A Word With: David Harden
This past fall, David Harden was featured on the Rhino Bites mini-interview segment as a new up-and-coming member of the Rhinos.
Now, he gets the full feature treatment on this week’s segment of Wordy Wednesdays after racking up 39 tackles, placing him second on the team with two weeks to go in the regular season.
That’s not all Harden has become known for. His signature hits and undying love for the game of football have made him a fan-favorite in Snacktown this season.
GM: I’m here with David Harden of the Hanover Rhinos. There’s always a smile on your face when you’re around the field, especially on game day. Where does your passion for the game come from?
DH: I was just raised in football. I’ve been playing football since I was 6. And as I learn more about the game, I just love it more.
GM: Losing a football game is better than not playing football at all. True or false, and why?
DH: Definitely true! It’s a blessing to play, regardless.
GM: Tell us about some of your other hobbies.
DH: I love hunting, fishing, and traveling.
GM: Sounds like a Luke Bryan song.
DH: True, except I hate country music, believe it or not.
GM: What kind of music do you like?
DH: I listen to really anything but country music. A little bit of everything.
GM: What are the last 5 songs on your music playlist?
DH: I don’t know if I could name five songs off the top of my head. I just press play on Pandora. I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing, by Aerosmith; Simple Man, by Shinedown; Hell & Back, by Kid Ink; Forever Young, by Jay-Z; Have You Ever Seen The Rain, by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
GM: What genre of music would best capture the spirit of the 2017 Hanover Rhinos?
DH: Country- in the beginning of the song\season, we had everything, now it’s the end of the season\song, and we’ve lost everything, including the truck and the dog.
GM: How do you, the players, get everything back with 2 weeks to go on the season?
DH: Winning out.
GM: Talk about your semi-pro football career.
DH: I’ve been a part of four different semi pro teams in Baltimore, none of those lasted the whole season. I’m used to extreme structure when it comes to football, and semi pro usually does not have that, it was definitely an adjustment from where I came from, where every minute of practice was scheduled. I just love the game too much to walk away from an opportunity to keep playing.
GM: Where did you play before semi pro?
DH: I played for a high school team called Maryland Christian, and in the three years I played, we went to three tournament national championships and won two of them. (NHFA tournaments in Florida). Now I coach for Maryland Christian.
GM: Do you have specific positions you coach, or a specific job you do with the team?
DH: I am the head coach of the JV team and offensive coordinator, and for the varsity team, I coach defensive backs and running backs.
GM: So you are involved in football year-round?
DH: Just about, I love it. When I’m not playing semi pro, I’m playing in a touch league or flag league, or I’m coaching.
GM: You have to have a favorite player, then. Who is it?
DH: The two players I admire who play or played my position are Sean Taylor and Tyrann Mathieu. It’s hard to have a favorite football player, that’s like having a favorite day of the year. So many to pick from.
GM: So, you don’t have a favorite day of the year?
DH: No sir, that’s impossible.
DH: Is my birthday my favorite day of the year? Definitely not, just another day.
DH: Food and football. Got to love it.
GM: NFL Draft day?
DH: No, process is too dragged out for me. But opening day oF NFL is always fun.
GM: What’s opening day like when you’re playing?
DH: I’m very pumped up, looking to get my first good hit of the year.
GM: Speaking of big hits, you’ve had many of them this year. Any that really stand out more to you than others?
DH: In the first game, against the Virginia Beach Rhinos, I was tracking down a running back to the sideline and I was loading up to try to knock him out. Just as I reached him, Adam Day came from my blind spot and pushed him forward, and Adam fell forward in the place of the running back. I ended up hitting Adam with everything I had. It was the hardest hit I’ve given out this season, and it hurt me too.
GM: What was the conversation like on the field after that?
DH: We were all laughing.
GM: Some of our fans may not know, but you do mission work as well. Talk about your previous trips, and the one you have coming up.
DH: The past 4 years, I have gone down to Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras, which is one of the most dangerous places in the world. While I’m down there, I work side-by-side with 4 churches and 3 feeding kitchens. The feeding kitchen feed about 500 impoverished kids a day. It is an amazing experience every year. It’s very humbling when you are able to step outside of the U.S. and into a third-world country, and begin to expect how a lot of the world lives. This summer I will be going to Kenya, Africa for three weeks, for the first time. I don’t know what to expect, but I am very excited for the opportunity. I love it just as much as football.
GM: How did you get into doing these missions?
DH: I basically woke up one day and felt led to go on a missions trip, and I found a group going through a local church, and went along with them. Now I would say it’s one of the most important things in my life.