google-site-verification: google994a775d52fd713a.html

Trust Talent Time

Outside the huddle: Arizona Cardinals left guard Daryn Colledge

Each week, The Republic spotlights a Cardinals player for a series of on-the-spot, off-beat questions.

Daryn Colledge, left guard.

Question: Well, I’ve been saving this interview until this very week, hoping you would consent to it. It is Christmas week, after all, and we know where you’re from. So what can you tell me about your hometown, North Pole, Alaska?

Answer: North Pole, Alaska, is everything you would expect it to be from its name. It’s candy-cane light poles, it’s Santa Claus houses, it’s reindeer. It’s one of the greatest places to be during the Christmas season.

Q: Are they any elves in North Pole, Alaska?

A: We don’t like to talk about those. We keep them under cover.

Q: Is it true you grew up on a street called South Santa Claus Lane?

A: I did.

Q: You can’t make this stuff up, can you?

A: No, you can’t. When you got roads like Reindeer and Rudolph, you’ve got a good chance on landing on one of the keepers.

Q: Any Grinch streets?

A: No, we don’t like to celebrate the other side of the holiday. We try to keep it all positive.

Q: Are you a big Christmas guy having grown up in such a big Christmas town?

A: I am actually a huge Christmas guy. My family’s big into Christmas, my wife is big into Christmas and it’s definitely one of our favorite times of the year. It’ll be a little weird being somewhere where there’s not going to be any snow, so we might have to drive up north to Flagstaff just to throw a few snowballs.

Q: Did you get your Christmas shopping done? You know, there are only a few days left.

A: Yeah, no, my Christmas shopping is definitely not done. I’m going to have send a couple requests to Santa Claus and hope he drops a couple off to make up for some of my lacking this year in the Christmas shopping.

Q: Have you been naughty or nice?

A: You know, I’d like to think I’m nice 90 percent of the time, so I can’t always be held responsible for what happens on the field. But in my day-to-day life, I’m a pretty nice guy.

Q: A few weeks ago, you almost inadvertently tackled your own guy, LaRod Stephens-Howling as he was on his way to a game-winning touchdown. That would have been naughty, wouldn’t it?

A: I was actually just catching up with him to tell him, “Speed up! If I caught up to you, you need to run faster.” So, I was just letting him know he needed to run faster.

Q: Funny. Hey, do they have a Sports Hall of Fame back home in North Pole, Alaska?

A: No. I believe we have a dog mushing Hall of Fame, however.

Q: Hmm. Who’s the biggest athlete to come out of your general area back home? Is it you?

A: I wish I could take credit for that, but no, we have some good athletes. Mark Schlereth came out of Alaska. We have one of the best dog mushers ever and a lot of good hockey players, too. I’m one of the few guys that’s had had an opportunity to leave and join a special group of people to play professionally in their sport, but I’m definitely not the finest athlete to leave the great state.

Q: Your high school was North Pole High? What was their nickname?

A: We were the Patriots.

Q: That doesn’t make any sense. The Patriots?

A: I know, I said the same thing. That makes no sense. I think we should have stuck with the Christmas theme.

Q: Well then, staying on that track, let’s give out some presents, shall we? What gift would you give to your head coach, Ken Whisenhunt?

A: For what he’s been able to do for this team, a contract extension.

Q: He just got one, didn’t he?

A: Ah, let’s give him another one.

Q: What would you give Deuce Lutui?

A: I’d give him a gift certificate to wherever he wanted to eat, probably Lo-Los.

Q: What would give John Skelton?

A: I don’t know what I’d give John Skelton, let me think. … I would give John a new fishing pole.

Q: Here’s one, how about Larry Fitzgerald? I mean, what do you give to the man who has everything?

A: I’d give him the bill from dinner.

Q: Good one. That’s classic. … Say, you’re a charitable guy and were the Packers’ recipient of the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award a couple years ago. Can you talk about what it means to you to give back to the community and the less fortunate?

A: It’s a philosophy my wife and I have had for a long time. We’ve been in a fortunate position to be able to give, and the fans and the people in the city where we live are a big part of what we do. If we’re fortunate enough to have a little extra, we feel it’s a great opportunity for us to give back. It’s one of the necessities we do, to continue to help others and build up the communities we live in.

Q: That’s beautiful. Do you and your wife have any children yet?

A: We had our first this off-season. Our daughter is 6 months old. Her name is Camryn.

Q: Congratulations, are you getting any sleep?

A: We’re not getting enough sleep, so I would give the gift of a whole night’s rest to me and the wife.

Q: The Cardinals are on a roll right now. If you guys manage to win your last two games and finish 9-7, what’s that going to say about this team?

A: I think it’s going to speak to the resiliency that we had as an offense and a defense. We were down in the dumps. We were 1-6, and we weren’t doing what we wanted to do, but we knew we still had the guys in the room to get it done. We told everybody to stick with us, that we were losing close games but we would find a way to get it going, and we have. We stuck to our guns, we didn’t break apart, we got stronger, and no matter what happens at the end of the season — whether we make the playoffs or not — I believe this team takes this momentum and uses it through the off-season and we become a real threat next year.

Q: What do you think of your former team, Green Bay, finally losing its first game after that 13-0 start?

A: I’m sad for my buddies. I’ve got a lot of friends on that squad and we don’t play them this year, so it didn’t bother me. I wish them all the success in the world. But if we were up against them, I would have liked to have been the team that gave them that loss.

Read more: