What’s good BoltFamily! In this edition of Fan Perspective we make another jump over the pond to speak with Calum Pope. A newer fan but a diehard through and through. It’s always nice to do these international interviews because it’s a reminder that we may be taking our viewing capabilities for granted. Fasten your seatbelts and let’s roll!
My name is Calum Pope. I am 21 years old and I live in Mount Riverview, Australia (about 1 hour west of Sydney). I have recently completed my Bachelor of Health Science at the University of Sydney and am currently studying a Masters degree in Exercise Physiology. I am hoping to use my knowledge from my degrees to work with elite athletes (NFL players would be great) to help them improve their performance on the field, on the track or anywhere I am needed. Sport has always been my passion so I thought if I am not good enough to play a sport professionally I may as well help the ones who can! I am also working part-time at Woolworths, Australia’s largest supermarket chain, stacking shelves most weekends. It’s kind of boring but it pays the bills.
My love for the Chargers started in 2008. I had bought a Madden game for the Playstation because I was bored and wanted something to do. Most of the first few weeks were spent just trying to work out the rules and everything to do with the game. Not growing up in a country where American Football is very popular made it pretty difficult to work everything out. Eventually I worked out how everything works and got into the finer details of the game. By this stage I did not have a team to call my own. I played one game with the mighty San Diego Chargers and that was it. They were my team!
BoogaP: How difficult is it to support the Bolts from Australia?
Supporting the Bolts from the Land Down Under has been pretty difficult! The NFL has just been axed from the free-to-air channels so now the only way to watch games has been through cable TV. Luckily I have cable TV at home with ESPN and Fox Sports but unfortunately we only get to see about 3 games a week and even more unfortunately the Chargers don’t usually get many games on TV over here. Usually I only get to watch about 2 or 3 Chargers games per season. I am hoping to get NFL GamePass for this season so I can finally watch every single Bolts game.
BoogaP: Do you know of any other Chargers fans in Australia?
Unfortunately, at the moment I don’t know of any other Chargers fans in Australia. I have one friend who is a die-hard Packers fan so I am at least able to talk to someone about the NFL. I would love to meet some Chargers fans from Australia though!
BoogaP: Who is your favorite player?
Wow, that’s a hard one! Favourite of all-time would definitely have to be LT. That dude was a beast! Of all the current players my favourite would have to be Philip Rivers but Ryan Mathews and Eric Weddle would not be too far behind.
BoogaP: What is your favorite piece of Bolts Swag that you own?
Another tough question! My room at home is basically a shrine to the Chargers! I have an 8 foot tailgating flag on my wall, a Chargers helmet on my bookcase and so many other bits of clothing I don’t want to even count. I even painted my walls powder blue! Of all of these things my favorite would have to be my powder blue LT jersey.
BoogaP: Most of the media has already given the AFC West crown to the Broncos. What are your thoughts?
Obviously any team with Peyton Manning at QB are going to be a strong team (if he can stay healthy) but I honestly believe that we have the talent and depth at every position to beat those guys. Every team in the AFC West will be much stronger than last season so it will be very interesting to see how it plays out!
BoogaP: If you could say one thing to A.J. Smith in person, what would it be?
Bring a game to Australia!
BoogaP: Who is your LEAST favorite team that is NOT in our division and why?
The Steelers for sure. Of the 3 games that are shown in Australia every week it is almost guaranteed that one of them will include the Steelers so I am pretty sick of watching them. They aren’t even a good team to watch! They play a pretty boring brand of football.
BoogaP: Who is your least favorite player in the NFL?
My least favourite player also happens to play for my least favourite team! Ben Roethlisberger for sure.
BoogaP: If you could go to any game this year, which game would it be?
Apart from when the Bolts make it to the Superbowl, it would have to be the game versus the Raiders at the Q on the 30th of December.
BoogaP: What was your initial reaction to the Ronnie Brown signing?
I am pretty optimistic about the signing. I think Ryan Mathews will become an every down back this year and will take the vast majority of the carries so Ronnie will come in every now and then to give Ryan a break. I know he has had a few issues with injuries but he basically had a year off last year so hopefully he is all right to go and can show us the form that he showed in his 1008 yard season.
BoogaP: Considering that we have Darrell Stuckey, Atari Bigby, and newly drafted Brandon Taylor at SS, who is it that you would like to see start at that position?
I would really like to see Brandon Taylor given the starting spot. He was a steal in the 3rd round and hopefully he can continue playing like he did at LSU. The other guys do have their benefits though. Stuckey has been with the team for a while so knows all the ins and outs of the defence. Bigby has been part of a Superbowl winning team to he knows what it takes to get to the Big One. And hits like these don’t hurt either. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQ8_22lDrBY)
BoogaP: I have predicted the Bolts FINALLY win it all this year. Do you have a prediction for this season?
I honestly believe the Bolts can go all the way this year. This is the first season in a while where we haven’t been talked about as a Superbowl contender by many so called experts. We have drafted well, signed some great talent in the free agency and there is no way Philip Rivers is going to let a season like last year happen again and yet people will still underestimate us. It will be their mistake! Superbowl XLX here we come!
BoogaP: And last, but certainly not least, how often do you visit BoltBeat.com?
BoltBeat.com is always on my daily ritual on the net. Check Facebook, check emails and check BoltBeat.com!
Thanks again BoogaP for giving me the opportunity to let everyone in the USA what it is like being to Bolts fan on the other side of the world! A big BoltUp from the Land Down Under!
Thanks again Dave!
Calum you killed it! Great job and thank you for the time you took to do this interview!!
Well, that will wrap up another Fan Perspective interview. If you feel like you would like to have your opinion featured in an article about your love for the Chargers, hit me up at [email protected] or on Twitter @BoogaP.
Thanks a lot for reading.