Jammie Kirlew, most interesting man in college football part 2



By Paul M. Banks

for part one click here

“He lives vicariously through himself.” “Parties are thrown honoring his parties.” “He’ll never start a conversation with you about the weather- even in a typhoon.” “He is…the most interesting man in the world.” These are familiar lines from a popular Mexican beer advertising campaign. Indiana Defensive End Jammie Kirlew may be college football’s real life version of this fictional character- or at least the closest thing to it.

When you meet a player with which you can discuss topics such as Italian Renaissance art, the development of international cultures throughout history, enacting social change via grassroots political action, the art of cinema, and much more it’s quite a refreshing experience. Especially if you spend a lot of time hearing the same 11 phrases each week.

Oh and he’s pretty good at football too. Kirlew was selected first team All-Big Ten by numerous outlets, and rated the eighth-best defensive end in the country by one of them. He was also one of six finalists for the Ted Hendricks Defensive End of the Year Award and winner of the team’s MVP Award. He’s also an Academic All-Big Ten selection and finds himself on track to repeat all these honors and more this year. Heading into this week’s match-up at Northwestern’s Homecoming, Kirlew leads his team in sacks, tackles for losses, yards lost from TFLs, forced fumbles and fumble recoveries. If he played at a program that had any football tradition at all, he’d probably get well deserved All-American consideration.

This season, I had a very intellectual conversation him. I started by asking him about the movie he created, “Spring Break-Up” for the Campus movie fest. “They gave you all the resources you need, a camcorder, laptop and we shot a 5 minute film. It stars Terrence Turner, a wide receiver on the team, and a drama major with acting skills. Of course, he had to pick his own actress! I was like whatever, you can. We didn’t win, but it was fun doing the competition. It’s about a couple dating in college and they break-up right before spring break and his friends tell him you got to get her back before spring break, because she’s going on a cruise and you know what happens on cruises.”

You can watch it below; Indiana’s Memorial Stadium is featured.

I asked Kirlew if he plans to pursue a career in the Hollywood industry. “It’s definitely something I’m interested in. You never know how things will turn out. I want to play football as long as I can, then go to law school, then wherever life takes me,” he responded.

Kirlew also helped bring change to this country, participating in a spring/summer internship for the Obama campaign in 2008. Jamie described his political actions. barack-obama-for-president

“We got students registered to vote, we went out in the community, made it really easy for ‘em, we turned everything in for them. Then when it was time to vote, we had the Obama van pack ‘em up and bring ‘em down, told them where they can vote in the primaries on campus. I got about 20 teammates registered to vote. Surprisingly, many were registered already, and all of them voted. I took five of them down myself.”

Kirlew didn’t just approach the left-leaning, he reached out to the opposite side of the aisle as well. “I said 1.) It’s important for everyone to be registered. I’m not one of those guys saying you have to vote this way. 2.) I respect your opinion. Let’s have a debate, so we can learn something from it. You decide to go your way, you go your way, and I’ll go mine,” Kirlew said sounding like a future U.S. Senator.

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  1. did you guys watch the short film? what did you guys think?

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