By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — When he’s on the field, Tom Brady likes his footballs to feel a certain way. (No, we’re not talking about that, you bozo.) And while it may vary from day to day, from game to game, from one atmosphere to another, the one thing that Brady would always prefer his footballs to be is dry. Makes a whole lot of sense, you know?
Well, apparently keeping footballs dry was an issue for Brady and the Patriots in 2014 and 2015. The reason for that problem was explained in great detail by former Patriots Rob Ninkovich and Sebastian Vollmer. The two — along with Wes Welker and Brian Scalabrine — were guests on Toucher & Rich on 98.5 The Sports Hub this week, and they were asked this question: “Who is the most disgusting teammate you’ve ever played with?”
Ninkovich quickly answered that it was former center Bryan Stork. And, in great detail, Ninkovich and Vollmer explained why.
“Probably … you know how sweaty Stork was? So, Stork is like furry and just hairy and like always has a huge dip in,” Ninkovich said. “And he would sit at his locker, I think I have a picture on my phone, and he’d have his feet up and he’d have just his pool shorts on, and he’d just look like he needed a good scrubbing. And Tom would make him stuff a towel in the back of his pants, because I guess he would sweat so much that it would get on Tom’s hands, and the ball would slip out of his hand.”
This was not your typical little towel that quarterbacks often wear in their pants. No, this was the real deal.
“So he would have, his pants, our practice pants are like a light gray. His would look like a dark gray in warmups, because he’d be so sweaty,” Ninkovich continued. “And Tom would get so mad if the ball would slip out of his hand that he stuffed a fat — and I’m talking like a bath towel — down his pants, so he could wipe his hands and soak up all his sweat. It was really gross.”
Stork was known to usually wear some unique cut-off pants to practice. Perhaps we’re not getting a better idea of the reasoning behind that.
In case the total picture was not clear, though, Ninkovich continued.
“I’m talking like a waterfall of sweat, coming out,” he said, adding this for good measure: “And he’s super furry.”
Scalabrine expressed some surprise that such a player could last, considering how gross that might have been for a quarterback. Vollmer replied with a pretty apt explanation.
“He was a good center. Defensive linemen didn’t want to touch him,” Vollmer said.
“You’d just slide right off of him. You’d try to grab him and just slip off of him,” Ninkovich added. “Lot of sweat. Lot of sweat.”
But Brady wasn’t the only one affected by the waterfall of sweat, as Ninkovich said Stork’s cleats could be smelled from lands far away.
“He had the worst smelling shoes I’ve ever [smelled],” Ninkovich said of Stork. “He would sweat that much but he didn’t want to change out his cleats, so his cleats would be constantly soaked. You know like that cat urine smell? It’s real potent.”
Beyond just Stork, Vollmer and Ninkovich provided a peek at just how gross things can get in an NFL locker room.
“You know what the worst thing is, though?” Vollmer said. “So now imagine that picture that Rob just described, straight into the hot tub afterwards. … It kind of smelled the next day. The water was kind of green. And you’re just like, ‘What kind of hair is that?’ … Have you ever smelled a wet dog? That’s what it smelled like. You walk into the room and it’s just like, ‘What is that?!'”
Ninkovich said it was not uncommon to see mysterious and unidentified clumps of hair floating in the hot tub. That’s why he never got in.
Yet while the stories of Stork’s sweat were legendary (the world needs more interior linemen exactly like that), it may have been Scalabrine who won the contest of grossest moment with a teammate.
Scalabrine went back to the 2007-08 Celtics and Glen “Big Baby” Davis.
“Baby,” Scalabrine answered. “Baby one time went up to the food [after a game] naked. It was … like … [Kevin] Garnett’s like, ‘Baby, what the bleep are you doing?'”
Davis apologized to Garnett … but stayed at the food table.
“Too close. I didn’t eat that day,” Scalabrine said. “And then he was grabbing it with his hands, grabbing a piece of chicken. It’s like … he was … I love Baby, but that was nasty. It’s disgusting.”
So there you have it. Pro athletes may make millions of dollars, they may have access to the newest and shiniest equipment, and they may work in multi-million dollar facilities. But their jobs can still be pretty gross.