get people into the sport.
BP30: Well for those of you who don’t know, I am Bernard Pierce, running back for the Baltimore Ravens, called to be asked a couple of questions and I’ll answer a couple of questions.
Gents: Grand, thank you very much. Er ok so could you just tell us about your path into the NFL?
BP30: Er do you mean Collegeate to NFL or generally?
Gents: Just generally, your build up to playing in the NFL, we know you have your school and college football at Temple where you won quite a few awards, just what drove you on into football?
BP30: Honestly, starting off, my Mum didn’t like the contact, didn’t like the physicality of it. So was more something I wanted to do so tried out and started at high school, was pretty good at high school then wanted to take to a different level at college where I, you know, I broke a couple of records won a couple of awards. Then I you know, I wanted to try my chance to try at the next league, the next level and fortunately enough for me I got selected in the third round for the Ravens.
Gents: Yeah, how was that? I mean it must have been a thrill to be picked by such an amazing team, one with such a long history as the Ravens.
BP30: You know it was definitely a great feeling, was thrilling. The transition I would say wasn’t exactly hard it’s more, you know going from college and classes and football, in NFL you know is just strictly football. So now have meeting in the morning then got football, meeting at night then got football, meeting afternoon have football., instead of school work.
Gents: Obviously you love football, but how was that, was it quite a lot to take in at first or did you just blend in quite easily?
BP30: I think I blend, you know I’m open to it. It’s no longer just something you do for recreation something you do in your down time, I just adjusted to it.
Gents: With last year being your first year, your rookie year, what was it like going on a Superbowl run? Must have been quite an experience.
BP30: There are a lot of people who have been playing the game for very long and have not been fortunate enough to be giving the opportunity to make the Superbowl. You know in my rookie year we came in and we played amazing together as a team, you know the chemistry was all there, and we were able to actually win a Superbowl in my first year, and I know people.. it’s a blessing, you know, because some people haven’t been able to experience that and they been playing in the league for 15, 16 years.
Gents: And er, I mean we all really enjoyed the game over here, admittedly for us in the UK, watching the Superbowl is an early morning affair, but it looks spectacular. What was the experience for you like actually playing in a Superbowl?
BP30: It was, actually, you know it was a really fun experience, something I had never been able to be a part of before. So it was like, you know, a whole different experience, at the end of the day it was a good one, and I was just so happy to say I’ve been a part of a Superbowl team.
Gents: I have to admit a few of us may have been backing you guys and wanting the Ravens to lift it. I er certainly was one of them. One of the other Gentlemen is a 49ers fan so probably won’t appreciate my confession. What was it like being around greats, like Ray Lewis?
BP30: He is definitely a positive and a strong role model to look up to. You know he definitely tries to lead people in the right direction. He’s um, very spiritual I’d say, he is a strong leader and you know he is just a great influence and a great person to be around, a great teacher, a great learning experience.
Gents: Yeah, he always comes across as a powerful person, was he missed this season?
BP30: A bit [line interference so answer not clear]
Gents: Sorry there was a bit of interference on the line. What was the feeling around the team this season?
BP30: I’m sorry I really can’t understand you.
Gents: Alright, OK sorry about that, try again. What was the feeling in the team this season?
BP30: Ah you know a couple people came, a couple of people left, a couple of coaches came in, a couple of them left, I would say it was just, ah, I’d say just new chemistry. You know we had to find a balance on how to play and the players we put in and working with new defence and changes with defence and offense, it was new to us. So we had to kind of like, deal with an up and down kind of season.
Gents: So do you feel you have a something you can build on from for next season, you know steady the ship and maybe go on another Superbowl run?
BP30: You know, I’m a firm believer and my coaches are a firm believer, that if you’re not improving then you are getting worse. So I’m always trying to improve, trying to become a better player and you know, so we can make a Superbowl run the following year.
Gents: That’s a good positive winning attitude. So who are the jokers in the locker room? You know who cracks the jokes or plays a few jokes?
BP30: There’s a couple of them who play around, but nothing too crazy. Everything is just friendly, the jokes are friendly, the pranks are nothing too serious so no-one gets upset.
Gents: That’s cool. So Bernard, this year you had more carries and more yardage, what do you feel you need to do to take the number one spot? If you’re not comfortable answering that then that’s cool.
BP30: You know I don’t think of myself of wearing the number 2 badge, you know me and Ray rotate, so, you know, really I don’t think I have to do anything to maintain my spot on the roster.
Gents: Yeah, I mean do you guys [Ray Rice and BP] have quite a good chemistry going? I mean do you compete slightly with each other, I take it you must encourage each other?
BP30: Yeah you know our nature is to be competitive, but it’s not like with Ray, oh I’m going to take his spot, it’s just a friendly competitive relationship we’ve got going.
Gents: So who would you say are your NFL inspirations?
BP30: I don’t understand what you’re saying.
Gents: Like who do you look to, I mean overall in football and the NFL to inspire you..
BP30: You mean look up to?
Gents: Yeah, who do you look up to?
BP30: I don’t look up to anybody in the NFL.
Gents: You don’t?
BP30: No, think about it. You look up to somebody, and you try to, try to be that person, not your own person. There are a lot of people that I watch but I don’t look up to anybody in the NFL.
Gents: Oh. Yeah I see what you mean, you want to be your own person.
Gents: I mean, in a similar vein [some background noise from BP30s end, it later transpires that he was getting a tattoo done], it’s cool, who would you say is the best running back of all time?
BP30: I can’t answer that bro
Gents: [Chuckle] It’s cool. I suppose matter of opinion and could change all the time. That’s cool. And erm as a Philadelphia boy, are you looking forward to watching any particular play off games?
BP30: No. I’m not going to, we’re not in the play offs, so I’m not going watch them. So, I’m pretty sure that was more than 10 questions sir, so I’m going to have to go.
Gents: Yeah was a bit, so thank you very much Mr Pierce, Bernard, for talking with us today. We really do appreciate it.
BP30: No problem, big shout to London and the UK.
Gents: Been checking out your website, and also people can check you out on twitter @BPierce_30 and facebook (facebook.com/BernardPierceRB).
Gents: And we do like the beard and fear the beard.
BP30: Ok cool.
Gents: So just thank you again for talking with us and all the best for 2014.
[Background noise of what later turns out to be the tattoo parlour]
Gents: Just thanking you Bernard for talking with us and all the best for 2014.
BP30: No problem. Bye.
++++++End of Transmissiont++++++
I have to admit, I was a bit nervous and intimidated, mainly because of missing Bernard’s calls and that, quite fairly, he was a bit put out that we were late starting. By the end, what with the on going line difficulties I was a bit flustered hence my formal use of the “Mr Pierce” but listening back he was pretty laissez faire about the whole thing. So once again I would like thank Bernard Pierce, BP30, running back for the Baltimore Ravens for taking the time to talk to us on the 4th. I really did appreciate him agreeing to talk with us and it was a great experience to talk to a Superbowl winner. And I thank you, dear reader for persevering with the above transcript.
Do not forget to keep checking on here our website or iTunes for the latest pod casting, our twitter feed to join in the latest heated discussions or visit us on Facebook for a more leisurely stroll through the NFL. The room is now lit by the faint embers of the fire and so I will say toodle pip for now.