Throughout the summer, the Jets' editorial staff is takinga deeper dive into the personalities, interests and lives of players off the field. This series will serve as a gateway for fans to get to know the players on the Green & White. We continue with OL Greg Van Roten.
You grew up locally on Long Island. What is your hometown known for?GVR: Something people would know Long Beach for is they have a polar bear plunge every year on the day of the Super Bowl. I haven't participated the last couple of years, and hopefully I don't get to participate this year either.
What is one word people used to describe you when you were younger?
GVR: A "skootch," which is you're charming, you're sarcastic, you're a skootch. I would still define myself like that.
What jobs did you have growing up in high school?
GVR: I used to work for a nursery growing plants, and I would help people to their cars during sales if they had big trees or a lot of flowers. I also worked at my high school as a summer camp counselor. Then, I had a brief stint of working at a pizza place at a major national chain, but that lasted about seven days because it was too much.
What is your gameday ritual during the season?
GVR: The last couple of years, you stay at the hotel before the game, and for home games there was a group of us that would always drive to the stadium and listen to music and get there early. Then I would go hot tub, stretch out a little bit, get my ankles taped and walk around the field. I like to go out on the field before the game starts, and not a lot of guys do that. I just like to walk around the stadium when it's empty and get a feel for the place, especially if I play for that team or if it's new that I haven't been to yet.
What is one hidden talent or something somebody does not know about you?
GVR: I played the trombone from fourth grade up until high school. Today, I think I would be able to play, but I would have trouble remembering how to read the music. Growing up, my dad said if I wanted to play sports, I had to play an instrument. He always wanted to play an instrument growing up and regretted not doing it, so he made us do it.