Spokane Shock offensive lineman Chris Pino has become a player defenses have to account for as not just a blocker, but as a receiver as well. Pino has recorded a pair of touchdown receptions on the year. AFNation’s Sheny Salgado recently sat down with Pino for the latest edition of “20 Questions”!
Sheny Salgado: What was your favorite football team growing up?
Chris Pino: I’m originally from Oceanside, California in San Diego County, so I was a San Diego Charger fan growing up. However, they were doing really bad, so I changed over and didn’t like them any more, but I originally was a Charger fan.
SS: Who was your favorite football player?
CP: Growing up, my favorite player was Junior Seau. Well, first off he is my second cousin and just a great athlete. He dominated in high school, college and in the NFL. Plus, I really liked him because he was playing for the Chargers when I was young.
SS: When did you start playing football?
CP: When I got to high school. When I was younger, I was too tall and too big to play regular kid stuff. I was only big enough to play high school football. So my freshman year of high school I played football and I’ve been at it ever since.
SS: If you didn’t play football, what sport would you play?
CP: A lot of people don’t know this about me but I was a really, really good volleyball player. I actually had offers to play volleyball after high school. So if I didn’t go with football I’d probably be playing volleyball.
SS: What is your favorite thing about playing Arena Football?
CP: It’s smaller, so that means we don’t have to run as much! I also like that everything is more compact in Arena Football. I just really like playing Arena Football.
SS: What’s your favorite arena to play in when on the road?
CP: I like playing in Arizona. I like the fact that they have some crazy and goofy fans just like ours. The environment is also always good there and playing against a team like Arizona makes the arena that much better.
SS: What is your favorite television show?
CP: My wife got me into the soap opera show Revenge. It’s a really good show! I’m really hooked on it. The show is really good it has a bunch of twists to it. I thought it was going to be like a really girly show, but no, it’s not – it is actually really good.
SS: What is your favorite type of food?
CP: I love sushi! My favorite is the dynamite roles. I like spicy food! So, I love anything with spicy mayo on it so I really enjoy dynamite roles.
SS: What is your favorite type of music?
CP: Well, I live in Hawaii now, so I really love listening to island music. That music is really relaxing.
SS: How do you like to spend your bye week?
CP: I usually love just relaxing by the pool. This past bye week I was actually in Vegas, so I got to enjoy Vegas for a week and just relax and hangout by the pool.
SS: Do you have any nicknames?
CP: Oh man I do and a lot! People tell me I look like The Rock so I’ve been called “The Great One”, “Baby Rock” and “The Rock”.
SS: What’s the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?
CP: Horse! One of my friends is Tongan and in their culture they eat horse. I didn’t know that at first. He said we were having beef stew and I’m assuming it was regular beef stew. I tried it and it had a weird taste and then they told me after that it was horse.
SS: What does your pregame meal consist of?
CP: I love to eat any kind of pasta and salad. I don’t love to eat too much but I try to eat some. I’m not that big on the starch and all that stuff but I do like to get some spaghetti in before a game.
SS: What is your best non-athletic skill?
CP: I think I can sing when I want. I love to do Karaoke. It’s fun.
SS: Do you have any pregame superstitions?
CP: Every game day in the morning around 10 – especially when it’s a home game – I like to go to IHOP. I order the same meal – always the country fried stake with pancakes. I also go the pool for about half an hour and relax. I take a power nap right before the game. Doing all these things I feel prepare me for the game.
SS: What is the best thing about playing football for Spokane?
CP: The fans. We have really good support here. The city is always behind us. We feed off of our fans. Every time they cheer we play better. We just play so much better at home.
SS: If you could be anything beside a pro athlete, what would it be?
CP: I love working with kids. I got my degree in Criminal Justice, so I wanted to either be a probation offer or work in a juvenile facility. I would want to work with troubled kids. I use to do that back in college. I used to help out in the group homes with trouble kids. Working with kids is just something I fell in love with. I grew up in a really bad neighborhood and football was the one way that got me out of there so I would love to work with troubled kids.
SS: What would you consider your worst habit?
CP: I love to eat! I love to eat junk foods. Just growing up and being a full Samoan, we eat a lot of greasy food. I just love to eat it. I try to go on diets but it’s tough being a big guy. That’s the thing with Samoans – we love to eat. We are brought up to always finish your plate so we make sure it’s always clean.
SS: Who would you say is your funniest teammate?
CP:Erik Meyer, our quarterback. He pulls a lot of pranks. When I first met him at the beginning of the season, he was my roommate and I was worried because I thought, ‘Oh he’s the quarterback, he’s the pretty boy’… and he is a pretty boy, but he is so funny. We do a lot of pranks and everything. We do this thing on Facebook where we try to find our look-a-likes and most of the time they are pretty bad, so we post them on each other’s page. He is just so funny.
SS: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
CP: I receive really good advice from my wife. She is very smart. She always tells me to enjoy what I do and just do everything 100 percent. As long as I’m playing football, she tells me to have fun with it while I still can.