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Behind the Scenes with K Stephen Gostkowski

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The Patriots selected Stephen Gostkowski in the fourth round (118th overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft. The 6-foot-1-inch, 210- pound kicker made 70-of-92 field goals during his college career and holds the Memphis scoring record with 369 points. Over his final two seasons, the Mississippi native made 85.7 percent of his field goal attempts (42-of-49). He also starred as a pitcher on the Tigers' baseball team. Gostkowski sat down with us to answer some questions about his life both on and off the football field.

FAVORITES

What is your favorite reality TV show? I'm not really into reality shows. Nip Tuck is my favorite TV show.

What is your favorite pizza topping? Pepperoni and mushrooms. I prefer New York style pizza.

What is your favorite concert that you have attended? Dave Matthews Band. That was way back in high school.

What is your favorite vehicle that you have ever owned? I have only had two, so I would go with my new truck. It is an F-150.

What is your favorite video game? The original R.B.I. Baseball for Nintendo.

Who is your favorite cartoon character? Cartman from South Park.

OFF THE FIELD

What was the worst job you ever had? Probably cutting grass in the middle of the summer in Mississippi. It was too hot. The main guy had the big mower and I had the weed-eater and had to do the edges. I did all the work while he sat there and sipped on lemonade.

What is something that annoys you? People that aren't honest with you. They don't tell you what they feel. They talk behind your back.

The veterans shaved the heads of all the rookies in training camp. Are you glad to have your hair back? I'm glad it grew back. That is part of being a rookie.

Do you have a nickname? I have a lot of nicknames. In high school and growing up it was Beaver. In college it was Gotti. Now Josh Miller and Lonie Paxton call me Meat.

What was your most embarrassing moment in sports? In the state semifinals in baseball, I hit a ball off the top of the wall and I was watching it - I thought it was going to be a home run - and I tripped over first base and they said I missed the bag. They called me out and I made a scene. It was embarrassing on my part.

What is one thing that you can't live without? Friends and family.

Which player on this team best resembles your personality? Josh Miller. He is real witty and quick, but he is probably a little more outgoing than I am.

You played both football and baseball at the University of Memphis. Did the seasons overlap at all? The hardest part was getting ready for the baseball season because everyone else on the team is practicing during the fall. It takes a while to get your arm in shape. I could kick during baseball season but not vice versa.

What type of food do you refuse to eat? Anything with mayonnaise on it. I will eat pretty much anything else.

ON THE FIELD

Do you have a specific ritual before a field goal? I don't start getting ready until the ball crosses the 50-yard line. I will kick three balls into the net and then I'll stop kicking. I squeeze three squirts of water in my mouth and then stretch and get ready to go.

When did you realize you had a legitimate shot at playing in the NFL? I thought about it when I first started kicking in high school, but not really until my junior year at Memphis. I was never totally set on this being a possibility.

Which player or coach have you learned the most from in your career? I can't really pinpoint one person. I would say the whole special teams unit at Memphis. We all helped each other out and pulled for one another.

What element or technique do you concentrate on the most when kicking in cold, windy conditions? You don't try to do anything different. The key is to stay consistent. You don't want to mess up your form.

THIS OR THAT

Funnier movie: Animal House or Caddyshack? Without a doubt, Caddyshack.

Your better strikeout pitch: fastball or curveball? Fastball. I was more of a fastball and changeup guy. My curveball is a C-.

Read the newspaper or watch the news? Watch the news.

Better place to vacation: A weekend in Las Vegas or a weekend on the beach in Cancun? Las Vegas. We played UNLV in baseball my freshman year and we were there four days.

Cook a meal or call for a delivery? Cook a meal. I'm not a chef, but I think mine tastes better.

JUST FOR FUN

Name the perfect golf foursome of alltime. My favorite player growing up, Joe Montana. Then Roger Clemens and Tiger Woods. Tiger could teach me some things on the course.

If this team had an arm wrestling tournament, who would walk away with the championship? Mike Wright or Richard Seymour. They are both big guys.

If you could spend one day with any living person, who would it be? That is a tough question. I would like to see what the President does on a given day.

If you could make a cameo on any TV show, which one would you choose? I would say my favorite show, Nip Tuck. That would be interesting.

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