Our host George Marinos recently sat down with Jeremy Knaub, who is in his third year withthe Hanover Rhinos.
GM: I’m here with Jeremy Knaub, running back for the Hanover Rhinos. You played high school ball all the way up in Red Lion, Pa. Were the trips to Hanover to play South Western so good that you decided you’d like to play semi-pro ball here?
JK: I always enjoyed coming to South Western. They have a nice stadium, and the way they play the game is how I always played; very hard-nosed, ground-and-pound kind of team, who always had big boys on their team. I’ve played there 4 or 5 times, from junior-high, all the way up to varsity, and only lost once, but I always enjoyed playing them because their fans were always a class act as well, and so were their players and coaches.
I still remember how I found out about the Rhinos. I was actually sitting in my barracks at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and I saw Charles Smith post a picture on Facebook of this rhinos team, so I asked him about it, and he gave me all the details. I live in Red lion, and he told me they were in Hanover, which is a 50-minute drive to practice and games, but I missed football that much, I didn’t care how far I had to drive. That was in 2013. I then found out about the tryouts, and I became a member in 2014.
GM: What has the experience been like playing for the Rhinos?
JK: It’s been great! We made the playoffs the past two years, but lost in the first round both times. We were missing guys both years for the playoffs, but we’ve had two good runs. I love my teammates and the community, they are very supportive. Adam (Bostian) and Chris (Bunty) are great owners.
GM: You’re also in the military. What branch are you in, and what made you decide to join?
JK: I’m in the Navy reserves. To be honest, I was working dead-end jobs and I needed a jump start in my adult life, and I knew if I didn’t do something, I would be working minimum-wage for the rest of my life, so I joined the Navy in October of 2012.
GM: Do you guys get involved in any of the rivalry with the Army guys, and if so, why is the Navy better?
JK: I’d say there is a little bit of rivalry with every branch, but it’s easy to say the Navy is the best, because we are everywhere! The earth is 75% water, and we control what goes on in the ocean. I mean, what other branch can say they control 75% of the planet.
GM: What prompted you to join the service?
JK: I come from a long line of service members. My uncle is in the Army, so were my grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather, but I’m the first one to join the Navy. I wanted to do my part also.
GM: My grandfather was Army, and he’s always cracking wise about the Navy. Does your uncle, or any other Army family member, give you a hard time about choosing the Navy?
JK: Yes all the time! My uncle, Dwayne, has been in the Army Reserve since 2001. I believe he’s deployed twice, so, he’s pretty well-decorated. He always gives me a hard time about it, but it’s all in good-fun, because I get on his case, too. He usually just calls me a squid, but I know he’s proud of me for doing my part.
GM: What does this country mean to you?
JK: This country means a lot to me, and it kills me to see the amount of disrespect from the youth in our country. There is no pride anymore, and that’s what scares me. I love this great nation, and I would proudly give my life protecting it.
GM: What kind of disrespect have you noticed in the youth?
JK: These kids stepping on the flags and refusing to stand for the pledge. It sickens me. Not listening to authorities, such as police officers. Cops are here to help us. I just wish the youth would realize that they bring all of this on themselves…If we all would not make excuses, and take responsibility for our actions, this country would be a better place. Instead of working hard to be successful, the people in this country want hand-outs, which is the wrong attitude in my opinion.
GM: Do you feel like Pat Tillman is someone who should be looked at as a hero?
JK: Absolutely! Pat Tillman is a true American hero. He was a great NFL player who had millions of dollars, and he gave it all up to serve his country. Any man who gives up fame and fortune to serve his country and defend his home is a definitely a hero to me.
GM: One of the rights he defended is the right to choose: Coke or Pepsi, and why?
JK: That’s a hard one…I’d have to say Pepsi. Because it tastes better, and the old Pepsi commercials were awesome.
GM: Which commercial was your favorite?
JK: The one with the little girl, who played the piano, with the man’s voice. (Chuckles), I think that was the first time I ever was introduced to Pepsi.
GM: If you order Pepsi at the drive-thru, and they give you a Diet Sierra Mist instead, are you upset?
JK: Not at all, I’m not really picky.
GM: What are the titles of the past five YouTube videos in your history?
JK: Christian McCaffrey highlights, Carson Wentz highlights, Mayberry by Rascal Flatts, Kiss From a Rose by Seal, MMMBop by Hanson.
GM: It seems like you enjoy college football. Is that an accurate statement?
JK: Yes I do. I’m a big fan.
GM: Who is your team, and how did you become a fan?
JK: I grew up a Penn State fan, but, the past 5 years, I’ve been a Maryland Terps fan because my very close friend and teammate from high school played for them. He just graduated this year.
GM: What’s his name?
JK: Andrew Zeller.
GM: He blocked for you. What was it like having him pave the way?
JK: It was awesome! He is a mauler. He did a good job making lanes for me to run in. I think I started to like running to the left more, because we had plays where he would pull from the guard position and just light people up.
GM: Would you rather run through a giant hole, or put a defender on his butt?
JK: Definitely put a defender on his butt, but nothing is more satisfying than flattening a guy and not even breaking stride.
GM: You also mentioned a couple of pop songs in your playlist. Are you a pop fan?
JK: I like all kinds of music, it just depends what kind of mood I’m in. I like old country, like Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, but I can also listen to Eminem and DMX. I listen to everything except jazz and reggae.
GM: Will we ever see you dressed up in face paint for an Insane Clown Posse concert?
JK: (Chuckles), No just for football! The face paint makes me feel like a warrior and gets me in the mood to play. It’s almost like a transformation.
GM: The paint you wear for football is kind of like a red and black version of Kiss meets Alice Cooper meets Ray Lewis. Do you think you could have a second career as a personality on the local wrestling circuit?
JK: (Chuckles), Nah, I don’t think so! Maybe a rodeo clown!
GM: Would you rather get knocked down by a raging bull, or get kicked in the head by Ronda Rousey?
JK: Probably Ronda Rousey, but I might actually like it. (Chuckles).
GM: Speaking of head-shots, let’s say you are NFL commissioner for a day. What do you do about all the concussion concerns that hasn’t been done already?
JK: I’m a firm believer that we all control our own destiny, and if you get hurt or concussed, then you, as a player, need to know your limits and when to draw the line. Players know how much they can take, so I would say it’s up to them more then the owners.
GM: Do you think the United States will still be playing football in 50 or 25 years, even though a lot of parents aren’t letting their kids play anymore?
JK: I believe we will be playing football for the next hundred years. I know they say baseball is America’s pastime, but I believe football has stepped in as the front runner for that now. A day without football is like a day without sunshine.
GM: I’ll leave you with one last question. Donald Trump’s hair is _____ and reminds you of _______.
JK: On point, and reminds me of a successful businessman. (Chuckles).
GM: (Laughs), Thanks for your time, Jeremy.
JK: No problem, bro, anytime.
Remember, you can catch a new Q&A session with a Hanover Rhinos player on Wordy Wednesdays, every Wednesday, exclusively on Rhino Charge, the official blog of the Hanover Rhinos.