Yacking Mike Evans

May 20th, 2014
Mike Evans has the same graphic habit of two Hall of Fame athletes.

Mike Evans has the same graphic habit of two Hall of Fame athletes.

In his first week as a Buccaneer, first round draft pick Mike Evans confessed he lost his lunch at practice. Evans waved it off as not being in peak condition.

That may not exactly be the case.

Andrew Astleford of FoxSportsFlorida.com did some digging in a cool feature about how Evans went from budding young high school basketball star to the No. 7 pick in the draft.

Astleford talked to Evans’ high school basketball and football coaches, and his mom, to get an idea of who Evans, the person is, rather than Evans, the pass-catching freak of nature. Evans is so passionate about playing to the best of his ability, Astleford learned, losing his lunch during a game was almost the norm.

There’s one fact that sums up Evans’ dedication as a competitor late in his time within Ball High School’s basketball program: He threw up on the court. This wasn’t a rare accident. This didn’t happen once or twice. This, after awhile, wasn’t even a shock.

[Ball basketball coach Jerald] Temple predicts that there were six or seven games when Evans was an upperclassman that a delay was necessary to mop up his star’s vomit. A trainer, always on standby, would approach Temple near the bench and say something like, “Just nerves, Coach. Just nerves. Mike plays at a high level.”

That was Evans, high performance and high nerves, each part of his complete package. Sometimes he had to let it all go. “He played with so much passion,” said Temple, who saw Evans average 18.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game as a senior.

Joe remembers talking to Evans at the NFL Scouting Combine asking him who the true Johnny Football was, the celebrity or the football player? Evans, who roomed with Johnny Football on the road and on nights before home games, explained to Joe that the reason Johnny Football got in Evans’ face in the first half of the Chicken Bowl against Duke, grabbing his jersey after Evans was flagged a few times for offensive interference and unsportsmanlike conduct for mouthing off at referees, was because Johnny Football was telling Evans, “I need you.”

In other words, Evans told Joe Johnny Football was trying to settle him down because Evans plays with such a fury and passion to win.

The incidents of puking bring a smile to Joe, and not because it is some sick joke. Joe remembers as a kid reading a book about Glenn Hall, the Hall of Fame goalie for the Chicago Blackhawks in the 1960s. Hall would throw up before each start (but not on the ice) because he was so determined to record a shutout and play to his best.

Then there is the fantastic “America’s Game” espisode of the 1976 Oakland Raiders. Kenny Stabler recounted that before each game, Hall of Fame wide receiver Fred Biletnikoff would “ralph” for 20 minutes. When he was done praying to the porcelain god, he was ready to slice up secondaries.

If two Hall of Famers were known for heaving before games because they got so worked up to play at the highest level, then Joe sort of likes that Evans, too, has those same traits. Might be a sign of things to come.

22 Responses to “Yacking Mike Evans”

  1. lightningbuc Says:

    My favorite puke was Donovan McNabb as he wilted under the pressure in the Super Bowl.

  2. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Hard to mop up a football field….it would be best if ME13 could control it enough to ralph on the opposing team’s sideline.

  3. Larry Says:

    I remember Bruce Gradkowski, our 6th rounder from 2006 was like that too.

  4. Espo Says:

    Willie Beamon

  5. buc'd Up Says:

    The Replacements

  6. Netwalker Says:

    That’s some pretty good up-chucking company.

  7. Macabee Says:

    I sympathize! As a HS senior, I played Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol”, the last day before Christmas break. Just as I got into my first “Bah Humbug”, I gave up my god-awful cafeteria lunch. As you could imagine, one other female cast member got the dry heaves. I can hear that beast gagging now. I can still smell the Pine-Sol the janitors cleaned up the joint with. It was embarrassing, to say the least, but after a couple table spoons of Pepto, everything went off just fine!

    Joe, if you see Mike today, tell him to chew a piece of gum 15 or 20 minutes before taking the stage. Don’t know if it’s psychological, but it’s helped me. But then again, I’ve never played Scrooge again either! lol

  8. buc4lyfe Says:

    That’s norm in tampa also, the bucs have been yacking on the field of play ever since Mark Dominick became the gm

  9. MadMax Says:

    Very good article Joe! This is why I come here….these little morsels of insider info.

    @Macabee, did you do it right as you said “Bah”? Lol, great story.

  10. Architek Says:

    After rookie camp flashes we forgotten about Mike Williams that fast – that’s all that needs to be said.

  11. knucknbuc Says:

    Mike the truth Evans. Gonna be a beast this year. I guarantee he’s going to be better then Sammy w. And I like Sammy but this dude is just a freak.

    Calvin Johnson 2.0

  12. Louis Friend Says:

    The great thing about this kid is he’s going to be the most QB friendly receiver to come out of this draft. Neither of our QB’s are known for pinpoint accuracy, and Evans will help them both tremendously, along with Jackson. He’s not going to set the world on fire in 2014, but he’ll be a better WR2 than Williams was – by a wide margin.

    A guy like Watkins needs someone a little sharper. I don’t think EJ Manuel is any better than Glennon or McCown, so the results up in Buffalo may get somebody fired.

  13. BoJim Says:

    Louis Friend Says:

    “A guy like Watkins needs someone a little sharper. I don’t think EJ Manuel is any better than Glennon or McCown, so the results up in Buffalo may get somebody fired.”

    That’s what I was thinking.

  14. theDON Says:

    i think JEff garcia did too. or was it gradkowski. Probably yacking at the play calling, handing off repeatedgly to an overused cadillac williams.

  15. Bucfan#37 Says:

    I expect Evans to get some pass interference penalties called on him to go along with the barfing with the Bucs.

  16. Buc Neckid Says:

    Do you get flagged for this as unsportsmanlike?
    Then Play your heart out and Puke away kid.

  17. Brandon Says:

    I’m pretty sure Brett Favre was known for throwing up before games as well. I’m pretty sure Donald Penn used to throw up in training camp right before he was forced to weigh in.

  18. Brandon Says:

    In Brian Bosworth’s autobiography, he wrote about how in high school, he and his teammates would eat a ton of greasy foods before games and they would throw up on the opposing players at the bottom of piles. He said they were a bad team and that the bus ride home would have them dirty, bleeding, and covered and reeking of puke.

  19. Bucfever40 Says:

    Damn Brandon, now it’s MY turn to barf! The visual I got from a player(s) on the bottom of that pile, and on the receiving end of regurgitated food, turns me green man! lol

  20. White Tiger Says:

    I remember throwing up before games had a much different assessment for Josh Freeman…wonder why the inconsistency?

  21. Bobby Says:

    The ‘Chuckaneers’ ?

  22. Mumbles Says: