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Tall Poppy Interview – Kerry Carter: NFL Running Back, Poet, Entrepreneur, Ladies Man

kerry22.JPGKerry Carter can do it all. Not only can he find a hole in the defense, but this NFL running back can help to fill the hole in your heart. The twenty-five year old former Toronto resident has recently added Published Author to his already impressive resume. After attending high school at Father Henry Carr in Etobicoke where he received the Harry Jerome award as the top student athlete in Canada in 1997/98, Carter completed a four year cultural and social anthropology degree at Stanford University before signing with the Seattle Seahawks in 2003. His new book “Fiery Scenes of Seduction” is a collection of poems that he hopes will create an irresistible passion and kindle the seduction in every lover’s heart. Fittingly the launch of his first published collection will be held in his former hometown, seven days from today – Valentine’s Day.
Being a former Seahawk, what did you think of this past Sunday’s Superbowl?
I was a little disappointed that Seattle couldn’t keep it a bit closer. They missed out on cetrain opportunities with dropped passes and they weren’t effiecient when they got in the red zone. It was unfortunate.
Your book is called “Fiery Scenes of Seduction”. Is this a personal account of your own intimate experiences?
Not necessarily. In a way it is, yes. But I’ve drawn from a lot of different influences. There are my own personal experiences, those of my friends, and stories I’ve overheard, from both the male and female perspective.
kerry11.JPGWith a poetry book being a collection of writings, what is the general message Fiery Scenes of Seduction is attempting to convey?
The whole thinking is that I’m from a single parent household like a lot of other kids, and with the divorce rate being so high, in many instances it shows that people will just give up or quit on their relationships. The book hopes to encourage couples to work on what they have, making what they have better. The book is about the topic of love and male/female interactions. It shows the guys point of view, and emphasizes how even though the feelings are present, a lot of things go unsaid.
So would you consider the book to be an educational tool for couples?
Hopefully it can be used as a learning tool. With the book being my personal viewpoint, I’d hope the reader would be able to enjoy the words and feelings of the poems. If anything, I’d like it to help open the reader’s emotions in order to help lead to bigger and better things.


How did you decide on the title “Fiery Scenes of Seduction”?
The title was achieved through a joint effort between myself and the publisher. It focuses on these scenes of love and seduction, using language to seduce. It is an opportunity for guys to learn how to use their words to seduce their women.
When did you start writing poetry and where do you see this book taking you?
Ive been writing for many years and about many different topics. Not just all about love. Although I consider myself a helpless romantic, which led to the theme of this book. Perhaps it will become a platform to lead to something else in the future. It depends on how the book is received. It’s tough to put yourself out there, put your emotions out in the public. I would still like to do a childrens book with my charity. That is a goal of mine.
As a noted romantic, what did you think about the Minnesota Vikings sex-cruise scandal this past season, and have many players you’ve crossed paths in either your collegiate or professional career behaved this way?
As a pro athlete, it’s hard to meet girls that you can trust or count on. When you are making good money, there are predators out there of both sexes. It’s tough for players to trust women after all the situations they encounter, so it leads them to behave differently at times. I don’t condone such actions, but I can say that I understand where they are coming from and how these problems open up.
As an OAC student in 1998/99, how do you feel the Ontario Teachers’ Work-to-Rule strike affected your recruitment or your career in general?
I wasn’t really affected seeing as I was a top recruit and already had my position solidified. However, I know there were a lot of young athletes that were hurt by it. Whether they were injured and unable to perform, or if they were unable to put together enough game tape to send to recruiters, many missed or had to postpone their opportunity and it was extremely unfortunate. It’s strange how the culture of sports is so different in the United States. If something similar were to occur down here, it would be national news. There would be absolute outrage and you would see parents picketing the schools and governments. Athletics are an important tool. They are used as an avenue to a free education and hopefully an incident like this won’t happen again, cause it really affects the kids.
So was Stanford your first choice?
Definitely. My mother had always taught me not to sacrifice any aspect of myself in order to acheive another goal. This is a very important lesson that I strive to maintain. A strong education was a key requirement in the decision process. With Stanford, I didn’t have to sacrifice any aspect of myself. It was the perfect blend of academics and athletics.
kerry33.JPGWith you being set to join the Washington Redskins this upcoming season, what do you expect for both the team and yourself following their promising second half in 2005/06?
I really like what they did this year. When you have a strong defense and good playmakers on both sides of the ball, you give yourself the opportunity to be successful every time you take the field. However, the offense did struggle a bit in the end. I would really like an opportunity to step in and help contribute. I’m prepared to head to camp and run my ass off. I’ll do whatever it takes. Whether that means carry the ball, block, special teams, I’ll do anything and everything.
Would you ever be interested in coming back to Canada to play in the CFL?
Mike “Pinball” Clemons gave me specific instructions that I am “not allowed” to come to the CFL until I’m in the tail-end of my career, and that I have to continue working on my NFL career.
How did you get started on your clothing line ““Most High Clothing”?
A teammate of mine from Stanford, Coy Wire established the business in 2004. I joined on about a year and a half ago, following the launch. We’ve had a pretty good year and a half to date. It’s a learning process getting established in a new industry. Thankfully we’ve been successful without having to sacrifice our message.
How do you balance all the different responsibilties in your life?
My main focus has and always will be football. It’s my job. Not playing this past season gave me the opportunity to focus my freetime on my other ventures such as the book, my charity and my clothing line. What I want is to have everything well established so I can have people run them for me while I focus on my first love – football. I realize though that football will only last so long, so I want to have something that I can step away to. I’m looking to continue my charity work with children and also create an education program for football players. A program that will teach them lifestyle management, responsible financial management, and let them know what to expect in an agent, etc. Basically I always want to help people in some way shape or form.
So to get back to your book, do you have a final message that you want to pass along to your readers?
My goal is to bring chivalry back to the way we communicate. I feel that it is becoming a lost art. Many people assume, certainly in the NFL, that they have money and nice cars and that’s enough, that they no longer need to use words to seduce. It’s these tangibles that de-values who they are as a person. I want to help people take it to a different level of romance, something that has been missing. I want to bring back the past. This book is intended to help you lure your woman, to help you find the right one. Observe how a woman reacts to your words, and you will be able to see her true feelings.
EVENT DETAILS
WHEN:
Tuesday, February 14 & Wednesday, February 15
12:30PM to 2:00PM both days
WHERE:
CHAPTERS BOOKSTORE
20 Edward St., Toronto
416-977-7009
All photos taken from www.kerrycarter.com.

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