This morning I had the opportunity to interview Maurice Jones-Drew. Yes. BlackandTeal interviewed Maurice. Jones. Drew. You can sit on awe for a minute before you continue on, it is okay. We won’t judge you.
Jones-Drew took the opportunity to talk about his partnership with Gatorade and the NFL in their “Beat the Heat” campaign. The whole purpose of the program is that people in general are unaware of how the heat can affect their bodies, even in the extreme. They want to educate people on the importance of keeping yourself hydrated.
MJD: Good morning, how are you?
BlackandTeal: I am awake, and that is an accomplishment, I assure you.
MJD: If you had looked on twitter, you would have saw that I wrote that Gatorade is really cutting into my beauty sleep today but that I am willing to let that slide.
BlackandTeal: Well I will definitely check that out! Why did you choose to help out Gatorade with the Beat the Heat campaign?
MJD: I definitely think it is something that the high school kids in Florida and where I am from, California, need to hear about. Where I am from it can get to 115, 120 in August. Kids don’t understand how important it is to hydrate and I think this is a chance for myself and other NFL families and coaches to pull in that gap between the players, parents and coaches in high school and college.
I just think that hydration is the key thing to being the best player on the field because if your body is not able to run how are you going to be able to go out there catch passes, block, whatever it is that you’re going to do out there. The key thing to that is hydration.
You have to drink water three, four days before because it has to get in your system and your body has to be able to use it. Gatorade comes into play when you start to sweat and you lose electrolytes, sodium. Gatorade is able to replenish that. I definitely think that it will help you improve your game.
BlackandTeal: Well, I know from the experience of being a Jaguar fan that I have seen people like Donovan McNabb throw up on the field during the August games and so obviously the NFL still has some issues. What do the Jaguars do to make sure you guys are ready for the heat that comes in August?
MJD: Well our trainers and coaches always have Gatorade and water wherever we meet. We usually go fifty/fifty on Gatorade and water. What they do is that they try to make sure you’re drinking all the time so you keep re-hydrating your body. That helps you with the soreness and a bunch of other different things. They try to keep you as cool as possible being as the heat index is Jacksonville can get up to 120. It can get pretty rough. I think a lot of the players that aren’t from this or aren’t used to this — like, when I was a rookie you end up cramping up because you don’t understand how hot it gets and how the heat can get to your body.
BlackandTeal: Yeah, I understand because I have lived in Jacksonville all my life. It can be brutal. Have the rookies that we’ve drafted… are they doing okay with everything?
MJD: You never know until August. I mean, it really isn’t hot until August here so right now it is going to be a little hot in July or something but when August comes around, like when hurricane season comes around, towards the end… those two, three weeks it gets real, real rough. It gets real muggy.
I hope you guys listen and understand. When you get a full body cramp that is the first sign of heat stroke. So in Jacksonville we do take those seriously. Whenever you cramp up, they take you inside, they re-hydrate you, put IVs in you, they make you drink a bunch of Gatorade, which is key. Obviously, Gatorade helps you play and be at your best longer than any other sports drink so hopefully you guys understand you need to push the fluids.
BlackandTeal: Yeah, Gatorade was invented in Florida for a reason.
MJD: Yeah, I didn’t know Florida Gators could invent the drink like that, I thought they were only good for football. They did a pretty good job, I guess.
BlackandTeal: Before I let you go, what do you have to say to those of us who plan to draft you in the first round of our fantasy football leagues?
MJD: If you don’t, some one else will! Nah, I am just playing. This year is going to be a fun, exciting year for the Jaguars. I think we have a lot of upside right now looking at the players and how we’ve been playing. It is just a different attitude here. It definitely going to be a great year for us and I hope it is going to be a great year for those guys in fantasy because I am going to play myself this year.
If you would like to help Maurice Jones-Drew and the other NFL players and coaches in the Beat the Heat campaign, you can do your part by going here and downloading the Beat the Heat safety package. For every unique download, a 1 dollar donation will be given to charities that specialize in heat related illnesses. You may learn something and you’ll also do it for a good cause! See, learning new things does have its benefits.