You may think you know the Buccaneers' latest lock-up in left guard Ali Marpet, considering he's been in Tampa Bay since 2015. He's now signed a five-year contract extension that keeps him in a Buccaneer uniform until 2023. But for this edition of Behind the Buccaneers, we decided to do something a little different with Ali and ask him some more, maybe, informal questions. As in, pretty ridiculous questions that solicited some pretty ridiculous responses. We covered everything from him being about a decade behind the rest of the video gaming world and what food he absolutely could not live without.
Carmen Vitali: We're going to play two truths and a lie, which might be a little hard because we all feel like we kind of know you. Try to stump us though, ok?
[For those of you who don't know, two truths and a lie is where one person says three facts about themselves, one of which is a lie, and the other person tries to guess what it is. It's a good ice breaker and will help you get to know someone real quick.]
Ali Marpet: "Yeah, cool, I can do that. Let's see: I go surfing every summer with my family. I went to Australia this offseason and dove the Great Barrier Reef. And I'm an excellent Super Smash Bros. player on Gamecube."
Ok, I'm going to say surfing is a lie because the Gamecube one is way too specific.
"Yeah, I've never surfed."
But you're super good at Super Smash Bros.?
"Melee, specifically. Put that one in so people know. It's phenomenal. And Mario Kart Double Dash."
"It's the one on Gamecube. So, I had a Gamecube that we used to play in middle school so that's my video game experience. It's mostly Gamecube, I never got into Xbox 360 or PS4. I did buy a Wii. The Masters was on and I wanted to golf so bad. And I can't golf. So what I did was I went out and bought a Wii and bought Tiger Woods PGA Tour '08. There's more skill involved in that over Wii Golf, in my opinion. There's a lot more going on."
So you basically wanted to feel like you were golfing the PGA Tour but not put in the work or master the necessary skills to do it in real life?
I see, you just take the easy way out of things.
"When it comes to golf."
Alright, we're going to do something a little different here since you've been around a while [and you're about to be around a lot longer]. I'm going to ask you a series of random questions that hopefully haven't really been covered before.
What did you get into the most trouble for with your parents as a child?
"I know it sounds lame, but my parents wouldn't really care. The only thing I could think of is that sometimes I would lose parts of my uniform for sports. Like my baseball socks or something and they'd be like where are your socks? That would be about it, though. They'd get mad at me for that. Then they'd get mad at me because I wouldn't be able to find it and they'd be able to find it after five minutes."
Yeah, I could understand the frustration there. If you didn't do anything terrible as a child, what was your most embarrassing moment?
"I was more embarrassed than everyone else in my family of my mom's band. Does that count?"
[Ali's family is probably one of the most unique you'll find in the NFL. Ali is one of four children and has two brothers, Blaze and Brody, and a sister, Zena. His dad is a videographer for fashion shows – like, high-fashion shows in New York. His mom was in a band called Housewives on Prozac when he was growing up, which is what he's referencing here.]
Imagine going to a Housewives on Prozac concert where your mom is talking about PG-13 stories as a kid. She kind of took the whole embarrassing your child thing to another level and did it publicly. Also her car had hot pink writing on it, so fairly embarrassing. I was embarrassed by her a little bit. That wasn't the question, but hopefully that counts."
I know that has been well-documented but I can see where you're coming from. Next question is what Disney or cartoon character do you associate most with?
"Wreck-It Ralph. Love Wreck-It Ralph. I'm Ralph."
Because you just go around wrecking things?
[Nodding] "Well, not intentionally. It just sort of happens."
With your size, I have to imagine that's a thing. What about your strangest talent?
"Ukelele, does that count?
[HBO's Hard Knocks brought to light how Ali likes to play the ukulele. Him and his family play together on occasion whether it's the guitar, ukulele or even harmonica]
"I'm a good snapper. That's one of my strong suits… Does eating a lot count as a talent?"
[Laughing] It can, but that's kind of mandatory for you. Is that a chore to have to count your calories and eat a ton?
"Yes. Although now I have a pretty good feel for the number of calories. But yeah, it is a chore. You have to just eat when you're not hungry and it sucks. I know it sounds like, [grumbles/whines] oh, you have to eat all the time, but at some point it's like I'm not hungry. So like last night, I just didn't want to eat a second dinner and so I just had a 'shoot-ton' like shoveling rice and beans down. I just don't want to eat again but I have to eat more food. Usually it's breakfast, lunch and a second lunch then dinner then snack. But I messed up and didn't have a second lunch and just had an early dinner. So I had to have second dinner and messed up my schedule."
Speaking of food though, what food could you not live without?
"Ok, if I couldn't make sandwiches anymore, I know that's a broad thing, but if they were like you can't have a sandwich, any type of sandwich anymore, I would be VERY upset. In fact, that's how most of my weight gain happens. I make sandwiches out of everything. It would be my dream to have a deli. It would include sandwiches."
I make sandwiches out of everything. It would be my dream to have a deli.
So, like those northeast delis?
What is your ideal sandwich?
"Wow, that's a good question. I'm partial to the chicken cutlet on a sandwich. I really like – and this is terribly unhealthy – but it's chicken cutlet, I'd probably put muenster, bacon, Russian dressing and just lettuce and tomato."
How about here in Tampa, if you could only eat at one restaurant, what would it be?
"All the CRG concepts. Fresh Kitchen, Green Lemon, Ciccio's."
[Ali is famous for his love of Taco Tuesday and can usually be caught wolfing down tacos at Green Lemon on such an occasion. He's often joined by his brother or fellow offensive linemen. He'll be able to enjoy a lot more Taco Tuesdays here in Tampa after his new deal that keeps him with the home team. That's all for now.]