Sportsnet caught up with former Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Travis Snider for his thoughts on his hometown team (Seattle Seahawks) and his plans for the Super Bowl.
There’s no doubt who Travis Snider is rooting for in the Super Bowl this Sunday.
The former Toronto Blue Jays outfielder grew up cheering for Seattle sports teams in Everett, Washington and remains a hardcore fan of the Seahawks.
“This is the most excited I’ve been as a (Seattle) fan since the Mariners in the mid-‘90s with Griffey Jr., A-Rod, Randy Johnson and all those studs,” Snider told Sportsnet in a phone interview. “In the 2000s, we (Seahawks) got good and the last 3-4 years, we’ve really taken off. Pete Carroll pieced everything together, along with the general manager. They’ve almost become the model organization in sports.”
Snider, who now plays for the Pittsburgh Pirates, attended the NFC Championship Game two weeks ago against the San Francisco 49ers in Seattle – he said it was the craziest atmosphere he’s ever seen at a sporting event – but won’t be able to make the trip to the Meadowlands for Sunday’s game against the Denver Broncos.
“(I’m) not going to the game in New York,” Snider said. “It’s a tough time to get away. It’s close to spring training and it’s my birthday. (It) kills me to say this, but I couldn’t pull the trigger though.”
There’s certainly an advantage to staying home to watch the Super Bowl when you enjoy food as much as Snider does.
When he was in Toronto, Snider wasn’t just popular because of his play on the field. His Twitter account -- @Lunchboxhero45 – that mostly included pictures of epic-sized meals (mostly involving various meats).
He’s never been shy to show off his love for food and at last year’s Super Bowl, he tweeted out a picture of the plate of ribs he made for the event.
Snider enjoys the popular Super Bowl snacks such as chicken wings, ribs, and nachos but this year’s food selection will be out of his hands.
“My girlfriend and a bunch of my friends are planning a big Super Bowl party with tons of food,” Snider said. “I was told that I can’t be cooking and manning the grill. We’ll see how long that holds up. We got some fat steaks. I plan to kick back, relax and enjoy the fine dining.
The 25-year-old has been a fan of football for a long time. He played running back and linebacker, along with baseball, at Henry M. Jackson in High School. He compared his running style to Marshawn Lynch but his favourite Seahawks also include strong safety Kam Chancellor, the hardest-hitting player on the Seahawks’ top-ranked defence, and quarterback Russell Wilson.
“I love defensive players. This secondary is amazing. Kam Chancellor is the jersey I have. He brings the thunder. I drafted him in all my fantasy leagues, not that it matters or anything. It’s amazing how he’s progressed. He’s been so good with (Richard) Sherman and (Earl) Thomas. And it’s amazing how well these guys have played with all the injuries and suspensions at cornerback. It’s been incredible to watch.”
“Russell Wilson has impressed me so much. He’s such a professional. He’s a model citizen. He visits hospitals on his day off. He’s real. Nothing is a facade. He makes you want to look in the mirror and wonder how you can be better as a professional. The quality of leadership is incredible. He’s the image of that team.”
Snider never got the chance to see Wilson play professional baseball, though.
“(I) didn’t get to see him. It’s amazing what he could do, though. I wasn’t a draft prospect when I played football. I always dreamed of playing two sports.”
So is Snider confident Wilson and the Seahawks can overcome Peyton Manning on the big stage to win their first-ever championship?
“I like the Hawks. It’s a tough offence to stop but I think we’ll do what we do and pull away in the second half. I think we’ll win by a touchdown… We have a great defence. It’s probably the best (Manning)’s seen. We’re going against the great quarterback, but as they say in baseball, pitching and defence wins.”