In The Mind Of a Bear: Questions For Israel Idonije

Max KienzlerAnalyst IMay 21, 2009

One of the many things that I love about the Bears is the unusual cast of characters that make up the team.

Adewale Ogunleye is a prince, Rashied Davis is a former Arena League star, Devin Hester had no position in college, Robbie Gould hangs out with lineman, Adrian Peterson has the same name as the best running back in the NFL who also happens to play in the NFC North, and Olin Kruetz has a tendency to punch his own players.

One guy that really captivates me is Israel Idonije. So if given the chance, these are some of the questions I would ask him.

  • What is your favorite thing about being a NFL player? Is it the games, the fame, or the fortune?
  • You were born in Nigeria and then moved to Canada at age four. That change alone must have been extremely difficult, but how, if at all, did it affect you in how you viewed sports?
  • As a kid in high school, you were a two sport athlete, excelling in both football and basketball; In the end, you chose to play football in college, why?
  • You attended the University of Manitoba, where you were so successful you were named Manitoba's Male Athlete of the Year your senior season. If you were so good, did you ever think of transferring to a college in the U.S. to gain more exposure to NFL Scouts? If you did think about it, why did you stay? If you didn't think about it, why?
  • You were not invited to the NFL Combine after your senior season, yet you still made the journey all the way down to Indiana and handed out videos of yourself to scouts. What made you so certain that the NFL was where you wanted to be as opposed going to the CFL first, which drafted you in the second round?
  • After signing with the Chicago Bears, you played a year in Europe for the Berlin Thunder. What was the hardest thing, in terms of life style, to get used to living in Germany?
  • What is your favorite position to play?
  • What position do you think you would be good at but have not gotten the chance to play yet?
  • There was talk last season of moving you to gunner on punt coverages, how intimidating do you think you would be to a punt returner if he saw you charging at him full speed?
  • With the wildcat formation becoming more and more popular, when do you think Coach Smith and Coach Turner will stick you back at the QB spot for a couple short yardage plays?
  • You have done a lot of volunteer work through the Israel Idonije Foundation, what makes you so driven to help others?
  • You just got back from a tour in Nigeria with Tommie Harris, Adewale Ogunleye, and Texans DT Amobi Okoye where you helped supply clinics and hand out scholarships to underprivileged kids. What is one experience you brought back with you that changed the way you look at things?
  • You have two nicknames in the locker room: the Block Party and the I-Train, which one do you prefer and why?
  • What accomplishment are you most proud of, either on or off the field and why?
  • What is your plans for after you retire, are you planning on Coaching or becoming more involved in your foundation? Are you even considering Male Modeling?