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Slingin it with QB Velocity #7 with Los Angeles Rams Defensive Tackle Mike Hoecht

For Season 3 Episode 7 of Slingin it with QB Velocity we got a chance to sit down and talk to current Los Angeles Rams Defensive Lineman Mike Hoecht.

Mike was born and raised in Canada until he moved into the USA. He then attended Brown University for four years playing as a defensive lineman.

In the episode, we talk about his time playing in Canada as a kid, the culture around football up north, his time at Brown, and his time trying to get into the NFL.

Be sure to check to check out the podcast on YouTube, Apple, Spotify and anywhere else you listen to podcasts.

When was the first moment you fell in love with the game of football?

So, I've been playing football since the 3rd grade and at that point I was in Ohio and the community I was in, everything kind of centered around Friday Night Lights football and went all the way back to the Peewee days of football. That's just the best.

And so, I got really into it then. I think it really started the love of the game sort of grew once you hit high school and you start to, you know, play some real football. When I was in Pop Warner Football, I was an offensive lineman because I was too heavy to run the ball. But then in high school, that restriction was lifted, and they started handing me the rock and I was a fullback in high school, which was just so much fun.

And it's one of those sports that the teams are so big, you get so much personality in the locker room that it becomes just part of your life and part of your friends and those guys just become your family, so you know it is. That sort of culture of the sport has always been something that has really been attractive to me.

Do you miss running the ball at all?

I mean that was more of a high school gig you can definitely get away with it then. But I don't know if you would be able to get away with it now. But I can still see myself pulling a little fullback package out of the back pocket.

How different is the culture of football in Canada than in the United States?

Yeah, that's a really good question. That's actually something that I found to be really interesting. Kids in Canada doesn't really have sort of the Friday Night Lights vibe to it, especially where I was, you know, we would play games Wednesday afternoons and we would get let out of school at like 2:30. To go, you take whatever bus and then we would just play a game on a Wednesday afternoon, which was kind of a foreign concept to me, which was cool.

Just because at that point it becomes pure love of the game. You know, little anecdote from that. There was a game we were playing, and I was in Toronto at this point, playing from a high school and it is pouring rain like it is just kind of a gross day outside, football weather obviously, but my mom is the only one sitting in the stands with like an umbrella watching the game and that to me is proved out like, ‘Oh, we’re a football family’ and she's going to be there, rain or shine. I don't think you've got a lot of that in Canada. But besides that, I think you know I want to clarify that there's some really, really good football, in Canada, and I think it's less run through the high schools. I think you've got a lot of it. There's a lot of these city teams and regional teams that you can play for. So, I played, I think about half a season for the Metro Toronto Wildcats. Before halfway through the season, we moved, so I obviously couldn't play for them anymore.

But that's where I think you know. You get a lot of high-level competition in Canada and a lot of a lot of the guys who are playing in leagues like that. They're looking to, you know, go play in the US for college, or if not, there's a lot of really good schools that run Canadian style football in college, you know.

So, Queens in Western house have a really big rivalry. I know like Laurie's got some good guys come out of there and so. I would say most guys look towards playing D1 or D2 ball in the States and then you know, but or if they want to stay in Canada.

They will go to some of these schools and then something can get picked up in the CFL Draft as well. So, it is not like there is still good football happening there. It is just not the culture of Friday Night Lights exist.

Were you a big fan of the CFL growing up?

I cannot say I was, you know, a massive fan. Just because I didn't get a ton of exposure to it. But you know, it was always one of those things that you know it's there. So, you know if you're a football junkie, you're going to get your hands on some football.

I wrote like there's always, you know, the great video highlights of the biggest CFL hits. And when you have receivers and full motion at the snap of the ball like come into crack ends and linebackers you get some big time plays so you know you can find some pretty spectacular highlights there.

What do you think about the potential CFL and XFL merger?

It could be good. I think anything that sort of develops, you know talent and allows guys to continue playing. And I think a lot of these spring leagues that have tried usually fall short financially or cannot recruit talent and so the bigger the pool of guys, the better the competition is going to be, and I am obviously no expert in that sort of that area, but I have trouble seeing a lot of downside for you growing the competition and getting guys more exposure. Even just having football on in the spring. I think they would do a lot of good things for fans.

Found interesting was when the AAF was going on. They were experimenting with the new rules and they were talking different things out. You know they were even incorporating like gambling into it and so it could also serve as sort of a testing ground for professional sports.

Trying out different rules and being able to see ‘Does this work? Does this not work? People like this, People like that’ and you know it gives them sort of an experiment to be able to try things to make the sport better.

How have you been able to preserve during the pandemic?

So back when I was in