John Goebel has been one of my favorite interviews this year. I'm not alone. Goebel is articulate, insightful, funny and an all around nice guy.
If you want a glimpse into his personality, just check out his bio photo.
The running joke in the press box is the first time Goebel touches the ball during a game, we turn to Football Sports Information Director Ryan Koslen and request Goebel for the postgame presser. No matter what he does, he's the guy we want to talk to.
Saturday will be the final game of his career at UC. Goebel may not have made a huge impact numbers-wise this season, but was a solid contributor and one of the leaders amid a small senior class.
Goebel played in all 11 games with 31 attempts for 194 yards for a 6.3 yard average.
Here's the conversation and everything Goebel had to say about his career, the disappointments of this season and his mouthy friend from Michigan State.
Q: What do you feeling coming the last home game?
JG: It's kind of emotional. I came in here today and was like, Wow, this is my last Tuesday here. This is my last full-padded practice I am going to have. It's gone by very fast so I'm trying to take it all in right now. As disappointed as I am, you know, that's life. Sometimes life will throw you curveballs. We didn't come into this season thinking we were not going to go to a bowl game. We were going to go to a BCS bowl game. You just got to deal with it. Try to get back up again and look toward the future.
Q: Zach talked about what hurt most for him was looking at the seniors and knowing they couldn't play in a 13th game, he was pretty emotional about it, what does that say to you when you see something like that?
JG: I talked to Zach after the game and he apologized. I was like, 'No, you don't' need to apologize.' The game that we play, that's one thing I learned this year is that every time you go up for a game one team wins and one team losses. We don't tie in football, there are not ties. We got the short end of the stick this year. It's disappointing and depressing, but at the same time that's just the way it is and you have to get back up again and keep putting your best foot forward. Zach, he cares a lot about this team. That just shows, he's a great leader and we are going to be lifting him up this week and preparing himself for his leadership role next year.
Q: What did you learn from this season?
JG: I have learned a lot. I have been taking a journal the entire season, remembering my last year. I've learned a lot, in terms of maturing as a man and as a leader. It's easy to be a leader when you win, but it's very hard to be a leader when you lose. Practice isn't fun when you lose. Just trying to every day come in with the same attitude just as if we had won and looking forward to the next game. Not letting the circumstances dictate your attitude. It's been very difficult but something that has been good for me to grow. I think football is a game they say is life thrown at you at a faster pace. It teaches me a lot about life and now I am going into the next chapter of life where I will have to be a man and eventually when I have a family I will have to provide for my family. I think I have learned a lot of good lessons playing college football.
Q: You played for three different head coaches here, what has your experience been like?
JG: Thinking back on this year thinking of all my fellow seniors, my classmates, it gets me emotional because I think about wow I have been through so much with these guys. Ben Guidugli, Jason Kelce, C.J. Cobb, those guys came in with me and there are not very many that are still here. We have three on defense. Of the original 2006 class a lot has changed. A lot of that has to do with coaches leaving, a lot of different factors. It has been a great experience. I can't ask for anything more. I love this city, I love this university. I have loved my experience here. In terms of the way I view things, things may not have panned out the way I wanted to my senior year on the field but God is preparing me for something better. The things that are unseen are the most valuable right now.
Q: Got to go to two BCS bowl games, can't beat that?
JG: I've got to experience the
Q: What do you expect Saturday to be like?
JG: It's going to be emotional. I am a pretty emotional guy, when I am mad I'll be mad, when I'm sad, I'll be sad. It's going to be hard. I prepared my parents and everything. That's gong to be the hardest part. My mom, I know she is going to be probably crying and stuff. But all my friends are coming. They are supposed to surprise me. Charlie Gant, played with him, tight end from
Q: How many people in this caravan of friends?
JG: I don't know. I definitely have to get some extra tickets. They said they bought some but I would like them to be with my parents behind I don't want them to be in the student section.
Q: What would a win mean with everything you have been through?
JG: A win would mean a lot. Nobody likes to lose at Nippert. It's a terrible taste when you lose at Nippert, when you see the other team celebrating on your field. We definitely want to go out for a win for Nippert, for our fans, for our seniors, for our team next year to set the tone for next season. Also it's one of our rivalry games, we want to keep all our trophies. If we win this game we can say as a senior class we kept all our trophies.