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Pro Football Player Rich Mauti This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Unknown
Rich Mauti is a former NFL player for the New Orleans Saints and Washington Redskins. He
was able to squeeze me into his busy schedule for an interview.



Where were you born and how long did you live there?

I was
born on Long Island, New York and lived there until I was 17 when I went to Penn State
University.

Did you play football as a
child?


I started playing in seventh grade. There were a lot of maple
trees in my neighborhood and in the fall, when the leaves fell, we would stuff our jackets full of
them to make football pads. We would pile the leaves in each end zone and play tackle football.
When we got to the end zone, we would dive in, which was so much fun.


How old were you when you decided you wanted to play professional
football?


My favorite sport was actually lacrosse, which I played in
high school and college. I had a scholarship to University of North Carolina and was going to play
lacrosse there, but then I was offered a full football scholarship to Penn State, which I accepted.
At that time, anyone in their right mind wanted to play football for Joe Paterno and Penn State. I
didn't start thinking about the pros until my junior year when the scouts started sending
letters.

You didn't go to college in Louisiana, so what made you move
here to play for the Saints?


I didn't get drafted. My philosophy was
to pick the worst team in the league and go there to have the best chance to make it. I just wanted
an opportunity to play, and I hate to say this now, but I picked the worst team in the league -
the Saints. I signed a free agent contract with them and came here.


How old were you when you started playing for the Saints, and how old when you
stopped?


I was 22 when I started and I played seven years with the
Saints. The year before I retired, I played for the Washington Redskins, so I was 30 when I stopped
playing professional football.

What position did you play and how
often did you practice?


I was a wide receiver, but I played on all
the special teams - the coverage teams, the third down and short yardage situations as a wingback,
and a wingback when we were on the goal line.

During preseason, I practiced
twice a day. In-between we had meetings, so I did football-related things 15 hours a
day.

Did you ever have any serious
injuries?


Yes, I broke my collarbone twice. I've broken every finger
at least once and my thumb a couple of times. I broke my humerus bone, which was very painful, and
I had surgery twice for ruptured discs that ended my career.

What do
you like best about Louisiana?


I like that I can fish or play tennis
every day because the weather is great. I love the outdoors. I love the food because I grew up in
an Italian family so I love to eat. I love the people, the culture, the way they're friendly and
hospitable.

What do you like least about
Louisiana?


From June until October I hate the intense heat and
humidity. That's the only time I get homesick and want to go back to New York.


Would you ever leave the state?

I think this will always be
home. I think we will always have a presence in New Orleans.


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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jake2011 said...
Jan. 1, 2010 at 9:53 am:
It's great to hear about someone's life after football. Great interview.
 
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