A few minutes with … Gabe Carimi

Bears rookie OT Gabe Carimi took a break from his visit to NFL Network on Friday to discuss how he’s filling his offseason, which nickname he likes best and his favorite food.

Presumably you have a lot of time on your hands during the lockout. How are you filling the hours?
GC: Well, I’ve been training. That’s the biggest part of my day, to get 2, 3 hours of training, and I’ve been in about an eight-week cycle since the draft, which leads up until now. This is an off week, which is why I’m able to visit. It’s just about working out and learning how to play golf.

How’s the golf game?
GC: I’m just picking it up. I shoot about 100 to 110. But I’m not sure I want to make that public. It’s not very good.

No, it’s not. Let’s talk about something you’re better at. Do you anticipate being the Bears’ left tackle when the season starts?
GC: Honestly, that’s my goal because it’s a high-value position. But, whatever the team’s needs are, that’s what I’ll be. Wherever they start me and is best for the Bears.

At the combine, you said you were the best tackle in the draft. Do you stand by that?
GC: Honestly, I do. I feel that way. It’s just how I feel and about the confidence I have. It’s based on my opinion. The Bears felt I was a good tackle and deserved to be drafted in the first round, and I’m just happy where I’m at.

You’re a pretty big dude. How much rookie hazing do you really anticipate?
GC: A lot. Especially when I heard that Olin Kreutz especially likes to mess with the rookies, and seeing that we’ve had some time off, he’s probably going to be harder on us because he wants to make up for lost time. He’s going to want to take it out on me.

You might want to start by carrying his pads and helmet …
GC: Yeah, I’ll probably be carrying more than that.

You grew up in Wisconsin, went to Wisconsin-Madison, and now you play in Chicago. Bears fans might want to know if you own a cheesehead.
GC: No, I don’t own a cheesehead. I was a Packer fan growing up, but I wasn’t the biggest fan. But I’ve repented that sin already. I lived a life of sinning, and I’ve repented. I’m good.

There seems to be some confusion over your nickname. I’ve seen “The Jewish Hammer” and “The Bear Jew.” Which one is it?
GC: Probably both. But “The Bear Jew” is probably more recent, and it’s obviously more fitting now.

Are you a Quentin Tarantino fan?
GC: Not really. I’m not a huge fan, but I have watched some of his movies. I do like “Inglourious Basterds.” His movies have a very unique flavor to them. I wouldn’t say I’m a fan, but I enjoy watching them. I appreciate them.

I’m guessing then that your favorite Tarantino movie is “Inglourious Basterds” then, or maybe “Pulp Fiction?”
GC: Honestly, I still haven’t seen “Pulp Fiction” yet. It’s the craziest thing. I keep on telling myself I need to do it.

That blows me away …
GC: It’s on my list of things to do. You would think with the lockout I’d be able to get that done, but I still haven’t gotten it done. I know it’s something I should watch. I love movies, and that’s one of the ones everyone is quoting all of the time. But, no, haven’t seen it yet.

What’s the last movie you saw?
GC: “X-Men: First Class” was the last one. I loved it. I love superhero movies. I’m kind of a superhero nerd, a little bit. Not huge, just a little bit. I like the sci-fi stuff. It was good. It kind of gives you a history of how the X-Men started out.

Wow, you’re really trying to back track here. Who’s your favorite super hero of all time?
GC: That would be the Incredible Hulk.

What’s one food you can’t do without?
GC: I would say chicken. Any kind of chicken. There’s no chicken in the world that I think would be a big problem.

That’s a good answer, Gabe.
Any kind of chicken. Fried, in pasta, chicken salad, it doesn’t matter. Just chicken. Rotisserie chicken, even BBQ chicken.

OK, OK, we got it. So if you had to be on a reality show, which one would it be?
GC: I’m not a big reality guy. I don’t know. I guess I would be on the “Jersey Shore” just to show how ridiculous they are. I’d be the one person sitting in the corner, wondering what the hell is going on. I would look very normal, which would be funny in itself. It would be like the scenes on “Family Guy” where they ask, “What’s more awkward than this?” It would be like that.

Are you a big comedy guy? What are your favorites?
GC: I love “Family Guy” and “South Park,” among others. I’m a big comedy guy. A stand-up comic I like is Jim Gaffigan, who does an entire 40-minute sketch just talking about bacon. The entire thing is about bacon. Hilarious.

It’s said everything is better wrapped in bacon. What would be your choice?
GC: How about chicken wrapped in bacon?

Well done, Gabe. Well done.

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