Denver Broncos linebacker Nate Irving will be spending this Sunday evening trying to smash himself through the Seattle Seahawks' offence at the Super Bowl. Before the game, however, while his teammates are spending their downtime exploring all the host city of New York has to offer, Irving told the Wall Street Journal's Stu Woo that he'll be tending to his other, virtual team:
I'm actually going to sit in my hotel room, play my Pokemon game.
According to Woo's story, 25-year-old Irving describes himself as an introvert. He grew up collecting Pokémon cards and takes his Nintendo handheld (the story does not specify which one) with him to keep up with his trainerly duties on planes and buses. He also reportedly has a commitment to playing Call of Duty with an old college friend every Tuesday morning on his day off.
Irving said he will try to hide his playing from his teammates while travelling. They sometimes poke fun at him for it and some other not-so-linebackerish behaviours — such as singing and dancing by himself — but he said he ultimately doesn't mind:
I know not too many people are into the things I'm into. I just embrace that and I enjoy it.
Irving's gaming habits don't seem to have hurt his performance. According to Woo, he has a career record 41 tackles this year, plus he's one game away from a Super Bowl ring. Now if they only asked the important questions, like which Pokémon he uses...