ASU linebacker tells Too On Ones about being the oldest guy on the team.
Q: You turn 26 on Aug. 17. Do your teammates make you feel old or do they keep you young?
A: Both, depending on the day. If they’re calling me Uncle Mike I feel pretty old. But usually they just treat me like one of the guys and keep me feeling young.
Q: Is Uncle Mike the most popular nickname?
A: Yeah, some of the freshman might switch to Grandpa Mike, but they’ve been sticking with Uncle, so that’s OK.
Q: When they hear you’re 25, what’s their reaction?
A: Some of the freshmen look at me weird. They don’t know the story (Nixon signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers out of high school and played in their minor league system until 2005) so they think I’m just some random old guy who joined the team later.
Q: Do you have much in common with the kids?
A: I think so. When I was a young guy in baseball I played with a bunch of older guys, so I know how they related to me and how I appreciated it, so I try to do the same with them.
Q: When you have a game like you did against UCLA last year, when you returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown, do the nicknames stop?
A: No, they just get louder. They’re cheering for Uncle Mike instead of making fun of Uncle Mike.
Up close and personal
Favorite movie: “Boondock Saints”
Favorite TV show: “Arrested Development”
Last book you read: Harry Potter, the seventh one.
What do you drive: Chevy Tahoe
Song you would sing if you were on American Idol: Rick Ainsley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”
Superstitions: Don’t have any
Worst habit: Chewing on straws
Your first job: Professional baseball player
What would you eat for last meal: Filiberto’s Arizona Burrito
Best sports movie: “Major League”
Something about you that would surprise people: I like to read
Person you’d like to switch places with for another day: LeBron James
Favorite city to visit: New York
Reality TV show you’d like to be on: “Big Brother”
One food you refuse to eat: Sushi
One possession you can’t live without: My dog
Your hero: My parents
Your bucket list: Yet to be determined