Halo, Monopoly and David Beckham: The Quavas Kirk Interview
D.C. Sports Bog correspondent Lindsay Applebaum here. Starting today and continuing sporadically, I'll be posting some random, not exclusively sports-related interviews with various sports-related figures. Below is the first in this series.
I headed over to RFK Stadium yesterday to chat with D.C. United midfielder Quavas Kirk, who played for the Los Angeles Galaxy before he was traded for Greg Vanney in February.
A few things I, and perhaps you, already knew about Quavas: He's 20 years old, his nickname is "Black Thunder," he likes the monochrome look, he prefers dogs over cats, rain over sun, hot weather over cold weather, vanilla over chocolate and paper over plastic. Right. So pretty much nothing.
A few things I now know about Quavas: He plays Halo for hours on end, he's a Pittsburgh Penguins fan, he loves the Barra Brava and, oh, yeah; former teammate David Beckham "raided [his] life."
Also: much, much more.
I need to know: What's with the photo of you in a pink suit [a "Pink Pimp" suit, some say] on your MySpace page?
I went home before my graduation from high school, and I was like, "I need a suit for graduation." So we went to downtown Chicago--me, my dad and my mom--and they're like, "Why don't you get a nice blue suit?" and I'm like, "Alright, fine." So they're sitting in the car waiting and I come out with an all-pink suit. And they're looking at me like, "What? ... Okay..."
Your parents were okay with you wearing a pink suit to graduation?
Yeah, they were alright with it. I hid it from everybody else--nobody knew I had it--and then when graduation came, I just threw it on in the back room real quick and walked out in all pink.
You have a white suit too, don't you?
Oh, yeah. I wore that one to prom.
Would you drive a pink car?
I would drive a pink Cadillac. An old-school Cadillac. With big pink dice hanging from the mirror. If you're gonna go pink, you gotta go all out.
What kind of music are you into?
I'll listen to anything but country. I don't know, I just can't get into it. I can listen to, like, orchestrated music, symphonies over that.
Do you know any Barra Brava songs?
I think I know some of 'em. I want to go down there and, like, chant with them.
So you're a fan of those guys?
Oh, those guys are great. I love them, love having them over there. They have one of the biggest crowd sections I've ever seen. Usually when you go to other stadiums, they have this small section of guys that are, you know, jumping up and down, but we have a huge section. When we get a packed game, it's great.
They get really loud. Is it ever distracting?
I actually get scared, because when they start jumping, you see the stands and the entire part of the stadium just bouncing. I'm like, "Uhhhhh, please don't break on them."
When you were with the Galaxy, David Beckham stormed into town and took No. 23, which was your number at the time. How'd you feel about that?
He raided my life over there. He took my number and my locker. I mean, he might as well have just taken my soul. It's alright, though. I let it slide. I was just like, "Alright, cool." I swept it under the carpet.
You didn't have a choice, though, did you?
No, not at all. [laughing]
So then you got number 15. Did that hold any significance for you?
Nah, I just took it because I like the number five.
I see. So, I know you have a MySpace. Do you check out any blogs regularly?
No. I do Facebook. I did MySpace, but I kinda fell off of that.
What do you like better about Facebook?
That I can play Jetman on it.
It's this little game where you gotta dodge stuff. You're this dude with a jet pack and you just dodge things. I do that for hours on end. And they've got Oregon Trail now. But two of my people just died, so I'm not sure how good I am at it. At least half my herd drowned in the river. Ouch.
Ouch. What's your living situation like? Are you on your own, or with teammates?
I live with Craig Thompson. I used to live with José Carvallo and Dan Stratford. Then they moved out, they both moved out, and Craig moved in when he came to town. I was like, "Yeah, just come live here." And two new guys -- Boyzzz [real name is Thabiso Khumalo, and we'll need to get the story on the name "Boyzzz" at some point, of course] and Greg [Janicki], they're moving in with us. Should be a full house.
Are you guys the go-to-bed-early types, or do you go out and party all night?
I mean, we don't go out and party. I mean, I'm too young to do all that [laughs].
When good weekends come up, I'll go out, but usually I'll just stay in. Me and Craig play Halo a lot. That's pretty much our life. [Side note: after the interview was over and I turned off my tape recorder, Quavas informed me that he also wears the headset to trash-talk opponents, who are usually little kids.]
What else do you do when you're not playing soccer?
I'm trying to learn the guitar. I mean, I suck right now, but I'm just trying to, you know, throw it in there, with the shenanigans that go on when I'm not playing soccer. I just want to rock out on the guitar for an hour or so, and then play, like, six hours of video games.
You scored your first MLS goal recently. What was that like?
It was...a rush. I mean, even though it was like a rebound...
Hey, it was a goal.
Yeah, and it felt great. 'Cause like, my sister and her kids were up in the stands when I scored that. I didn't really know what to do though, so I just started, like, running around, flailing my arms [laughs]. I hadn't really planned any celebration, so I was just like, [waves arms around]. I just told myself, "Eh, just do something." It worked out.
Will you have a planned celebration the next time you score a goal?
Oh, yeah. I'll probably box the corner flag or something. Something like that.
Are you nervous to go back to Los Angeles and play your former team?
Not at all. I'm actually pumped. Real pumped about that one. I'll probably call a few of the guys up and then probably eat dinner with them, and then get to business when we get out on the field. And then party afterward.
Wait, I thought you don't party.
You know. [laughs] You know.
When you say partying, you mean you're just playing Scrabble or something, right?
Well, I was going to ask which of your teammates is the best "wingman" when you go out, but you don't go out, right?
Yeah, you know. But when we're playing Monopoly, my best partner would be Clyde Simms, because he knows how to build up the area. Like, if he gets Boardwalk, I'll get Park Place, you know? We'll build.
I'm wondering if this is still a metaphor. Anyway, do you follow any sports outside of soccer?
Yeah, I'm a big Penguins fan [he was born in Pennsylvania]. Big [Sidney] Crosby fan.
Did you watch the Stanley Cup finals?
Yes. Very disappointed. Almost cried--almost.
Soccer and hockey. Those are your two sports?
And UFC. I think that stuff's real cool. I love mixed martial arts. I tried to learn from my dad, but he wouldn't teach me. He's a blackbelt. But when I was young, I was a little out of control. I tried to, like, attack him one time and it wasn't working for me. I don't plan on fighting him ever, even when he's, like, 90.
Is that how you got into soccer? Because you couldn't do martial arts?
My dad's into martial arts, but he's also from Trinidad and Tobago, and it's all about soccer there. So he got us all into it. I started when I was four, and I've been playing ever since.
Do any of your siblings still play?
Yeah, my brother plays. When I go home, we play in a league just to stay in shape and stuff. But I mean, everyone thinks we suck until we play. We just come in wearing, like, basketball shorts and stuff, just real bummin'. It's kinda messed up, but it's kinda funny. We come out and we're like, "Hey guys, how you guys doin'?" Then we play, and they're like, "What?"
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