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mesaSteeler
12-19-2011, 06:54 AM
STEELERS FIRST & 10: JEREMY KAPINOS

Mike Bires Times Sports Staff | Posted: Sunday, December 18, 2011 11:45 pm
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/local_sports/steelers-first-jeremy-kapinos/article_4d97bd5f-da7c-5762-ab8c-bdcd1e26d6ce.html?mode=print

The Steelers' punter took some time before practice this week to answer these decidedly non-football questions from Times pro football writer Mike Bires:

I see that you were born in West Point, N.Y. Is it safe to assume you were an army brat?

"My dad was a colonel in the Army for 28 years. We traveled and moved every two years. My dad spent time in Somalia and Saudi Arabia. My brother was a captain who did tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. He's out now. He's a lawyer. My dad's last station was in the Pentagon. That's why the family kind of retired in the Washington, D.C. area."

I guess this goes without saying, but how proud are you of your father and brother for what they've done for our country?

"I'm really proud of them. Growing up around military bases, you're around leaders all the time. My brother, I was in college when he was going through his deployments. We always thought about him in terms of where he was and what he was doing and if he was OK. So I'm very proud of them. I never joined the military. That's probably the one thing I'll always look back on say, ‘Maybe I should have?'"

Did you play any other position beside punter when you played high school football?

"No. I just punted and kicked off. I was big into soccer when I was attending high school in northern Virginia. I played football in the fall and soccer in the spring. Soccer is big in Virginia, and we won state championships. But once I started playing football, kicking and punting became my top priority."

During your college career, were you a frequent visitor at the Penn State Creamery?

"Oh yes, I ate a lot of ice cream from the Creamery in my day. It's good ice cream. My favorite flavor was cookies 'n cream. I was never a big Peachy Paterno fan."

Since leaving Penn State, you've bounced around a few different NFL cities, including Green Bay, Indianapolis and New York when you spent time with the Jets. This is your second time in Pittsburgh. How do you like Pittsburgh?

"Green Bay was unique. But Pittsburgh has been my favorite place by far. In Green Bay, there's only 150,000 people and all that's up there are the Packers. It was OK. But Pittsburgh, because of my Penn State connections, I know a lot of people here. It's only four hours from my home in Virginia. And it's a great sports town -- the Steelers, the Penguins, the Pirates. I love it here."

Do you have a favorite restaurant in town?

"Zorba's, downtown. That's one of the places I like a lot. It's a Greek place with great gyros. I'm not Greek, even though Kapinos sounds like a Greek name. I'm actually Polish."

Speaking of food, is there anyone on this planet that you'd like to have dinner with?

"I'd like to sit down and have dinner and talk to a CIA director, either the current one or a former CIA director, and have him tell me the straight truth about a lot of things. I don't know who the head guy is now, but I'd like to meet with someone like him who's pretty connected or someone in the Secret Service. That would be pretty neat."

Considering that you grew up in a military family, have you ever taken a real vacation?

"To be honest with you, I've never gone on vacation. Bowl games when I was at Penn State were the closest thing I ever had to a vacation. I've never gone on a week-long vacation."

Where would you like to go someday?

"I'd like to go to the Midwest or somewhere like Montana, where the settlers originally went when America was being founded. I'm interested in that kind of stuff. Or I'd like to go out West some place and just camp out in the middle of nowhere."

Someday when you're done making money punting a football, what kind of work might you get into?

"I was a recreation, parks and tourism major. I also started a second major in journalism. I once had an internship in the athletic department at Penn State, so I'm thinking I might want to get back into athletics and maybe work my way up to being an athletic director somewhere."